What are the Licenses Required to Open a Cafe
Well, if you have decided to start your cafe, then you must be aware of all the permits and licenses required to open a cafe. Generally, a cafe is a small and informal restaurant. And hence, the licensing for opening a cafe isn’t much different than the licensing required for any other restaurant.
In this blog, we have tried to get you familiarized with all the licenses required to open a cafe.
Licenses and Permits required for open a Cafe
What license and permits you require solely depends on what services you will be providing in your cafe. However, there are some common permits that every food business and restaurant are supposed to obtain. You will require the following licenses for your cafe:
Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) License
FSSAI license is one of the most required licenses that every food business operator (FBO) must obtain from the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India.
FSSAI license is the foremost requirement for any FBO because it ensures the quality of food offered to the consumers. Essentially, the FSSAI aims at protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
For obtaining FSSAI license, you are required to file an application with Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI). Furthermore, there are certain requirements that are needed for obtaining an FSSAI license. They are as follows:
- Display of certificates or licenses or notices;
- The FBO must have knowledge of food handling practices;
- If required, mention the special instructions on the product;
- Monitor the health status of food handlers on a regular basis;
- Food safety messages must be displayed on the type of foods being sold.
Eating House License
You can obtain an eating house license from the Licensing police Commissioner of the respective city or the city in which you wish to open the cafe. The authority (Licensing Police Commissioner) deals with the licensing of eating houses, cinema hall, hotels, swimming pool, etc.
If you’re starting the cafe in Delhi, then go to the official website  of Licensing Police Commissioner of Delhi and provide the following documents along with the application of eating house license:
- An Affidavit on duly attested stamp paper of Rs. 10 for the purpose of application;
- Residence proof of the applicant like a Voter ID card, Driving license, and Passport;
- Site plan consisting details of the size of the Eating House;
- A photocopy of valid NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council)/MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi)/DCB/Airport Authority of India, trade license and fee receipt;
- Documents related to the legal occupancy of the Place of Eating House;
- NOC (No-Objection Certificate) from the landlord in the form of the affidavit on a stamp paper of Rs. 10/- duly attested, in case of tenancy;
- Two postcard size photographs of the place displaying its usage as an Eating house;
- If the seating capacity of the cafe is fifty or more, then a Fire NOC is required;
- Undertaking related to the installation of CCTV Cameras with 30 days recording facility;
- Undertaking regarding the proposed or existing facilities like music & live performance, bars & disco, dance floor, etc.
Health or Trade License
You can obtain the health and trade license from the local civil authorities. Again, like eating house license, you can obtain health or trade license from the concerned authority in your area where you want to open the cafe. You will get the license within 60 days of submitting the application with all the necessary documents as follows:
- Electricity and water paid bills;
- Proof of sewer connection;
- Indemnity bond for Rs. 100;
- 3 photocopies of the site plan and layout;
- Rent agreement and NOC from the landlord;
- Ownership proof;
- Structural Stability Certificate signed by Structural Engineer;
- Medical Fitness Certificate of the workers;
- Water Testing Reports; etc.
NOC from Chief Fire Officer
Whether you’re opening a cafe or a restaurant, you must consider all the fire safety guidelines. You need to submit the application to the Chief Fire Officer for obtaining a NOC. Furthermore, you can contact the Chief Fire Officer in cases:
- There’s any delay in carrying out the inspection;
- Issuance of fire safety guidelines.;
- Issuance of NOC after the inspection is carried out, etc.
Moreover, the department doesn’t impose any charge for this job for a certain period of time.
To ensure your cafe isn’t harming the environment by any means, you must obtain the pollution certificate from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. Every state has its specific terms and laws. Therefore, you can acquire the pollution certificate from the concerned authority of your state.
Enlisting your cafe with the trademark is imperative because it prevents others from using your brand name or using it anyway without your consent. With trademark registration, you get the power to sue anybody liable for any infringement. Hence, you must get your trademark registered.
Shops and Establishment Act license
For operating any business or shop in India, you must first register it under the Shops and Establishment Act. You must obtain the Shops and Establishment License within 30 days of the commencement of your business. Because this license is city-specific, therefore, you must register your cafe within your city.
If you are playing music or video in the cafe, then you can obtain the Music license called Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). Under the Copyright Act of 1957, any individual playing pre-recorded music in any non-private, non-business foundations must obtain a music permit issued by the PPL. Moreover, playing music within the cafe without the prescribed license is an offense.
You will surely require to market your business to ensure that you garner the maximum profit. However, if you want to market your cafe either through a positive word of mouth, pictures, logos, symbols, posters, etc. then you will require a legal permit. This legal permit is called the signage license. Local civil authorities like the Municipal Corporations are responsible for the issuance of signage license.
You will require liquor license if you are serving alcohol in your cafe. The Local Excise Commissioner is responsible for issuing this license, and you can obtain the required form from the respective State Government websites  . Obtaining this license is quite crucial because selling liquor without the required license will incur you a huge penalty (which is different in each state) and may even get your cafe shut down permanently.
In case, your cafe is within a multi-story building and you want to install a lift in the building then you must get the clearance for the same. You can get the clearance from an inspector from the electricity department as well as the Labour Commissioner of that specific city. The Electrical Inspector will issue the license from the office of the Labour Commissioner after examining the lift installation, layout, safety gears, etc.
Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC)
The Certificate of Environmental Clearance is from the EMA (Environmental Media Association) for certain projects or activities. You can obtain this certificate from the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The application comes in the form of a Questionnaire. Once you submit the questionnaire for environmental appraisal, then only you will receive the certificate.
In a nutshell, licensing is an extremely important step towards opening a cafe. As per the provisions of Food Safety and Standard Authority of India  , eateries operating without food license or FSSAI license will have to pay fine up to Rs. 5 lakhs or can be put behind bars for six months. Licensing a cafe is essential because it helps cafe maintain health standards, quality food, and have a separate legal identity. Furthermore, a cafe with all above-stated licenses gets more customers because it creates trust and goodwill among them.
For any further queries related to the licenses required to open a cafe, you can contact Swarit Advisors. One of our experts will call you and understand your need for opening a cafe. He/she will guide you thoroughly on the same and will help you to obtain all the licenses required.