Catering Establishment

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License Description

Any room, place, or space in New York City used in the business of serving food or beverages for a particular event in which the public is not invited or admitted and where entertainment is permitted requires a Catering Establishment license.

This description is only a general explanation of which businesses need to have a Catering Establishment license.

Additional City Permit You Need

  • Your business must hold a current New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Food Service Establishment Permit in good standing before you can apply for a Catering Establishment license.

Application Requirements

Before You File Your DCA License Application:

  • Premises Approval by the Fire Department
    You must receive premises approval from the Fire Department (FDNY) in order to obtain a Catering Establishment license. Complete the Application to Request an Inspection/Recommendation and DCA will forward your request to FDNY. FDNY will notify DCA of your inspection results. Please note that if you fail the inspection, it is your responsibility to correct problems.
  • Electrical Inspection
    The premises must be in compliance with all current electrical building codes. Please obtain ONE of the following as proof of an electrical inspection:
    • A copy of a statement from a licensed electrician, on official business letterhead, stating that the premises comply with all current electrical building codes OR 
    • A current copy of the Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Department of Buildings (DOB) dated within 90 days of application submission. Note: A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is not an acceptable proof of an electrical inspection.
  • Applicable Business Certificates based on your Business's Legal Structure  (Although DCA does not require submission of these documents in order to process your application in person or online, DCA reserves the right to request and examine the documents under section 20.104 of the New York City Administrative Code.)
    • Sole Proprietorships operating under a name other than your own must file a Business/Assumed Name Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
    • Sole Proprietorships doing business under your own name—and not under a trade or Doing-Business-As (DBA) name—do not need a Business Certificate.
    • General/Business Partnerships must file your Partnership Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
    • Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships must register and remain active with the New York State Department of State. Active status will be verified by DCA prior to license issuance. You can confirm the status of your business entity at NYS Web site. If applicable, you must also file an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.
    • Businesses incorporated out of state must obtain a Certificate of Doing Business in Good Standing from your home state’s Secretary of State and file this with an application for Authority to Conduct Business in New York with the New York State Secretary of State.
  • Important: Your business must resolve any outstanding Environmental Control Board (ECB) violations before you file an application. For information about obtaining clearance or paying fines, visit the DCA Licensing Center at 42 Broadway, 5th Floor, in Lower Manhattan, call 311, or visit the ECB Web site

When You File Your DCA License Application:

Below are requirements when filing your license application:
 
  • Basic License Application
    Online submission: After reviewing the application requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of the Web page to submit your application.

    In-person submission: Download the Basic License Application Form.
  • Application to Request an Inspection/Recommendation (download)
    See description above. DCA will forward the request to FDNY and the relevant Community Board for review and/or approval.
  • Proof of Electrical Inspection
    See description above.
  • Sales Tax Identification Number OR Certificate of Authority Application Confirmation Number
    The Sales Tax Identification Number is the 9, 10, or 11-digit number on your New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority. You must enter this number on the Basic License Application form. If you have not received your Certificate of Authority, please enter the 6-digit confirmation number you received when you successfully submitted the application for a Certificate of Authority.

    To apply for a Certificate of Authority, visit the NYS License Center. You will need a NY.gov ID to access the application form. To request a paper application, call (518) 485-2889. Allow four to six weeks after applying to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to receive your Certificate of Authority.
  • Department of Buildings Documents
    You must submit a copy of the Certificate of Occupancy, Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (expiring no less than 30 days from date of application submission), OR Letter of No Objection from DOB confirming that your premises is suitable to operate your business. If you submit a Certificate of Occupancy or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, it must be the most current version and show approval of the premises for “Use Group 9” or “Use Group 10” (if located in a hotel) and “Catering Establishment” or “Banquet Hall.”

    In addition, if the premises will be able to accommodate 75 or more persons, you must submit a copy of your Place of Assembly Certificate of Operation issued by DOB. The certificate must be the most current version and indicate the usage for a catering establishment. For more information, visit DOB’s Web site
  • Child Support Certification Form (download)
    If your business is a SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP or GENERAL or LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, the proprietor or each individual general partner must submit a Child Support Certification Form.
  • Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download)
    If this application will be filed by someone other than the license applicant, the license applicant must submit a Granting Authority to Act Affirmation. 
  • License Fee
    Must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted at the DCA Licensing Center include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Credit card payments are subject to a 2.49% convenience fee. Checks or money orders must be payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed and the room capacity. Note: An odd year is any year ending in an odd digit; for example, 2013, 2015, etc. An even year is any year ending in an even digit; for example, 2014, 2016, etc.

    Please note that a 2.49% convenience fee applies if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online.  
Catering Establishment License Fee
License Term:
2 years
License Expiration Date: September 30, Even years  

Your License Fee is (determined by room capacity):
If You File Your Application Between These Dates: 1-74 75-299 300-599 600+ Each Additional Room or Floor
From October 1 in an even year to March 31 in an odd year $400 $540 $800 $1,070 $120
From April 1 in an odd year to September 30 in an odd year $300 $405 $600 $803 $90
From October 1 in an odd year to March 31 in an even year $200 $270 $400 $535 $60
From April 1 in an even year to September 30 in an even year $100 or *$500 $135 or *$675 $200 or *$1,000 $268 or *$1,338 $30 or *$150

*If you are applying within six months of the license expiration date, you can pay the prorated fee for the remaining license term plus the full fee to renew the license for the next term. If you pay both fees, you will not need to renew the license until the end of the next license period.

Application Filing Process

IN PERSON

File in person at the DCA Licensing Center, 42 Broadway, in Manhattan between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Translation Services
If you do not speak or understand English well, please let us know when you arrive at the Licensing Center and we will provide translation services.

Reasonable Accommodation
To request a disability-related accommodation, visit our Accommodations page.

ONLINE

  1. Please review requirements for the license and gather all materials before clicking the button below.
  2. If you haven’t registered an account with the City of New York, you will need to register an account before you can proceed to the online application.
  3. After you submit the online application, follow the instructions on the confirmation page. DCA cannot process incomplete applications.
  4. Important: If you need to file another license application, return to the DCA Business Toolbox to read requirements and proceed to the online application.

Additional Resources for Catering Establishment


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