Step by Step Legal Guide on Starting a New Restaurant Business

Starting a new restaurant business can be an exciting venture, but it is important to understand the legal steps involved. Here is a step-by-step guide on starting a new restaurant business:

  1. Choose a Business Structure: The first step in starting a new restaurant business is to decide on a business structure. This can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company (LLC). Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that best fits your needs.
  2. Choose a Name: Choosing a name for your restaurant is an important step. Make sure to choose a name that is not already in use and is easy to remember. Conduct a search to ensure that the name is not already taken or trademarked.
  3. Register Your Business: Once you have chosen a name and business structure, you must register your business with the relevant authorities. This includes registering for a business number, HST/GST number and any necessary licenses and permits.
  4. Obtain Licenses and Permits: Starting a restaurant business requires several licenses and permits. These include a food service establishment license, liquor license (if serving alcohol), and health and safety permits. Failure to obtain the necessary permits can result in legal consequences and fines.
  5. Create Contracts: Contracts are essential in any business, including the restaurant industry. Contracts with suppliers, employees and landlords should be created and reviewed by a lawyer to ensure that they are legally binding and protect your business.
  6. Obtain Insurance: Insurance is crucial in the restaurant industry. It protects your business against losses from property damage, accidents, and liability claims. Make sure to obtain insurance specific to the restaurant industry.
  7. Develop a Lease Agreement: If you are renting or leasing a property for your restaurant, it is important to develop a lease agreement. This agreement should outline the terms and conditions of the lease, including rent, renewal options, and any restrictions.
  8. Develop Employment Policies: Developing employment policies is an essential step in running a restaurant business. This includes creating job descriptions, outlining employee responsibilities, and creating policies for termination, disciplinary action and benefits.
  9. Create an Operating Agreement: An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure and management of the restaurant. This document should be created with the help of a lawyer and reviewed annually to ensure that it is up to date.
  10. Protect Your Intellectual Property: Protecting your intellectual property is important in the restaurant industry. This includes trademarks for your restaurant name and logo, as well as any unique recipes or menu items.

It is important to seek the help of a lawyer when starting a new restaurant business. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal requirements and ensure that your business is protected. Contact us today at or 1-877-892-7778 to learn more about how we can help. We offer a free consultation to help get you started on the right track.

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