How to obtain a business license for a restaurant

Written by devra gartenstein
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The process to obtain a business license to own and operate a restaurant is the same as that for any other type of business. As an aspiring restaurant owner, keep in mind that you will need a variety of licenses in addition to your business license, including health department licenses and liquor licenses if you plan to serve alcohol. Do your homework and obtain all of the required licenses before you open your doors to avoid expensive and unnecessary fines and closures.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • City business license application form
  • State business license application form

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Choose a name for your restaurant that is easy to remember and reflects the type of food you will serve.

  2. 2

    Decide on a corporate structure for your restaurant. If you have few personal assets to put at risk and you want to keep your paperwork relatively simple, choose a sole proprietorship. If you will be working with a partner and neither of you has much in the way of personal assets, choose a partnership. If you have personal assets such as a house that you wish to protect, or if you will be working with investors, choose an S corporation or a limited liability corporation.

  3. 3

    Call your city revenue agency and ask a representative to send you a business license application, or find the form online. Fill it out with the requested information for your restaurant, including your business name and corporate structure, and mail it to the address listed on the form, along with the business license fee.

  4. 4

    Call your state licensing agency and ask a representative to send you a state business license application, or download the application from the agency's website. Fill out the requested information for your restaurant, including your business name and corporate structure, and mail the paperwork to the address listed on the form, along with the business licensing fee.

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