written by | May 2, 2022

What are the Features of the Shop and Establishment Act?

The Shop and Establishment Act regulates most Indian businesses, including restaurants, shops, cafes and other establishments. It is compulsory to register your business under the Shop and Establishments Act to regulate the work environment and protect workers' rights. 

The rules and regulations for each state are different. However, the Act is designed to provide workers with proper working conditions and protect their wages, rights, holidays, etc.

The Act defines establishments like shops, commercial establishments and residential hotels, and it also includes restraint, eating places, theatres or other places for public entertainment.

Shops are establishments where goods and services are sold to customers. This includes godowns, storerooms and warehouses.

Did you know?

People are often confused between the Shop and Establishment Act and the Factory Act, and both Acts mean to regulate conditions of workers engaged and service. The Factories Act applies to establishments where a manufacturing activity occurs, while the Shops and Commercial Establishments Act applies to establishments that don't come under the exact definition of a mine, factory or plantation.

Also Read: Popular Business Names and Name Ideas for Mobile Shop

What's the Significance of the Term Shop and Commercial Establishment?

"Shop" is any location where goods or products are offered for sale, whether through retail, wholesale or other services provided to clients. It consists of an office, workplace, godown or storeroom, regardless of whether it is on similar sites, as part of a trade or business. However, a shop does not contain a commercial establishment or factory.

"Commercial Establishment" refers to a place where any work, business or trade is carried out and may include society, charity or another trust. It also relates to auditor establishments, education institutions, printing establishments, locations in which the banking business shares, insurance stock, clubs, theatres and other venues for entertainment or public entertainment.

The Shop Establishment registration is based on the State Shop and Establishment Act. The same registration is required when opening a shop, eateries, hotel and other commercial spaces. In addition, registration, as required by the Shops and Establishment Act, is essential for any new business or establishment.

In addition, it is mandatory to apply for the license within a time frame of 30 days, beginning at the time the work starts. Finally, the validity of the Shop Establishment license is for one year, and one can renew it each year. The rules and regulations regarding renewal can differ from one state to state. Also, be sure to write a business plan before you start investing.

Who Must Register Under This Act?

  • Wholesale and retail shops.
  • Locations in which services are rendered to customers, office included
  • Warehouse, storeroom or godown.
  • Workplace used business or trade.
  • Commercial establishment
  • Hotel with a residential component
  • Restaurants or eating places
  • Theatres or places of public enjoyment or entertainment.

What Are the Reasons Why a Shop or Establishment Must Register Under the Act?

  • To control the working conditions of employees.
  • To grant employees rights and obligations to employers.
  • To give guidelines on different aspects such as working hours, the policy on leave pay of wages or allowances or deductions, security steps to avoid accidents, the opening/closing hours for the shop/establishment, sanitation, ventilation, etc.
  • To stop child labour.

The Advantages of Having a Shop Establishment Certificate

Following are the advantages of having a shop establishment certificate:

  • Legal Recognition

The Shops and Establishment license provides legal recognition for the establishment/shop.

  • It Serves as a Business Proof

For other business registrations in India, the Shops and Establishment license is proof of business.

  • Assistance in Opening Bank Accounts and Additional Formalities

The registration of shops and establishments is necessary to enable opening accounts at banks under an establishment or shop.

  • Offers a Platform to Raise New Investment

The shops and establishment license helps the entrepreneur seeking to raise capital via loans or venture capital to fund the proposed business.

  • You Can Avail the Benefits of the Government

With this permit, entrepreneurs can take advantage of government-sponsored benefits at the business's different stages.

  • Saves Time

Since the procedure for shop act registration has gone online, it cuts downtime during the registration process and makes the whole procedure less chaotic.

The Required Documents to Obtain the Shop and Establishment License

These documents are needed for Shop and Establishment License:

  • Identification proof like Aadhar card/PAN card or driver's identification card/ voter identification card license issued by the employer.
  • A passport-sized photograph of the employer
  • The affidavit, cancelled cheque and bank statement
  • A photograph of the shop along with the employer.
  • In the case of renting property, you must provide a copy of the rental agreement.
  • Any utility bill from the workplace.

