Types of Business Licenses in India
MARCH 15, 2024
Types of Business Licenses in India

With a multitude of regulations varying from state to state, figuring out what licenses you need and how to obtain them can feel like attempting to solve a complex puzzle with missing pieces. However, worry not! We understand the challenges you face, and we're here to guide you through every step of the way.

In this blog, we'll lead you through the intricacies of obtaining the necessary licenses to set up and operate your business seamlessly in India.

Importance of Business Licenses

Business licenses play a crucial role in India's business landscape for several reasons:

Legal Compliance

  • Obtaining the necessary licenses ensures that businesses operate within the legal framework defined by government regulations.

Consumer Trust and Safety

  • Certain licenses, such as FSSAI licenses for food-related businesses or health licenses for healthcare providers, signify compliance with safety and quality standards.

Public Health and Environmental Protection

  • Licenses related to environmental clearances, waste management, and pollution control are essential for businesses to mitigate their environmental impact.

Taxation and Revenue Generation

  • Business licenses, such as GST registration and professional tax registration, facilitate tax compliance and revenue generation for the Government.

Regulation of Market Competition

  • Certain licenses, such as trade licenses and import-export licenses, regulate market entry and competition.

Employee Welfare and Labor Rights

  • Labor licenses ensure that businesses adhere to labour laws and provide a safe and fair working environment for employees.

Last but certainly not least, business licenses are a badge of honour for your business. They show investors, partners, and customers that you're serious, professional, and committed to doing things the right way. In a crowded marketplace, that kind of credibility can make all the difference.

Common Types of Business Licenses in India

Common types of business licenses required in India

In India, obtaining the necessary business licenses depends on the type of business activity you intend to undertake and the location in which you plan to operate. Here are some common types of business licenses required in India:

Business Registration:

While not classified as a license, registering a business with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) in India is a fundamental legal requirement if you are an entrepreneur establishing a business venture.

Depending on the type of business structure chosen, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), or private/public limited company, the eligibility criteria, registration process, and compliance obligations can vary significantly.

There are primarily following types of Business structures:

Ultimately, registering your business with the MCA not only establishes its legal legitimacy but also lays the foundation for growth, credibility, and long-term success in the Indian startup ecosystem.

For detailed information regarding the eligibility criteria, registration process, and compliance obligations associated with different business structures, check out the link below.

Company Registration in India - Online Incorporation Process Explained

Udyam Registration - MSME License

Similarly, Udyam Registration is not technically a license. However, it provides recognition and certain benefits to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in India.

The eligibility criteria for Udyam Registration are based on the investment, turnover, years of establishment, etc.

Once registered as an MSME, you can receive a unique Udyam Registration Number (URN) and a certificate that gives access to government schemes, subsidies, and incentives.

GST Registration

In India, Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration is mandatory for businesses meeting certain turnover thresholds, which is Rs. 40 Lakhs (for goods) and Rs. 20 Lakhs (for services) or engaging in specified activities.

Here's an overview of the process of obtaining GST registration, which is not exactly a license but a crucial registration for businesses:

  • Access the official GST portal.
  • Fill out the registration form with accurate details regarding your business activities, turnover, and so on.
  • Furnish the necessary information, including business details, PAN, Aadhaar, bank account details, and relevant documents.
  • Upon successful verification, you will be issued a unique Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN)- a 15-digit unique identifier for the businesses under the GST regime.

Professional Tax Registration

Professional Tax Registration is a requirement for employers and individuals engaged in certain professions, trades, or employment in India. It is a state-level tax levied by the respective State Governments for the welfare of professionals and workers in various sectors.

In some states like Maharashtra, obtaining professional tax registration is mandatory.

Shops and Establishment License

The Shops and Establishment License is a mandatory requirement for businesses operating within a specific jurisdiction, typically at the state level, in India. It is governed by the respective state Shops and Establishment Act and its rules, which vary slightly across different states.

The primary purpose of the Shops and Establishment License is to regulate the operations of shops, commercial establishments, and other businesses within a state with provisions related to-

  • Working hours
  • Welfare and safety of employees
  • Employment practices

The Shops and Establishment License is usually valid for a specific period, after which it needs to be renewed to continue operating legally. A valid Shops and Establishment License is often required for various business activities, including obtaining other licenses, permits, or registrations.

