Want to start a new business in Mumbai? Here’s how to get your trade license

A traders license is essential to start a new manufacturing and storage unit. Here's how you can procure one if you are starting a business in Mumbai.

Every local business in Mumbai needs a license from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).  BMC’s License Department issues trade licenses under various categories including food and beverage, wholesale businesses, medical stores etc.

These licenses are issued in consultation and with advice from other departments like the Fire Brigade, Health, Engineering, Estate, to name a few. The application for the license must be received from the business establishment three months prior to starting the business.

For a business owner to get a trading license in the city, he/she has to approach the nearest Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC) set up by the civic authority to apply for the license.

This FAQ gives you more detail on the trade license application process.

Impact of Lockdown

There has been a fall of 45% in traders’ licenses for new manufacturing and storage units in Mumbai owing to the lockdown. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s License Department data, in 2019-2020, 347 licenses were issued by the civic authority for setting up new manufacturing and storage facilities, which went down to 188 in 2020-21.

A BMC official said, “manufacturing and storage facilities are important and there must be a pile-up wherein many might have postponed their plans last year and they are coming now to us after unlocking.”

Civic officials expect that there will be a recovery in the ongoing fiscal of 2021-22.

FAQs on how to get Trade License in Mumbai

Who issues a Trade License?

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s License Department issues Trade Licenses.

How to apply for a Trade License?

The citizen needs to visit the Citizen Facilitation Centre (CFC) nearest to the proposed business establishment. He/she further needs to submit the duly completed and signed application form, along with required documents and fees.

Application Process

The application submitted by the citizen is sent from the CFC to the BMC’s  License Department. Later, the application is processed by the Department Head (Sr. Inspector License) of the License Department at the concerned Ward. After site inspection and approval of the application, the scheduled fees are collected and the license is issued to the applicant.

Street food shops in Juhu Chowpatty, Mumbai (Pic: Creative Commons)

Types of trade licenses issued by the BMC

The city corporation has six types of licenses, depending on the nature of the trade:

  1. Shops & Establishment certificate is mandatory for opening any type of trade activity in the city and is also considered as the general license for doing any commercial activity in the city. This certificate also has to be displayed inside the shop.
  2. Shops involved in selling retail or wholesale products.
  3. Shops involved in food & beverages.
  4. Establishments involved in the manufacturing of items.
  5. Shops involved in selling drugs and medicines.

However, apart from getting trade licenses from the licensing department of the BMC, the applicants are also expected to get required permissions from the respective departments. For example, the health department of the BMC in case of restaurants, bars, or selling liquor along with a no-objection certificate from the Mumbai Fire Brigade. The food and drugs department, in case of selling drugs and medicines.  

Documents required for procuring shops and establishments certificate:

– IF The Proprietary Firm

* Mandatory Documents

1. Upload Form A (Filled in form A with Sign.)

2. Hamipatra – AB

3. Pan Card

4. Upload Actual Photo of the Shop or Establishment with Name Board in Devnagri

Script (Marathi) at the entrance duly displayed

*Address Proof (anyone documents having an address of the Establishment)

1. Telephone Bill

2. Electricity Bill

3. Rent Receipt

4. Registered/ Notarised Leave and License copy

5. Society Maintenance Receipt

6. Sale/Purchase Deed

7. Property Tax Bill/ Receipt

8. Any other authentic document showing proof of address

Other Documents

1. Aadhar Card

2. Copy of the License, Permit, Registration which is mandatory under any law form and

authority before starting the business.

3. Any other authentic document showing business proof.

4.  Copy of the Partnership Deed. (If partnership firm).

5. *If the applicant is a Company under the Indian Company Act

A. Certificate of Incorporation

*B. List of Directors with their residential address

 C. Copy of Resolution – If the authorized representative duly authorized by a resolution

 to that effect who has applied for registration under Shops & Establishment Act.

 D. Pan Card or Aadhar Card of the authorised Signatory for identity proof

6. In Case of Co-Operative Society or Trust or Autonomous Board

*A. Copy of the establishment registered under the Society/Trust Act, before the

 Appropriate Authority.

*B. List of Trustees/List of members of Cooperative Society

 C. Resolution of the society/trust/autonomous body authorising and of its member

 or officer to file an application in Form ‘A’

 D. Pan Card or Aadhar Card of the Authorised Signatory for identity proof.

Certain types of commercial activities also require a health license from the health department of the BMC. The BMC has bifurcated such commercial activities into major trade and minor trade. There are 29 types of minor trade activities and seven types of major trade activities.

