17 Small Business Ideas in Kolkata [High Return]

17 Small Business Ideas in Kolkata [High Return]

Are you settled in Kolkata or are looking for business Ideas in Kolkata that you can start? If yes, then search no more as we bring you all the details.

Kolkata, the cultural capital of India, is buzzing with energy and ripe with entrepreneurial opportunities. With its rich history, thriving economy, and strategic location as the commercial and financial hub of eastern India, Kolkata offers a fertile ground for startups and small businesses.

Before going ahead with this business idea in Kolkata, you can download Lio App and plan for the management of your new business beforehand.

The city is home to an international port, a major port, and a wealth of institutions and colleges producing highly skilled manpower. Furthermore, Kolkata’s IT sector has experienced significant growth in recent years, attracting foreign direct investment and creating a supportive environment for multiple businesses to co-exist and thrive. If you’re looking to start a business in Kolkata, read on for a comprehensive guide to the best ideas and the tools you need to succeed.

It is tricky to obtain a trade license in Kolkata and Kolkata Municipal Corporation is the central authority that deals with the processing of new trade licenses and renewals.

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The key to a successful business in this part of the country is to start small and simple and learn to grow and expand your business.

Look at the graph below which shows how more and more people are looking to start a new business in Kolkata. The search volume for the business ideas in this particular city is high and will only grow as the years go by.

Kolkta also tops the list when it comes to starting new small businesses

Why Do Business In Kolkata

West Bengal was ranked at the 9th position in the States’ Ease of Doing Business ranking in 2019. Hence, it is crucial to look at factors that make Kolkata a good business place.

Boost in Foreign Investment

There has been strong support from foreign investors towards improving the business atmosphere in Kolkata in recent times. The city has attracted foreign investments regularly and got US$1.2 billion in FDI in 2018-19.

Financial Hub

The proximity to Asia’s two major business centers – Hong Kong and Singapore – makes Kolkata a major financial hub expected to scale further in the future.

A study by McKinsey predicts that Kolkata is expected to emerge among the top Indian cities as the epicenter of global financial activities by 2030.

Well-Connected Infrastructure

Kolkata is one of the two cities in eastern India that has an international airport. In addition, the presence of a major port has made the city a hub for industries like warehousing and logistics.

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Small Business Ideas in Kolkata

Kolkata is a land of opportunities. There is a lot that one can do when it comes to starting a business. So let us look at some of the top business ideas in Kolkata.

Start An Online Store

In today’s time, starting an online business is one of the best and smartest things to do. It makes it easier for you to stay relevant, reach the right audience and market your brand in the best way possible.

The best part about this kind of business is that you can literally start with any business and take it online easily like groceries, food, electronics, etc.

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Open a Restaurant in Kolkatta

It is no surprise that Kolkata is very popular for its delicious Bengali cuisine. People from across the world visit the city to taste the many flavors that the city offers.

Not just Bengali, Kolkata is also known for its delicious and authentic Chinese food that is very popular here. Hence, starting a restaurant is a great idea.

Look for a small space where you can open your business and make a well-curated menu that boasts the best Bengali food. And lending you a helping hand is Lio with its Restaurant Registers can help you manage expenses, menus, incomes, etc. for free.

Manage your restaurant business easily with these ready templates on Lio app.

Personal Fitness Trainer

Today, almost everyone is into a healthy and fit lifestyle. People are investing a lot in staying healthy and active.

This is a great industry to get in as people are on the constant lookout for personal fitness trainers in Kolkata who can help them in achieving the certain fitness goal they have.

Being a personal trainer is one of the best business ideas in Kolkata.

Leather Processing Unit

Everybody knows that West Bengal is the hub of leather products for the domestic as well as international market due to the wide availability of raw materials and skilled labor that are found here.

Known as India’s largest consolidated leather park, the 1100 acres of Kolkata Leather complex is a boon to the leather industry. There has been a massive shift in the industry in recent times.

Where once the state was known as the supplier of raw materials and skins, it is today the provider of finished leather goods for the past few decades. Therefore, there is a lot of potential in the industry. 

Food Processing Unit

Known as the hub for food processing in India, the state is the largest producer of vegetables and rice and the second-largest producer of lychees and potatoes.

This makes it the best market to get in to start a business and make the most of the potential that exists here.

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Tea Brand

West Bengal is the second-largest producer of tea globally and is known for its world-famous Darjeeling tea.

Because of the wide availability of raw materials and accessible labor, starting your own tea brand only makes sense. This is definitely one of the most profitable business ideas in Kolkata. 

Fast Food Cloud Kitchen

If you have a tight budget and opening a restaurant of your own would not be feasible for you, you can simply look at launching a fast-food cloud kitchen.

With many delivery platforms available, you can simply list them and fulfill orders you receive from consumers. 

Home Based bakery

Are you into baking? Do you always dream of cake and cupcakes and brownies? If yes, then simply get onto the business of having a bakery. You do not have to look for a place to open your bakery but simply start from home.