Trade License

A trade license is a legal permit issued by the local municipal authority or council that authorizes your business to engage in specific commercial activities within a designated area or jurisdiction. 
Trade licenses specify the types of commercial activities that a business is permitted to undertake. These activities may include manufacturing, trading, storage, distribution, or provision of certain services, depending on the nature of the business and local regulations.

In order to obtain a Trade license, you must submit an application to the local municipal authority or council responsible for issuing licenses. The application process typically requires businesses to provide certain documents, such as -

  • Proof of identity,
  • Address proof,
  • Proof of ownership or tenancy of the premises
  • Approvals and NOCs (No Objection Certificates) from relevant authorities

Once the application is approved and all requirements are met, the local authorities will issue the trade license to your business, specifying the permitted activities, duration of validity, and any conditions or restrictions.

Labour License

Labour licenses, also known as labour permits or labour registrations, are legal authorizations issued by government authorities (Shram Suvidha Portal) to businesses, particularly those employing a significant number of workers, to ensure compliance with labour laws and regulations.

It safeguards the rights and interests of workers by setting standards for fair treatment, safe working conditions, and adequate remuneration. These licenses often require businesses to adhere to minimum wage laws, working hour restrictions, overtime compensation, leave entitlements, and other labour standards aimed at promoting employee well-being.

The process of obtaining a labour license may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific requirements imposed by labour laws and regulations.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) License

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) license, commonly referred to as the FSSAI license, is a mandatory requirement for businesses involved in the manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, distribution, and sale of food products in India.

Obtaining an FSSAI license is a legal requirement for food businesses operating in India. It is mandated by the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, and non-compliance can result in penalties, fines, or even closure of the business.

Depending on the scale and nature of the business, there are different types of FSSAI licenses, such as Basic Registration, State License, and Central License, each catering to specific business activities and turnover thresholds.

Import-Export License

An import-export license, also known as an import-export permit, is a legal authorization issued by government authorities that allows businesses to engage in the importation and/or exportation of goods across international borders.

An Importer Exporter Code is mandatory for the export and import of goods. It is a 10-digit identification number that is compulsory for the purpose of exporting from India as well as for the purpose of importing to India. It has lifetime validity.

The process to obtain an Import Export Code (IEC) registration certificate online involves several steps, as outlined below:

  • Fill out the Application Form.
  • Gather the necessary documents as per the requirements specified.
    • For Private Limited/ LLPs- Company PAN Card, Incorporation Certificate, Aadhar Card, PAN Card of all Directors/Partners, and Cancelled Cheque of the Company.
    • For Partnerships- Partnership Firm PAN Card, Partnership Deed, Aadhar Card, PAN Card of all Partners, and Cancelled Cheque of the Partnership Firm.
  • Pay the required Fees.
  • Upon successful verification and processing, the Import Export Code (IEC) registration certificate will be issued. You will receive the certificate electronically using the registered email ID provided during the application process.

While we covered some common licenses necessary for businesses in India, certain industry-specific licenses and permits exist that are crucial for compliance with sector-specific laws, regulations, and standards. These can vary widely depending on the nature of the industry, the type of activities involved, and the potential risks or impacts associated with the operations.

Business Registration with Razorpay Rize

To conclude, securing these licenses is crucial for the seamless operation of your business. However, it's essential to prioritize registering your business as a legal entity beforehand, as this step is often a prerequisite for applying for most of these licenses.

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Dhaval Trivedi
Basanth Verma
shopeg.in
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@foxsellapp
#razorpayrize #rizeincorporation
Dhaval Trivedi
Prakhar Shrivastava
foxsell.app
We would recommend Razorpay Rize incorporation services to any founder without a second doubt. The process was beyond efficient and show's razorpay founder's commitment and vision to truly help entrepreneur's and early stage startups to get them incorporated with ease. If you wanna get incorporated, pick them. Thanks for the help Razorpay.

#entrepreneur #tbsmagazine #rize #razorpay #feedback
Dhaval Trivedi
TBS Magazine
Hey, Guys!
We just got incorporated yesterday.
Thanks to Rize team for all the Support.
It was a wonderful experience.
CHEERS 🥂
#entrepreneur #tbsmagazine #rize #razorpay #feedback
Dhaval Trivedi
Nayan Mishra
https://zillout.com/