How to Open a Restaurant in the US: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Open a Restaurant in the US: A Step-by-Step Guide

November 17, 2023

Thinking of opening a restaurant for a living?

Boba tea shops are so popular in the US, should I give it a try? 

The process of opening a restaurant seems complicated, and don't know where to start?

This is a beginner-friendly guide to the US restaurant industry, taking you through the entire process of opening a restaurant from scratch.

Many newcomers to the restaurant industry often stumble right from the start. But don't worry, this blog will help you clarify your thoughts and, after fully understanding the difficulties ahead, easily overcome obstacles.

Step One: Register the Company

There are three types of business entities: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). The specific choice depends on your situation.

Step Two: Apply for Relevant Numbers

After the company is registered, you need to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and a Federal Tax Identification Number. This involves subsequent tax payments, and you may want to hire a professional accountant for assistance.

If you register as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you also need to register the restaurant's trade name (DBA) with the local county or city government.

Step Three: Open a Business Bank Account

After registering the company, the restaurant owner needs to open a business account at the bank for the restaurant's finances.

Step Four: Apply for Licenses and Permits

Business License

Apply for a business license at City Hall, usually taking one week to a month, and it needs to be renewed annually.

Seller's Permit

Obtain a seller's permit before opening, and Sales Tax will be declared based on the permit number after opening.

Health Department Permit

The restaurant needs a health inspection certificate to open, and there will be regular health inspections afterward, with the risk of closure for failure to pass the inspection.

Fire Department Permit

Many city fire departments have strict inspections, especially for shops that use a lot of wooden materials or have other fire hazards; the inspection and approval process may be longer.

Sign Permit

Many cities require obtaining a sign permit before hanging a commercial sign.

Liquor License

If the restaurant plans to sell alcoholic beverages, a liquor license must be applied for. Without a valid liquor license, not only can the restaurant not sell alcohol, but there may also be penalties if customers drink alcohol on the premises.

After this overview, does it all make more sense? However, this is just the beginning of your entry into the restaurant industry, and there are many potential pitfalls in subsequent processes such as decoration and hiring. Browse through our blogs for more information, or contact us to get professional consulting services.

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