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License Required to Open a Cafe in India

license required to open a cafe

To open a cafe one must comply with all the permits and licenses. To open a retail food establishment or a cafe, it is required to obtain permits and licenses. In this article, we will discuss the license required to open a cafe in India.

Open a Cafe in India: Licenses Required

Following license are required to open a cafe:

Licenses are required in order to open a Cafe

FSSAI License

As per Food Safety and Standards Act 2006[1], it is mandatory for all the eateries in India to obtain an FBO (Food Business Operator) license from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)for the purpose of ensuring the quality of food for the benefit of public health.

For obtaining the food & safety license an application is required to be filed under Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Following are the requirements to be fulfilled for obtaining the FSSAI License:

  • Display of notices/certificates/license;
  • Regular health status monitoring of food handlers;
  • Knowledge of food handling practices;
  • Food safety messages depend on the type of food being sold;
  • Special instructions on the product, if required.

Health License

In Legal language some time health license is called a Trade License. It is required to be obtained from the local civil authorities of the area where you want to start your cafe.

Eating House License

It is obtained from Licensing Police Commissioner of the city and for this, one needs to visit the site of Licensing Police Commissioner. This authority is an ISO 9001:2008 certified organization and deals with licensing of eating houses, cinema hall etc.

Grant of FSSAI Registration Certificate

An application is required to be filed for the FSSAI Registration of an eating-house in the prescribed format along with the following documents.

  • Necessary documents required to prove the legal occupancy of the place and in the case of tenancy, NOC is required from the landlord in the affidavit on stamp paper duly attested.
  • Site plan providing details of the size of the eating house.
  • Two postcard size photographs of the place describing its use as an eating house.
  • Photocopy of NDMC/MCD/DCB/Airport Authority of India trade license and fee receipt.
  • Residence proof such as Driving License, Aadhar, Voter Id card & passport.
  • Affidavit on stamp paper, duly attested.
  • Fire NOC, in the case of seating capacity, is 50 or more.
  • Undertaking in relation to proposed/existing facilities like music & Live performance, dance floor, Bars & disco, etc.
  • Undertaking in relation to the installation of CCTV Cameras with recording facility of 30 days

NOC from Fire Department

It must be ensured that all the compliances have been done of all the fire safety guidelines. It must be done before submitting an application to the chief fire officer for obtaining NOC. In case there is a delay in carrying out the inspection then one can also contact the chief fire officer.

Pollution Certificate

The license shall be provided by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).

Music License

One needs to obtain a license for playing recorded music or video in the restaurant. One should obtain Phonographic Performance Ltd license for playing music in your cafe. In case the owner of the cafe plays music with this license, then such person may face penalty.


It is important to register the trademark because it prevents others from using the same trademarks.

Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC)

One needs to obtain it from the Ministry of Environment and Forests after submitting the questionnaire for environmental appraisal.

Insurance for

  • Public Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Fire Policy
  • Building & Asset

Shops and Establishment Act

It is required to register a restaurant under the Shops and Establishment Act.

Signage license

It is required to obtain this license from the local civil authorities.

Liquor License

One will require having liquor license if they are serving liquor at cafe. The local excise commissioner issues this license. Serving alcohol in cafe without obtaining this license can incur huge penalties.  


Licensing is important to open a cafe in India. It helps in maintaining health standards and also to have a separate legal identity. It adds to the goodwill of the café as it attracts customers to a place which is safer and provides good quality food. It will bring customer satisfaction. According to FSSAI officials, restaurants and cafes operating without FBO license will be penalized up to Rs.5 lakhs and imprisonment of up to six months.

Read our article: What is the Procedure for Getting an FSSAI License Number?

Ashish M. Shaji

Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

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