Shops and Commercial Establishments Act - India

Most businesses in India and their workforce come under the Shops and Establishments Act (SEA). This act regulates many aspects of work-life, including wages, working hours, holidays, earned leaves, child labour, women's rights, and more.

This article provides a bird's view of the Shops and Establishments Act across most states. As a result, while there are broad similarities amongst the acts for various states, the specifics differ from state to state. Be sure to check on the state level page for accurate information about the state.

Unlike the Factories Act, there is no central labour act for shops. Each of the states has its own Shops Acts based on a model code.

Shops Act Ready Reckoner

Select a state from the list below to see information for that state.

Shops & Establishments Acts For Various States

Click on the states given below for detailed information on various state-wise shop acts.

A Brief History

Labour laws came into existence to protect the workers' rights, ensure safe working conditions and regulate the affairs of companies and the workforce. In India, different acts exist for different types of industries and work environments.

The Shops and Establishments Act has its roots far back into the 19th century Industrial Age in Europe. The rights and protections are a culmination of a slow struggle for each of these rights over centuries.

When India gained independence and various new states formed, the Shops Act was enacted by each state based on a shared model code. For example, The Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Act came into force as early as 1948.

In 2016, the Government of India produced a revised and updated Model Shops & Establishments Act for adoption by the states. Once again, Maharashtra is a trailblazer state to have adopted the new Model SEA 2016.

It is expected that more states will adopt and upgrade the decades-old acts in keeping with the changing needs of businesses.


The Shops and Establishments Act applies to most businesses, excluding some concerns like factories, mines, etc.The act covers:

  • retail establishments like stores, malls, warehouses, etc.
  • eateries, hotels, movie multiplexes, amusement parks,
  • amusement and entertainment
  • service organizations like finance, healthcare, pharma, hospitality, etc.
  • IT companies

What areas does the Shops Act cover?

The Shops Acts for various state are all similar and cover different labour rights like:

  • working hours
  • rest days and period of rest
  • paid annual leaves (earned, sick and casual leaves)
  • wages and compensation
  • overtime
  • children and women's employment

The businesses covered under the Shops Act have many obligations and compliances like:

  • prompt registration of the business
  • period renewal of the registration
  • keeping the labour department updated about org changes, closure, etc.
  • display of public notices and certificates
  • issuing of appointment letters
  • maintenance of various registers and records

Consequences for Non-Compliance

Apart from detailing the various procedures to be followed, a key component of any regulatory law is laying down the penalties and punishments for various offences.


Clarification from MoHFW on vaccination drive

21 May, 2021
The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) has clarified to consider the coverage of family members and dependents of the workers in the Employers driven vaccinations.
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Paid Holiday On Account Of Gram Panchayat Elections In Tamil Nadu

30 Sep, 2021
The Tamil Nadu Government has declared 06 and 09 October 2021 as paid holidays for the Gram Panchayat Elections held in Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Vellore, Ranipet, Tirupathur, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi along with casual election to rural local bodies in other twenty-eight districts. The employers are directed to declare paid holiday on the polling day 6th October 2021 and 9th October 2021 to allow employees to cast their vote.

Draft Delhi Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Rules, 2021

24 Sep, 2021
The Government of Delhi NCT proposes to make the Delhi Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Rules, 2021 and they shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Delhi Gazette or after 15 days of publication of draft Rules. The objections and suggestions in this behalf should be addressed to the Additional Secretary (Labour), C-Block, 5, Sham Nath, Marg, Delhi-110054.

The Goa Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2021

20 Sep, 2021
The Goa Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2021 which has been passed by the Legislative Assembly of Goa on 30-07-2021 and assented to by the Governor of Goa on 20-09-2021, is hereby published for the general information of the public. It shall come into force on such date as the Government may by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

Draft Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2021

06 Sep, 2021
The Tamil Nadu Labour Department has tabled a bill for Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2021 to further amend the registration provisions, and include the seating facilities in the establishments.

Declaration of Holiday in Haryana for Bye-Election on 12 Sep 2021

01 Sep, 2021
Government of Haryana has declared 12th September 2021 as a close day on the occasion of bye election, for the employees of Shops and Commercial Establishments falling within jurisdiction of Municipal Committee, Dharuhera, District Rewari, Ward Nos. 3.4,7,8,9 of Municipal Committee, Ateli Mandi, District Mahendergarh.

