Shop and Establishment Licences

Businesses with 10 or more employees at any location must possess a Licence under the Shops & Establishments. Licencing is overseen by State Governments. Each separate branch of a company needs its own Licence. Meant to safeguard working conditions, non-compliance attracts stiff penalties; even closure of business. We provide services for:

  • Applying for and Obtaining S & E licenses in all States of India
  • Auditing/examining Compliance
  • Resolving issues connected with the S & E Act

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The Shops and Establishments Act goes back to the post-Independence era when Central and State Governments felt that proper working conditions needed to be ensured for its citizens working in such places. Accordingly, individual States set about making rules and introducing a licensing system within the broad framework of the Act.Trade License and S & E License are different. A Trade License is permission by Municipal Authorities to conduct a defined business. It is a safeguard for the welfare of the community and the legality of the business. But, a License under the Shops and Establishments Act is issued by the Labour Department Authorities who have jurisdiction over the location of the business and focus on the working conditions of employees.

A Shop is a place from where goods and services are sold or distributed and examples include offices, warehouses or storerooms. An establishment on the other hand includes commercial establishments such as for trading, banking or insurance, where the employees are engaged in office work or, hotels, cafes, restaurants, or cinemas and such like. All of these must have a licence if it is a place of work for ten or more employees.


Broadly speaking, the rules cover the following aspects:

Duration related:Namely
Wages:have to abide by the provisos of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 as well as the provisos of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1932
Holidays & Leave
Welfare: Working Environment; Sanitation & Safety
Termination of service of Employee

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


After receiving assent from the President on 19th June, 1954, the Shops & Establishment Act came into force with effect from the 1st of February, 1955; vide Notification No. F.5/51-1 & L.


It is mandated for employers to pay a minimum per day wage rate to employees regardless of whether or not under the purview of The S & E Act. Minimum wages are declared periodically by State Governments and differ somewhat in timing and amount. In lieu of a daily rate, a weekly or monthly rate may be adopted. For instance in Odisha, the rate (inclusive of VDA) is Rs. 448 per day for Skilled Labour; and that for Unskilled Labour is Rs. 298 per day w.e.f. 1st October 2019. Meanwhile Delhi around that same time operated a monthly minimum wages structure of Rs. 19,060 per month for graduates (roughly equivalent to skilled) and Rs.14,468 per month for the unskilled category. The S & E Inspector is empowered to see to its implementation by businesses.

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