Operating a Restaurant? Have These Licenses in Place

Posted on: June 19, 2019 by RMS Hospitality

Opening a restaurant is an exciting venture borne out of a passion for a specific type of cuisine, lifestyle, food, or serving the community. But actually getting things up and running isn’t a simple process. Once a concept is figured out, color schemes are picked, a name is decided on, and real estate is handled, the most important part finally comes into play: licensing the restaurant.

There are 40,000 separate licensing jurisdictions in the United States, each with their own specific requirements. Getting all of these necessary food licenses and permits included a hefty amount of paperwork as well as a lot of patience. Each license takes time to get approved, and not a one is an easy activity, but all are important.

Here are the required licenses and permits needed to open a restaurant:

Business License

The city or state where a new restaurant is opening its doors issues out the business license. This is the license that specifically gives owners the authorization to operate within a particular geographic jurisdiction. The process of obtaining a business license typically involves filling out some paperwork and paying an application fee. But while the process may seem easy enough, business owners should expect it to take a little more time than they want.

Hospitality Insurance

While not mandated by local officials, hospitality insurance is a must-have for restaurants wanting to operate in a safe manner. This kind of coverage can provide protection for everything from slips and falls to claims related to food poisoning. Having hospitality insurance provides restaurant owners peace of mind when operating day to day, providing the kind of safety net needed after claims are made. Even one small incident can cost a startup restaurant its savings, so having hospitality insurance in place will add security.

Employee Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is the number that restaurants relay to the federal government, reporting that a restaurant is a full-fledged employer. The EIN is basically a tax identification number which can be obtained by working with the IRS and filling out a form and paying a fee. Again, much like the business license, it can take some time to get everything completed. This can be taken care of online or by applying by mail or phone. The EIN is the number under which a restaurant files its business taxes each year.

Occupancy Certificate

A new restaurant must have a certificate of occupancy in place to show that the building they operate out of is safe for all employees and customers. Essentially, it needed to show that the building the restaurant is in is safe and up to code. The town or city that the restaurant is located in issues the certificate and typically requires a building inspection by authorities from the jurisdiction. This kind of certificate is usually taken care of before the business is open to the public.

Food Service License

It’s no secret that a restaurant or food-related business (i.e. coffee shop that sells food, ice cream stand) needs a food service license in order to serve any food of any kind. This license is usually taken care of by the city or county health department officials in the surrounding area and ensures that a restaurant meets all preparation of food, as well as food storage and food safety regulations and laws.

Liquor License

Just as the food service license is needed for food, a liquor license is needed to serve every ounce of alcohol on premises. Liquor laws can vary state to state and even change city to city within a county. Local authorities are usually pretty strict with their licensing and regulate everything including when and where to serve liquor to how much it can cost within an establishment.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, our expertly crafted policies are written specifically for the hospitality industry. We offer custom tailored solutions to meet any venue’s specific needs. For more information, contact our knowledgeable experts today at (888) 359-8390.

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