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Opening a restaurant can be an extremely expensive proposition, but the various licenses do not add up to a great expense. Compared to renting a space and raising money for salaries while the restaurant operates at a loss at the beginning, licenses are cheap.
Food Handlers License
No restaurant can operate without one of these. They are available after a small test, usually for a fee of $10 as of 2010.
Food Health Inspections
The health inspectors retain the right to inspect your kitchen at any time and revoke your food handlers' license or demand that you close for a period of time, which could lose you lots of money.
These are expensive enough that the very smallest restaurants may consider doing without them. For a larger restaurant, they will be only a small portion of your budget.
Liquor License Cost
These usually cost at least $300, and can be much more expensive than that (up to $1,000). The price depends on the state you are in and how many people you intend to fit into your restaurant.
In most states to operate a restaurant or a business of any kind, you need a business license, which is usually issued for free by the town or city in which you are doing business. All it does is give you a registration number and the right to conduct business in that area.
Rebecca Jenkins has contributed to newspapers and blogs since 2004. She has written for numerous publications, including her college newspaper and the "San Francisco Chronicle." Her work has also appeared on various websites. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Dublin and has done master's work in political science.