Also Read: How to Register a Partnership Firm Under Indian Partnership Act 1932

Other Documents Required By the Establishment or Business Entity.

  • If it is a trust, it is necessary to provide an inventory of the trustees' names.
  • According to the Companies Act, certificate of incorporation MOA and Certificate of Incorporation AOA.
  • For Co-operative societies, you must keep a record of the members and the chairman.
  • Partnership deeds include all essential information, including the partners' names, their signatures and the share percentage of partners.

Considerable Points Before Getting the Registration Certificate

  • The inspector can visit the establishment in case needed.
  • The registration certificate must appear in a prominent spot within the store.
  • If there are changes to the employees or the expiration date, it's necessary to renew it.
  • If the details change or you want to close, you need to report to the inspector within 15 days of the change.
  • Each state has its regulations, but the fundamental procedure will remain the same.
  • It is required under the Act to seek the approval of the labour department in the state you reside.

Penalties for Shops and Establishment Act

It is mandatory for an entire establishment covered by the Act to get Shop and Establishment registration and adhere to all rules and regulations outlined in the Act.

In case of a failure to obtain registration and adhere to the regulations and rules of the Act, the establishment will be held accountable for the penalty. The amount of penalty could vary from state to state.

Physical Registration Process of Shop and Establishment License

Every commercial establishment or shop must seek a license with the Chief Inspector of that zone within 30 days from the business start. The application is made on an approved form that needs certain information, for example:

  • Name of the employee
  • Address and name of the establishment
  • Employees within the establishment 
  • The kind of establishment 

If the application is approved through the inspection, the license is issued to the company at the next stage. It's required that the Shop and Establishment license must be displayed on the premises and renewed every year at the time specified. It is also mandatory to get this license for all businesses, even working at home.

Note: As per the Act, the establishment or shop, in case of closing, the business must notify the Chief Inspector of the closure in writing 15 days after closing. The Chief Inspector then annuls the registration certificate by taking it off the register.

What Are the Functions of the Shops and Establishments Authority?

  • It governs the set of guidelines for the number of hours put into an off day or week.
  • The guidelines are for spread-over, closing and opening hours, rest-interval time and closure days.
  • The declaration of the national and religious holidays.
  • Regulates the employment and rules of employment for children and females.
  • The law also defines the guidelines for annual leave and maternity leave.
  • The framework also outlines the business rules for sickness or casual leaves and the hiring and termination of service regulations.
  • It also specifies the method and procedure to maintain registers and records and display obligations and notices for employees and employers.
  • Terms of service and other working conditions for commercial and shop establishments employees.


Every business must apply for approval from the Department of Labour and maintain up-to-date records regarding employment salaries, holidays, details, fines, advances and deductions. The requirements can vary from one state to the next, and you must submit annual holidays and employee numbers annually to the Municipal Corporation.

A Regular Return is not necessary under this Act. The Shops & Establishments Act, enforced by the state legislature, is obligatory for all establishments.
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Q: What documents are necessary for shop and establishment renewal?


Following are the required documents:

  • Scanned copy of Passport, Driver's License or Voter's ID.
  • Scanned PAN Card copy of Directors, Proprietor or Partners.
  • Rental agreement/Sale deed of commercial space.
  • Scanned passport-sized photograph.
  • A number of employees.
  • Name of shop/establishment.

Q: Is Shop Act registration and MSME the same?


The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises provides Udyog Aadhaar, and the city's municipality offers shop & establishment certificates.

Q: Is Udhyog Aadhar different from the Shop Act License?


The Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum is applied under MSMED Act guidelines to recognise MSME and statutory formation. At the same time, State Shop Establishment Act certification specifies general duties, rules and regulations of all business shops/establishments toward their employees.

Q: Why do all establishments need shop and establishment registration?


These establishments include commercial spaces, theatres, residential hotels, restaurants or other places of public entertainment.

Q: What aspects does the Shop and Establishment Act regulate?


Most businesses and their workforce in India come under the SEA. This Act regulates several aspects of work-life, including earned leaves, child labour, wages, working hours, holidays, women's rights, etc.

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