By Rupin Chopra and Apalka Bareja
With the improvement in the ease of conducting business in India, many domestic, as well as international businesses, are exploring different fields for establishing their businesses. The process not only involves time and investment but also requires obtaining permits and licenses from appropriate authorities at the central, state or municipal levels.
For carrying out activities in the health trade sector such as eating houses, boarding and guest houses, general stores, sellers of food in the form of vegetables, fruits, milk, chicken and poultry etc., businesspersons are required to obtain a health trade license from respective municipal authorities.
Health Trade License
As per Section 325, 327, 330, and 331 of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1994, the following establishments shall have a health trade license:
- Eating/ Lodging/ Boarding Houses
- Take away
- Swimming Pool
- Water Trolly
- Tea Shops
The license is mandatory for all those businesses which deal with medicines, consumption of food, or any other good or service which is ancillary to the business of food and medicines without which heavy penalties may be levied on the business owner and also result in the seizing of the business premises.
Earlier, the applicants had to approach the appropriate authorities separately for getting their approval, however, for the ease of doing business, the Ministry of Home Affairs on October 1, 2019, made a single window clearance mechanism for businesses seeking to operate eating/ boarding houses in Delhi. This common system will not only allow the applicant to submit the form and the necessary documents on a single window but also allow the appropriate authorities to view the application and the documents simultaneously at one go and also include the remarks made by the authorities along with the expiry dates of the certificates issued to the business owners. The single portal will streamline the entire process and make it more transparent.
Procedure for obtaining a health trade license
- For eating houses/ boarding establishments, the applicants must apply on the MHA portal i.e. Ministry of Home Affairs
- For activities pertaining to Laundry, Take Away, and Hawkers. Tea shops, Swimming pool, Water Trolly, the applicants needs to apply on the NDMC portal i.e. New Delhi Municipal Council
- The applicant should fill up the application form with the requisite information and documents and pay the required fees.
- After the application is completed and submitted, it will be verified by appropriate municipal authorities and once verified license is granted to the business owner.
- The business owner has to apply for renewal of health trade license one month before the expiry of the license.
Renewal of health trade license
The licensee is required to apply for renewal of health trade license, prior to the expiry of the same so as to continue with the operations of the business lawfully.
For the grant/ renewal of a health trade license, the following documents are required:
- Duly filed application form as per the Online portal;
- PAN Number/ TIN Number;
- Proof of ownership of property;
- Latest Electricity and Water Bill Copy;
- NOC from Fire Department;
- Receipt of Property Tax
- Receipt of License Fees for properties leased by NDMC;
- Sitting Plan;
- Sanctioned Building Plan;
- Medical Certificate of their respective staff;
- Undertaking/ Self- declaration as prescribed;
- Functioning of Effluent Treatment System with photographs in respect of restaurants and eating houses.
For renewal of health trade license, copy of old license and prescribed undertakings/ affidavits, valid Food Handler’s Unit and Fire NOC wherever applicable is also required.
Even though health trade license is a legal mandate, it also renders certain benefits to the business owners. Having a health trade license makes the business of the owner more credible and competitive as it ensures that the goods served or services rendered are hygienic and in accordance with the safety norms. The license helps the businesses to build trust among the target customers and draws attention of potential investors and buyers. It also provides the formulation of a better framework for maintaining health and hygiene standards within the business premises. Therefore, it is advisory for all business entities to obtain a health trade license.