Click here to see the List of minor and major trades under Public Health Department

Further, those requiring a health license are also supposed to sign an ‘AFFIDAVIT CUM Undertaking Cum Indemnity’ The format of the same is available on the website of the BMC. In each administrative ward of the BMC, there are medical officers of health (MOH) who are in charge of issuing health licenses.

Read more: Explainer: who governs Mumbai?

Documents required for NOC from the Mumbai Fire Brigade:

1. Name, Contact Number & Email ID of Applicant

2. Name & Address of Establishment

3. Composition of Structure of Trade Premises

4. No. of Entrance of Trade Premises

5. No. of Exits (Other Than Entrance) of Trade Premises

6. Information of Loft / Mezzanine floor ( Approved / Not Approved by Competent


7. Details of Fire Safety Officer/ Fire Marshal

Name :

Contact No. :

Email ID :

8. Major Fuel to be used

9. Number Of Burners

10. Whether Electrical Appliances / Tandoor Bhatti use in Premises

11. Whether Electromotive Power used (If Yes then ____ HP)

In case, one wants to open a factory in the city, he/she will require to submit the below-listed documents to the licensing department of the BMC:

A) Udyog Aadhaar card (mandatory)

B) Copy of registered Agreement Showing the ownership/occupancy i.e. purchased deed of

factory premises in the name of the applicant or Leave & License Agreement. (mandatory)

C) Copy of Building Occupation Plan / Building Completion Plan issued by EX. Engineer

(Bldg. Proposal) of concern zone. Or Structure authorization (in case of flour mill or

individual structure) is in existence prior to 01/04/1962 or at least prior to the date of

census i.e. 01/04/1976. (mandatory)

D) Copy of Machinery Layout Plan with scale 1″: 8′. (mandatory)

E) Extract of Assessment issued by Assistant, Assessor & Collector of concern ward in the name


F) N..O.C. of Landlord / Owner in case of Leave & License.

G) NOC from society. (mandatory)

H) Copy of Partnership Deed, Memorandum & Articles of Association, Company registration

Certificate, etc. (mandatory)

I) Indemnity Bond on ₹200/- stamp paper (mandatory)

J) Undertaking of Owner on ₹100/- stamp paper (mandatory)

K) N.O.C. of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.

L) Structural Stability Certificate in case the life of the structure is more than 30 years.

M) If a factory permit was already issued to said premises1. If yes then submit the scan copy of the previous permit.

N) Zonal Confirmation Certificate from Ex. Engineer (Development Plan).

O) RMC Plant Application.: Copy of Approved Plan issued by Ex. Engineer, (Bldg. Proposal)

of concern zone /SRA/ MHADA/MMRDA/Estate Dept. / Asstt. Engineer (Maintenance

Dept.), whichever is applicable.

P) At least four geo-tag photographs of Factory premises/ 2 videos (2 min each) of factory


Lastly, if one is in the business relating to hoardings and advertisements, they will require the following permissions from the BMC’s license department:

Attested copies of the following Documents be submitted

A) Identity Proof (Any One)

i) PAN Card

ii) Aadhar Card

iii) Passport

iv) Driving License

v) Election ID Card

B) Proof of Possession of premises (anyone)

i) Rent Receipt

ii) Commercial Photopass

iii) Registered Leave & License Agreement

iv) Lease Deed

v) PR card

vi) Allotment Letter

vii) Maintenance Receipt issued by the C.H.S.

viii) Electricity Bill

C) Proof of Business Entity (If applicable)

i) Copy of Partnership Deed

ii) Copy of Memorandum of Association

iii) Certificate of Incorporation under the Companies Act

iv) Certificate issued by the Charity Commissioner under the Registration of

 Societies Act and Mumbai Public Trust Act

Along with the above, a 24 category checklist also has to be submitted by the applicant to the BMC.

Click here to see the category-wise list of documents to be submitted

Wholesale textile market in Mumbai (Pic: Carol Mitchell/Creative Commons)

What is the validity of a trade license?

A trade license is valid only for a particular financial year (in which it is issued) and has to be renewed every year by paying a nominal fee prescribed for several types of trade activities. Every year by March 31st, the applicant has to apply for and complete the renewal process (including payment submission) on the citizen portal of the BMC or one can contact the citizen facilitation centre in each administrative ward.

What happens if the application is rejected by the authority?

The BMC has to accept the application and can process it or reject it in 10 working days after the submission of the application. If the application is rejected by the civic authority due to reasons related to lack of compliance or documents, the applicant can apply again for the license. There is no restriction on the number of times an applicant can apply for the trader’s license in the city.

Also read

This explainer is part of a series on ‘Explainers and Information Resources for Mumbaikars’ supported by a grant from the A.T.E. Chandra Foundation.

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