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hookah bar license | Company Vakil
hookah bar license

Hookah Bar license

Hookah bar has become a very popular spot among youngsters to hang out with their friends. There has been increasing demand for this business and youngsters are always keen on trying new flavors and varieties of hookahs. The laidback environment with good music and it has become a go to place for youngsters, thereby opening up of hookah bars have become a trend as well a profitable business. The same culture trend is developing in India, so more people have started to invest in such bars. For people who want to invest in such business, have to open a restaurant first and then serve hookah. Because, to serve hookah, it can be served only as a restaurant item and not separately. In order to successfully run a hookah bar with no hassles and troubles in future, it is advisable to comply with government rules and obtain all the kinds of necessary licenses from the government and state or concerned board. It should be ensured by the owner of the hookah bar and restaurant that it is run within cigarettes and other tobacco products Act, 2003 and it is well within the limit of this act, in order to avoid any legal trouble in future.

Things to be taken care of before opening a hookah bar

  • Hookah bar requires sheesha set ups and refilling of coal and making of different flavors, other than drinks and food which is served in restaurant. So it is advisable and necessary to hire staff that are attentive, knowledgeable and are well trained hookah expertise.
  • The purpose of a hookah place is for a relaxed and laidback environment with good light music and a place of relaxing with your group. So it is mandatory for restaurants to have such lounge seating arrangements with the décor.
  • For opening the hookah bar, the applicant must have good knowledge about hookah and should provide good options of flavors to the customers, like ranging from fruity flavors to minty ones. He should basically have good talent and taste in choosing tobacco flavors.
  • For a successful business, the owner of the restaurant should provide for happy hours and offers on few days.

Protocols need to be taken care of becoming eligible for license

  • The majority of space must be given to restaurant and not the sheesha corner.
  • CCTv’s should have capacity to store footage up to 3 months.
  • Food license should be around 1 year old only.
  • While opening up a restaurant with hookah bar, there should not be any educational institution, hostels, hospitals, school or places of worship in vicinity of the restaurant.
  • Hookah should not be served to the people below 18 years of age.
  • No objection certificate (NOC) should be taken from the neighbors.

Different licenses required for incorporating hookah bar

The owner of the restaurant has to comply with few licenses. And they are-

  • Business registration- it is the first and foremost step in operating or starting off with a business. It should be registered under artificial legal entity like sole proprietorship firm, limited liability firm or partnership firm or a private limited company.
  • Trade license- it is mandatory to obtain a trade license from Municipal Corporation and the health department from the concerned state.
  • Shop and establishment license- in order to protect the working conditions of the bar and rights of employees, it is mandatory to obtain license from state chief inspector and the department of labor.
  • Fire safety license- it is mandatory to obtain a fire safety license from fire department permit if your business involves any kind of flammable material and it is open to public at large.
  • Music license- for playing music at high volumes in or at any restaurant or open space, it is mandatory to obtain license from phonographic performance limited or Indian performing right society.
  • FSSAI license- it is mandatory to get FSSAI license and register for it for food items which are served with hookah at any place in India. It is regulated by law and compulsory for all dealing with food business.
  • GST registration- after implementation of GST by the government, it is necessary for all the businesses to register and obtain a GST number. Every business carrying out a taxable supply of goods and services and whose turnover exceeds a threshold are required to have GST registration.
  • Staff license and labor registration- it is necessary for the restaurants to obtain license for staff and getting labor registration depending upon the number of staff and category of staff.
  • Pollution certificate- it is important to get a pollution certificate, which is given in the form of No objection certificate from the state pollution control board, as the hookah bar- the sheesha is a kind of smoke basically. So pollution certificate is necessary, that the smoke would not cause pollution and it will be in limits of the use.
  • License from police commissioner- the police commissioner gives trade license which is a kind of permission given to the owners of the business (hookah bar and restaurant in the present case) to operate/ function with the business. The police commissioner may give it on its own discretion or with fulfillment of certain condition.
  • Excise license- excise department is present in every state, and they will give you license for serving liquor. It is important and it varies from state to state and therefore in whichever state a hookah bar is opening, it has to follow the guidelines and rules and regulations of that particular state.
  • Environmental measures- it is necessary to comply with environmental measures provided by the government and a No objection certificate (NOC) shall be obtained from the concerning board.


Hookah bar has become a trend place for visiting by youngsters. But to open a hookah bar it should be within a restaurant and there are various licenses that need to be taken before starting of its operations. Also there should be staff who have knowledge about serving of hookah. The licenses are very important and ID proof to serve hookah to people. The guidelines should be strictly followed.

Visit Company Vakil for any legal registration.


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