Andhra Pradesh introduces Auto-Renewal of Registration for Shops & Establishments instead of Exemption

14 Aug, 2021
The Andhra Pradesh Government introduces Auto-Renewal of Registration under its Shops and Commercial Establishments Act on submission of self-certification along with online fee payment. This will replace the exemption from renewal of the registration granted by the State earlier.

Karnataka Government limits work hours under the Shops and Establishments Act

20 Jul, 2021
The Karnataka Government has amended the work hours under the provisions of the Shops and Establishments Act. As per the amendment, no employee in any establishment shall be required or allowed to work for more than nine hours on any day and forty-eight hours in any week and the total number of hours of work including overtime shall not exceed ten hours in any day except on the day of stock-taking and preparation of accounts. Further the total number of overtime hours worked by an employee not to exceed fifty hours in a period of three continuous months.

Registrations are now easy with integration of SPICE portal with Delhi Shops Portal

28 May, 2021
SPICE+ Portal is now integrated with Delhi Shops & Establishment registration portal. SPICE+ Portal is a single window for any company that wants to incorporate under the Companies Act and also register under Delhi Shops & Registration Act. This is yet another step towards ease of doing business.

Kerala extends renewal date of Trade License to August for FY 21-22

19 May, 2021
The last date of the renewal of trade license for Commercial and Industrial Establishment for the year 2021-22 has been extended till 31 August 2021 without any late fee charges.

Karnataka Government advises employers, landlords to be liberal during COVID 19 curfew

28 Apr, 2021
The Government requests the employers not to terminate or reduce the wages of their employees during the COVID 19 lockdown. It also requests all the landlords not to forcefully vacate their tenants in this tough times.

Telangana declares 17 April 2021 as a public holiday in Nalagonda district for Bye-Election

06 Apr, 2021
The Government of Telangana declares the 17 April 2021 as a public holiday in 87-Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly Constituency, Nalagonda District to enable the workers and employees cast their votes in the bye-election.

Paid holiday on 10th March in Andhra Pradesh for voting Urban Local Bodies Elections

05 Mar, 2021
The Andhra Pradesh Labour Department declared 10 March 2021 as a paid holiday to all the employees and workers employed in the shops and establishments to cast their vote in the Urban Local Bodies Election.

Karnataka Shops and Establishments amends the Annual Leave carry forward from 30 to 45 days

19 Feb, 2021
The Karnataka Government, under the Shops & Commercial Establishments Act, amended the carry forward limit of the annual leave from 30 days to 45 days now.

Andhra Pradesh declares paid holidays for voting in Gram Panchayat Elections

04 Feb, 2021
The Andhra Pradesh Labour Department has declared 09th, 13th, 17th and 21st February 2021 as paid holidays to the employees and workers employed in shops and establishments to cast their votes in Gram Panchayat Elections.

Paid Holiday on 14 February 2021 in Punjab for voting in Municipal Corporation Elections

04 Feb, 2021
The Labour Department of Punjab declared 14 February 2021 as a paid holiday for the employees and workers employed in the shops and establishments to cast their votes in the Municipal Corporation/Council/ Nagar Panchayat Bye-Election.

Tripura amends Shops and Establishments Act for ease of doing business

30 Jan, 2021
The Tripura Government promulgated an Ordinance to amend certain provisions of the Shops and Establishment Act under Sections 2, 16, 17 and 20 for the ease of doing business by unifying the registration of shops and obtaining trade licenses.

Haryana introduces Single Form for Trade License & Shops and Commercial Establishments Registration

05 Jan, 2021
The Labour Department of Haryana mandates the registration of shops and commercial establishments and / or Trade License through a single form on the online portal of Haryana Enterprises Promotion Centre (HEPC).

Karnataka Shops and Establishments permitted to remain open 24x7 for next 3 years

02 Jan, 2021
The Karnataka Shops and Commercial Establishments employing 10 or more persons to be open on 24 x 7 basis on all days of the year for a period of 3 years with effect from 2nd January 2021.

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