Good food, a great place, and great company are what you imagine in a quality restaurant. If you plan to have a restaurant of your own in California, this article may be for you. Deliberating and figuring out how to open a restaurant in California can be a difficult task.

The process can include researching the restaurant scene you want and learning the typical business and food industry practices. In addition, when starting up your restaurant, it will require different compliance for licensing procedures and food-service laws.

California and different counties contained different regulations and required permits; therefore, double-checking local laws is necessary. Here are the requirements you need before creating your dream restaurant in California.

Read More About: –Different Restaurant Design Types

Create a Business Plan

Before pursuing your dream business, it is always wise to have it thoroughly planned. Your restaurant’s overall concept will include figuring out your target market, a full-proof financial plan, marketing strategies, pricing, menus, and the name for your establishment. Also, remember to plan an exit strategy if the business does not go according to plan to avoid huge losses. Scoping the location where you’re planning to open your restaurant is necessary, so you can have an initial idea of what to expect regarding the cost of your rent, utilities, supplies, and anticipated sales volume based on the location’s popularity.

Business License

The business license is issued by the city or county where you operate your restaurant, bar, or food truck. So, you have to check with the city to find any additional requirements you need to fulfill to open your business. If the town has a small business development center, that’s an excellent place to visit for complete information.

Health Permit

The costs and process of applying for a health permit to operate a bar, food truck, or restaurant in California vary depending on the local regulations. Each city has its building code and fire department regulations, including fire-rated applications in ceilings. You should look into these regulations and make sure you comply with them. You have to contact the local Department of Environmental Health for more information.

Employer Identification Number

Your EIN is your federal identification number. This requirement is essential because you will use this for all filings, reports, and tax withholding accounts for your staff. You will also utilize the number to create estimated tax payments. Luckily, filing for an EIN is not a hassle. and it won’t cost you anything since there are no filing fees, which is also called your tax ID number. Applying for your EIN is available online at

Food Safety Permit

The state of California also requires that each establishment owner, manager, or other designated staff member be held responsible for the safety of all food served within and outside of your restaurant. Third-party and health department-sponsored food manager training courses in California can prepare the designated food handler with information to pass the examination.

California Seller’s Permit

The California seller’s permit is the official registration of your business with the state. So you need to do aside from obtaining the local licenses. Registering your business with the state allows you to collect sales tax on your restaurant’s food, beverages, goods, and services, such as catering. Your seller’s ID number will also be helpful when you are buying food for resale since you won’t have to pay for state sales tax and file state income taxes and other reports. You can apply for your seller’s license online, through phone, by mail, or in person at one of the state’s Board of Equalization offices.

Liquor License

If you’re planning to have your establishment sell liquor, you must apply for a liquor license. California contains five different types of liquor licenses that various establishments typically utilize. These are:

  • Type 47: Within the premises sales on all types of liquor for restaurants establishments
  • Type 48: Within the premises, sales on all different liquors for nightclubs and bars
  • Type 20: Outside of the establishment, sales of beer and wine at convenience stores
  • Type 21: Outside of the establishment of all kinds of liquor for liquor stores and supermarkets
  • Type 41: Within the premises, sales of all kinds of beer and wine.

After checking out and getting all the necessary permits and requirements for your restaurant, it’s time to begin your construction process. So, make sure you collaborate well with your architect, engineer, and contractors. Also, you need to discuss how your establishment will follow specific building codes. After the construction process, make sure you train your staff to provide quality service to your customers, and in no time, you are ready to open your doors to the public.


In case you have any architectural, structural, HVAC, and MEP design including fire sprinkler design requirements, or need commercial HVAC design, feel free to contact us.  We provide you with the full permit set design + T24 for your request.



Author’s Bio:

Chris Jackson is an experienced Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. He is currently employed by Best Access Doors, an access door supplier in the US and Canada.  He has been working for the company for more than 12 years now. His area of expertise is on Negotiation, Roofers, Sales, Project Estimation, and Facility Management (FM)