Catering Establishment

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.

New Business Acceleration Team (NBAT) assists individuals and groups opening food and beverage establishments by navigating City agency processes and reducing the time needed to open. NBAT provides client management services, an accelerated plan review process, and coordination of necessary inspections by regulatory agencies. New restaurants, bars that will serve food, bakeries, supermarkets, and butcher shops may be eligible.

Below are the general requirements that you will need in order to start your business:

Before you file for a Catering Establishment DCA license, you must make sure to have the following completed:

  • Your place of business must be approved by the Fire Department. Complete an Application to Request an Inspection/Recommendation and your request will be sent to FDNY. The FDNY will notify the DCA of your inspection results. Please note that if you fail the inspection, it is your responsibility to correct the problems.
  • Electrical Inspection—your place of business must comply with all current electrical billing codes. One of the following may serve as proof:
    1. Statement from a licensed electrician
    2. Current copy of the Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Department of Buildings (DOB) dated within 90 days of submitting your application.
  • Applicable Business Certificate based on your business's legal structure
  • Please note that you must resolve any outstanding Environmental Control Board (ECB) violations before you file an application.

Please have the following documents and information prepared when applying for your Catering Establishment DCA License. Some requirements may have a link to a PDF document where you may print out and complete if you are applying in person. If you apply online, you will need a credit card and convenience fees apply.