Starting a restaurant business seems an overwhelming task to do. In the aim of starting a restaurant business, you must have to carry out certain tasks in an appropriate manner which can not be ignored or denied such as selecting the restaurant concept, location for your restaurant, hiring high-quality staff, getting licenses and permits and then promoting and marketing the restaurant just after that. Here you will go through to licenses required for a restaurant business.

When you are going to start your restaurant business, you should not forget to explore the importance of required permits and licenses. Taking caring of the necessity for license and permits should be your first priority before you start your restaurant business. And make sure to adjust the cost for licenses and permits in your start-up business budget as well.

Why do we need a license and permit for a restaurant business?

In order to get authorization through which we will be able to operate any restaurant business under the government jurisdiction where the government is entitled to make decisions and judgments.

A complete list of needed licenses and permits to start a restaurant business has elaborated below.

  1. Business License
  2. Employer Identification Number
  3. Certification for occupancy
  4. Liquor License
  5. FSSAI or Food Service License
  6. Music License
  7. Sign Permit
  8. Seller’s permit

Permits and licenses to start a restaurant business

Let’s look at the most required permits and licenses that you will need for authorization of your restaurant business.

1. Business License

Business license

Obtaining a business license has got top priority in the list of fulfilling the legal requirements for starting a business. The business license is what lets you have the authorization within the particular geographical government. Getting a business license includes some paperwork to complete such as registration of your business name with an application fee.

The Business license legitimates the businesses as legal entities. Depending on the specific location of your restaurant, you must have to pay some amount or percentage of your total sales. Let’s look at the process of how to get a business license.

Recommended tips to get a business license for a restaurant business

  • To obtain a business license you will have to fill out the application form for your state where you have to provide you some business information such as your business name, and type of your business.
  • Select the proper place or location where you would like to open your business then register your business license with a business address.
  • Register your business name and make sure nobody is using your selected business name or brand.
  • If you would like to know more about how you can get a business license, just click on how to get a business license – the ultimate guide.

Recommended Blog –How To Start A Restaurant Business

Take a look at the cost of business license

The cost of registration is approx $50 and the actual cost of the license from $25 to $7,000 which will be depending upon the type of the business and expected business profit.

2. Employer Identification Number


Just like a business license, the employer identification number is also required to operate a business in the city, state or country. Business owners must have to think about obtaining an employer identification number which declares the federal government that you are an employer.  Let’s know about EINS in more detail.

The employer identification number is also known as the tax identification number. EIN is a nine-digit number which is issued by Internal Revenu Service to businesses for identification purposes. You can apply for the tax id number through the IRS website or by phone, mail, fax.

Cost for an employer identification number – The EIN is completely free of cost.

Learn how to get an Employer Identification Number or tax ID number in depth.

3. Certification for occupancy

For opening a new restaurant you just have to get occupancy certification in order to show that the building is a safer place for customers and employees. The local building or zoning department in your city issues a certificate of occupancy to make sure that the building is properly structured and maintained.

How to get a Certificate for the occupancy

Well, getting a certification for occupancy differs from the government to government and especially on the building structure.

Cost of certification for occupancy

It will cost you around $100 or it can be different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Documents required for occupancy certificate

  • Commencement certificate is a document issued by a local municipal authority which gives permission to begin construction.
  • Completion certificate which assures that the building has been constructed under the prescribed rules and regulations.
  • No Objection certificate for fire and pollution refers to as NOC. It is a kind of legal certificate that issues by agency and organization.
  • Area calculation sheet of floor signed by the authorized architect
  • Sanctioned plan documents – A sanctioned plan is a collection plans such as a site plan, building plan, service plan, parking plan, layout plan.

4. Liquor License

Liquor license

If your restaurant specializes in serving drinks or liquor, then you must obtain a liquor license to get the approval from your state government. In case you serve liquor without having the proper license, you will have to pay for a huge penalty and you can also be forced to shut down your restaurant permanently.

The cost of obtaining a liquor license can be different depending upon the state. Liquor license ranges from $12,000 to $400,000

Recommended Blog –3 Secrets On How To Open A Liquor Store And Be Successful

Documents Required For Liquor License

  • You must have proof of whether your restaurant is in legal possession or not.
  • Restaurant documentary proof whether it is the company, partnership or any other firm.
  • Trade license from the local authority is a must.
  • The certificate which will validate the completion of the building.
  •  Documents regarding the income and sales tax assessment.
  • No objection certificate form fire service.

How to get a liquor license

  • Log on to your government’s website for an online application form
  • After login, fill up all important details with proof documents in pdf format.
  • After getting the approval you will have to pay fees as per the guidelines.

Let’s learn how to get a liquor license in more explicit ways.

5. FSSAI or Food Service License

Food service license

FSSAI license or Foodservice license is one of the important licenses required for a restaurant business that is obtained by the health department of the country. No restaurant can run without a food license. The license ensures that your restaurant follows all the food preparations, food storage, and food safety rules and regulations. While in some case some employees are required to complete food safety training programs to get the license.

Documents required for FSSAI or Foodservice license

  • Affidavit
  • Identity and address proof
  • Valid email id
  • Food safety management plan
  • List of food category
  • No objection certificate
  • Medical certificate of employees

How to get FSSAI license

  • Sign up to the FSSAI website and complete the signup process by filling a username for registration.
  • Fill up the application with all required documents and proofs.
  • Take the print out of filled application online form and submit to regional or state authority with all the required documents within the 15 days from the date submitting the online application.

6. Music License

Music license- licenses required for restaurant business

The restaurant with the music system sounds great, so to avail the music while eating at the restaurant, you must get a music license that is issued by Phonographic performance limited. If you ever try to play music at your restaurant without a license, you will have to suffer big legal penalties. Make sure you have got music license before you host DJ night.

Music license cost

The cost of music license will depend upon whether the music is live or recorded. But for background music, it will cost you around $250 to $500.

7. Sign Permit

In order to promote your restaurant, you must need to have a sign permit from the municipal corporation or from the local authorities. Sign permit gives legal permission to use posters, banner, graphic, and painting to market or promote your restaurant. Simply we can say sign permit came to advertise your restaurant or business.

Cost For Sign Permit

The sign permit will include the cost between $20 and $50.

8. Seller’s permit

To get the identity of the sales tax collector, the restaurant business or any other business always need a seller’s permit. The seller’s permit allows the businesses selling their products or services and collecting taxes. Simply we can say you agree to pay sales tax on any taxable sales. And you will get the tax id number.

How to get Seller’s permit

Getting a seller’s permit will be based on your state. You can get it from your state board’s of equalization, Franchise tax board, sales tax commission. The IRS provides the website through which you can apply for the seller’s permit.

Cost for Seller’s permit

Applying for the seller’s permit you don’t need to submit the fee but you have to submit the security deposit in case your restaurant closes.


The idea of opening a restaurant takes much more to be accomplished in itself just than start-up cash or money. It requires you to fulfill all the legal criteria with proper paperwork. And obtaining licenses and permits is one of its important legal tasks that must be completed in an appropriate manner with top priority. Above is the complete list of permits and licenses required for a restaurant business.

We hope this informative blog for licenses and permits will be beneficial for you to run the restaurant in a proper authorized way.

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