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Types of business licenses and permits in India

Types of business licenses and permits in India


Operating a business strongly relies on obtaining the business licenses and permissions required to run your enterprise lawfully. It is important to speak to an attorney if you have any queries about license requirements and compliance. Every state, county, and municipality has its own unique criteria. Federal rules exist for specific business categories as well. The Different types of business licenses and permits are all covered in this article.

What is a Business License?

A business license is any type of permission or license that a state or other government body mandates firms possess in order to conduct business. Kinds of business licenses and permits are issued by federal, state, and municipal governments for a range of commercial operations.

Why are Business Licenses Important for Companies?

Business licenses are required by the government in order to increase accountability, transparency, and consumer protection. These organizations may be difficult to deal with if you don’t have the appropriate business licenses, and they sometimes have the power to impose fines or even close down non – compliance businesses.

A home-based or internet firm may also need to seek business licenses, so be aware that they aren’t simply necessary for enterprises with actual locations. Even though it might be time-consuming, getting all the required company permits up front can reduce stress and costs in the long run.

There are different forms of companies as per the Companies Act, 2013:

One Person Company (OPC): One Person Company registration was introduced in 2013 and enables a sole proprietor to form their company and conduct lawful commercial operations.

Private Limited Company (PLC):This type of business tries to limit its owners to particular social classes.  A Public Limited Company (PLC) differs from a private limited company in several ways.

Public Limited Company: A Public Limited Company differs from a Private Limited Company in that it is able to invite the entire public to become shareholders without expressing any preference for any particular group.

Sole Proprietorship Company (SPC): A Sole Proprietorship firm is a business entity that is owned, controlled and managed by a single person. The owner of the business is called the sole proprietor of the firm. The promoter himself receives all the profits.

Partnership Firm: Partners who have agreed on the role and profit sharing are the ones who manage operations in partnerships. The partnership agreement is a verbal agreement that specifies the roles, responsibilities, authority, and number of shares owned.

 Types of Business Licenses in India

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs oversees the registration of companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) in India. A company’s registration grants it a continuous existence, a separate legal identity, and limited liability protection. Registration will assist the firm in growing and expanding gradually after turnover surpasses a particular threshold.

  • GST Registration

 Businesses with intrastate supply and business entities with turnover above the set threshold limit must register under the Goods and Services Tax. Businesses must compulsorily register under GST in order to meet a number of extra requirements. For new firms, GST registration must be completed online within a certain time frame. Find a list of the necessary paperwork to register a business for GST.

  • Udyam Aadhar Registration

The Udyam online site handles India’s small businesses. Although Udyam Aadhar registration is not required, there are several advantages to registering, including government credit programmes, subsidies, etc. The requirements for Udyam registration are specified in terms of a composite criteria that takes into account business revenue and investment in machinery and plants.

  • FSSAI Registration or License (In case you wish to start a business of edibles)

This is the national authority for ensuring the safety and standardization of food items in India. FSSAI stands for Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. All retail establishments, trade outlets, kiosks, eateries, caterers, and cloud kitchens must follow to FSSAI regulations, get licenses, and periodically renew their registrations. The following categories apply to the license or registration requirement:

  1. FSSAI Basic Registration: Up to Rs. 12 lakh in revenue.
  2. FSSAI State License: For revenue between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 20 crore.
  3. FSSAI Central License: For
  4. Revenue above Rs. 20 billion.
  • Import Export Code (For businesses doing import and export of goods and services)

In India, export and import companies are required to have a unique license known as the Import Export Code, which is issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Commerce. Registration can be achieved online by submitting the legally essential papers on the DGFT website. A PAN card, an identification card with address verification, evidence of business residency, proof of a current bank account, etc. are required in documentation.

  • Opening a Retail Store in India Requires a License

Under the “Shop and Establishments Act,” a license is required to operate a retail store in India. Since State Governments are in charge of issuing registrations, the rules in India vary from one state to the next. The Act governs all local stores and businesses and keeps an eye on how they behave to ensure that there is no child labor, excessive working hours, unhealthy circumstances, unfair wage practices, etc.

  • Trade License for Indian Online Businesses

Many small company owners are turning to the internet as their preferred method of conducting business because there are so many simple online business loans accessible for MSMEs. A sole proprietorship is the most practical form of company for small companies since there are fewer regulations to follow. Under the Shop and Establishments Act, a sole proprietorship can apply for a trade license in the same way as a conventional shop.

  • Licenses Needed for an Indian Factory

Under the Factories Act of 1948, registration is required to operate a factory in India which is granted by the state government. According to the type of company and state laws governing safety, welfare, and labor standards, there can be extra permission requirements.

  • Additional Licensing and Registration

There are many more company categories that are not included in the list above. Wherever it is judged essential, the government requires licenses and permits to guarantee the welfare of the public and the environment. For example, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority supervises insurance firms, while the Reserve Bank of India oversees the banking and microfinance industries.


The fundamental requirements for becoming eligible to apply for a business license are:

  • The candidate must be at least eighteen years old and cannot be a minor.
  • The candidate cannot be on any type of legal probation for a major offense.
  • The company needs to be genuine.
  • Documents Necessary.

Various agencies and company types may have different documentation requirements. Though, a general list of the paperwork needed for registration is provided below.

  • Pan Card
  • Driving License/Voter ID/Aadhar Card
  • Passport
  • Bank Statement
  • An address confirmation or a landlord’s letter of approval
  • Agreement for Rent or Lease
  • Business Authority Letter
  • Articles of Association and the Memorandum of Association
  • Partner Agreement

How to Apply for a Business License?

Although the procedure for getting company licenses varies by area and industry, it frequently goes as follows:

  1. Start by learning about all levels of government’s regulations regarding business licenses in your sector. Find out which organizations will oversee your operations and make contact with them to arrange for the required documents. The local chamber of commerce or economic development organization could also be able to point you in the direction of information.
  2. When completing out documents, be thorough. Provide copies of any needed papers, respond to all inquiries, and make prompt payment of all costs. Your plans to start or grow a business might be delayed if you don’t do this.
  3. If your application is accepted, you will be sent a copy of your license and details on whether a renewal is required.

What is the price of a Business License?

Depending on the license’s type and area, the cost might change. You may be required to pay professional fees to apply for a particular business license in addition to the government fees for the license. Contact the issuing organization for comprehensive cost information.

Costs associated with company licenses are frequently tax-deductible, but you should consult a tax expert to review your particular situations. It’s important to obtain and budget for the relevant business licenses to maintain good status with the various governmental organizations, even if they might not be the most exciting aspect of beginning or expanding a firm.


1. Is a business license the same as a permit?

A permit is different from a business license. A business license confirms your company’s compliance with state laws, whereas permits guarantee that your company follows the safety and preventative measures.

2. How can a business license be obtained?

Visit the office or website of the state governing authority where the business is located to get a business license.

3. What occurs if you operate a business without a business license?

In circumstances of non-compliance, the governing body may fine the firm or even request that it close.

4. What kinds of licenses and permissions are available for businesses?

There are mainly eight types of licenses and permissions available for businesses:

  • Company License
  • GST Registration
  • Register under Udyam
  • FSSAI Registration or License
  • Import Export Code
  • Opening a Retail Store in India Requires a License
  • Trade License for Indian Online Businesses
  • Licenses Needed for an Indian Factory

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