Requirements to Open a Restaurant

A restaurant business is among the businesses that have to comply with certain extra requirements. Compliance is crucial as a failure to do so could cost penalties or worse cause the business to be closed temporarily or permanently.

Learn the requirements to opening a restaurant in order to become fully compliant.

A restaurant business is certainly not as heavily regulated as a medical-related business but it is also subject to certain special requirements owing to the nature of its operation. Failure to comply with some requirements could cost the business large penalties that could eventually result to its end. If you are planning to open a restaurant, make a thorough research of everything that you need to procure for the business in order to be fully compliant and avoid costly mistakes. In general, here are some of the things you need to comply with/obtain (for the finer details, consult your city clerk):

Customary Business Requirements

You would need a certificate of registration or incorporation for the business in order to operate legally. You also have to meet customary tax requirements. First and foremost, you need a tax number.But for information on the federal tax requirements by specific industry, go to IRS website. Different businesses would have different requirements. Related to tax requirements are issues in line with Medicare, wages, tipping, among others.

Zoning Regulations

Each city has certain places designated as commercial, industrial or residential areas. Make sure that your business is located in the right zone or it would not be allowed to open at all.

Health Department Regulations

This is one of the most crucial set of rules to meet. Food related businesses are subject to inspections to ensure they comply with standards related to sanitation, safety and health. Specifically restaurants must obey rules in relation to plumbing, construction and equipment. Topics under this are very detailed and specific. They will touch on sinks, refrigeration facilities, storage devices, waste, lighting, walls, doors and windows, break area, and store layout. Make sure that you extra effort to comply with all of these.

Special Event Permits

If you are conducting business out of site, you may be required to obtain special permits before you will be allowed to serve on functions. Disclose the specifics of what you will be doing in your application so that you can comply with the specific requirement.

Liquor Dispensing Permit

States require businesses to secure a permit in order to serve alcoholic beverages. Every area has a limited number of allowable licenses to issue or quota (based on the number of population). And the laws that govern the distribution of alcoholic beverages are very specific. Consult the relevant agency to know them.

Special Labor Laws

Depending on your nature of business and the area you are operating, you might need to meet certain standards to address issues like the treatment of specific types of employees.


  • Manikandan said on October 14, 2012
    We wish to start south indian Restaurant in Vapi (Gujrat) Kindly advice estimate & planing. Thanking you
  • Arun jain said on April 22, 2013
    I want to start a restaurant in Delhi. kindly let me know, what are the legal formalities to be fulfilled before inaugurating it.
  • Natasha said on June 27, 2013
    I will like to open an Irish Pub in Bayonne , NJ . What are the requirements and procedure. Please advice accordingly. Thank You
  • Dhola Bhavesh said on June 15, 2014
    I want to start my restaurant in Ahmedabad city. So, I would like to know what is the legal formalities are needed in this and what is the expected budget for opening this.
  • shruti m said on September 19, 2014
    i want to start up a multicuisine restaurant in Navi mumbai. please assist me in the total cost. Thank you.
  • sri said on October 27, 2016
    Hi, I want to start a medical store. how much it costs and what is the process please guide me...


    (All the above fields are required.)