trade license kolkata

How can you get a trade licnese in Kolkata? Everyone starting a business in the city has to ask this question. This article is written by Dhruv Dikshit, a student of LC-II, Delhi University.


A trade license or a business license is a permit issued by government authorities that allows individuals or companies to conduct their business within the government’s geographical jurisdiction. It essentially allows the person who wants to start a business to do so legally.  Every geographical location or jurisdiction often requires its own localised license with respect to the various taxes imposed in the said jurisdiction which explains why trade licenses vary between countries, states, and local municipalities. Typically, a company’s business activity and physical location (address) determines the licenses that are required to operate lawfully.


The procedure laid down by the Municipal Corporation of Kolkata requires a person to get a Certificate of Enlistment which is the equivalent of a trade license in the state of Kolkata.

The licence department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation grants Certificate of Enlistment under section 199 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act 1980 read with the Schedule of Rates/Fees/Charges of licence department as approved by the Corporation. By the force of law of the said section of the Act, the licence department of the Corporation acts as the principle department in processing applications and collecting fees/charges.

“…199. Certificate of enlistment for profession, trade and calling:- 

  • Every person engaged or intending to be engaged in any profession, trade or calling in Kolkata as mentioned in Schedule IV, either by himself or by an agent or representative, shall obtain a certificate of enlistment or get the same renewed annually, as the case may be, from the Municipal Commissioner upon presentation of an application in such form as may be specified by the Municipal Commissioner together…”


An application needs to be filed which is basically a form that needs to be filled and along with this form, few documents also need to be provided to substantiate such application.


There are different documents that need to be provided and this depends on the type of business that needs to be established and additionally, the place of operation of the said business.

The place of business:-

(a) If owned by petitioner, tax bill to be produced;
(b) If a tenant, rent bill to be produced;
(c) If a lessee, lease-deed to be produced;
(d) If relative/person granted rent free accommodation by the premises owner, consent letter from the owner to be produced;
(e) If a person is granted rent free accommodation by any bonafide tenant, consent letter along with the current CE of the tenant to be produces;
(f) If a sub-tenant, consent of the premises owner will also to be produced along with documents viz. rent bill, current CE etc. of original tenant.
(g)Besides License Department Officials may also issue CE on spot if any trade/profession/calling is carried out without obtaining trade license.

In case of Companies/Private Limited Companies, the following documents are to be produced along with the application:

(a) Memorandum/Articles of Association;
(b) Declaration in Form No. 32;
(c) Form No. 18;
(d) Proof of occupancy;

In case of a Partnership Firm, the Partnership deed to be produced.

Along with the form and the documents, one has to provide an affidavit/declaration which certifies that in case of any discrepancies or any illegal activity on the behalf of the person or company who want to start a business, the certificate of enlistment will be revoked. The following is the format which needs to be followed for such declaration:-


The Municipal Commissioner, after making necessary enquires within thirty days of the receipt of the application, shall grant the certificate of enlistment if the application is in order, or shall reject the application if it is not in order.


A person who has already obtained a trade license needs to periodically renew it as well to ensure the continuous conduct of his/her business.

Since 2003, the Corporation has started the process of sending demand notices. Renewal will be done on payment at specified counters as per the demand notice. So, the traders do not have to file any subsequent application or fill a form or submit any document. This saves quite a lot time and reduces hassles for the traders.

Well before the expiration of the trade license, Kolkata Municipal Corporation sends the demand notice regarding renewal of license fees. Whatever fee has been specified in the notice has to be deposited at any of the branches of the specified banks mentioned in the notice. The payment can be made either in cash, cheque, demand draft or pay order drawn in favour of Kolkata Municipal Corporation. After the payment has been made and the transaction has occurred successfully, the demand notice would be deemed as a trade license.

In case the demand notice is not received, certain important documents have to be deposited at the special computer cell in the license department. These documents include a photocopy of the last paid trade license and a declaration by you containing details of the trade such as the name of the trade, actual covered area of the business location in square feet, address of the trade, nature of the trade, place and date. After the submission of these documents, a duplicate copy of the demand notice would be sent.


Dhruv Dikshit





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