The demand is increasing and people are always on the lookout for a good baker who can meet their needs for the many events and celebrations.

By starting a home bakery you can also start giving online classes as well. This too is a growing business that asks for less investment and is highly profitable. Check how Lio can help small businesses like home bakeries manage/track expenses, incomes, and so on.

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Bengali Sweets Online

One of the most popular things about West Bengal is the Bengali sweets that have fans all around the globe.

This means that there is a big potential in this market. You can launch an online store for Bengali sweets and receive orders from not just the same state or country but also internationally. Among all the business ideas in Kolkata, this is definitely among the top and the most profitable ones.

Local Travel Agent

Kolkata is definitely one of the most visited cities in the country and hosts a big population from all over the globe. Therefore getting into the travel industry is one of the best business ideas in Kolkata.

Open a travel agency dealing with railways, buses, taxi reservations, and maybe a small tour around the city that can be based on food, must-visit places, and shopping.

In case you didn’t know, Lio helps you prepare itineraries and share them with customers smoothening the process.

Coaching Center

With everything moving digital, people in today’s times knowing how to start online coaching centers and tuitions can be a real game-changer.

That’s because it gives the people freedom to attend classes while sitting in the comforts of their homes.

You would need to find your niche in a subject and get hold of good internet while Lio can help teachers manage student attendance, mark sheets, etc. Education is already given a lot of importance in this part of the country hence the is among the great business ideas in Kolkata.

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Start a Distribution Center

A densely populated city, Kolkata has a huge demand for consumable products all across the city and even the allied towns like Siliguri, Durgapur, and Asansol.

If you have the capital to invest, then starting a product distribution company is one of the best business ideas in Kolkata. But what would be tricky is choosing the product range that should be profitable for the distribution business. 

Textile Business

This is one of the best-growing local business ideas in Kolkata. The textile business has always attracted lots of tourists and locals in Kolkata. People are always on the lookout to buy traditional Bengali clothes while visiting the city.

The return on investment is depended upon the initial investment that you plan to make in this business. You can either start as a wholesaler by sourcing and procuring various fabrics and selling them to local textile shops or simply focus on traditional clothes that would gain a lot of tourist attention. Lio can help textile business owners with managing their work, employees, trade, and everything else.

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Photography Studio

Opening a photo studio in Kolkatta

If you are an avid photographer who likes to click and capture beautiful moments and people, then getting into the photography business is something that you can think of.

The only initial investment is going to be a nice camera and lens. With people going big of festivities and celebrations, they are always looking for a nice professional photographer who can capture every moment.

Painting and Art Pieces

Are you a lock artist or painter? This can be one of the perfect business ideas in Kolkata for you, where you can do something you love with minimum investment. Traditional paintings and art pieces are in high demand, especially among tourists.

You can strategize smartly as the business’s profit depends upon the quality of the paintings and the art pieces. This is a good way to earn money. You can either do it from home or collaborate with an art gallery to showcase your artwork. 

Biotechnology Unit

This is one of the best business ideas in Kolkata as the city has emerged as a biotechnology hub in recent years. IIT Kharagpur and other premier education institutes have made it easier to source manpower in the city.

As a result, many biotechnology companies have established units in the city. If you have the required technical know-how, you may look at launching your biotechnology unit in the city.

Sell Books

It’s a fact that Kolkata boasts more writers and intellectuals than any other part of the country. People love to read in the city and are always engaged in several activities around it hence opening a bookstore whether physical or digital, would be a great idea.

You can either only keep new books or you can re-sell used books as well.

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How to Start a Business in Kolkata

Kolkata is one of the best places to start a business. There are many opportunities that lie here that must be spotted and utilized. Due to the good connectivity with land, air, and water, Kolkata has many business opportunities.

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There are many trading opportunities as the city is closer to countries like Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and many other Asian countries.

The city is awarded as the third most productive metropolitan city in our country which contributes to many major sectors like agriculture, textile, food, medicine, minerals, plastic, electronics, and many other industries that largely contribute to economic growth.

Here are some key points on how to start your business in Kolkata in a seamless manner:

Understand the Local Kolkata Market

Before you jump into a business in any part of the world, it is important and critical for you to first understand the local market. By spending time understanding and analyzing the local market you would learn a lot about customer behavior, customer demand, challenges, and everything else.

You can get an idea of how your business would perform and if your product or service is actually in demand in that particular locality.

Also, every city is different, its demands would be different and the factors of running a successful business in each state or city would be different. Kolkata as a city would definitely be unique as compared to any other city when it comes to business, hence studying the city would be one of the best things that you can do for your business and its successful growth.

Failing to do so can affect your company in one way or the other.

Advertise In Local Language

When it comes to a successful business, the key is to market. But one needs to be smarter as marketing in just English or Hindi would not suffice especially in places like Kolkata, Chennai, and Maharashtra where the majority population speaks their own local language like Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, or anything other regional languages.

To reach the maximum audience, you need to market your product in the local language as well. Otherwise, you might just have a great product that is wanted by all but just because people do not understand what you are selling, you would be missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Use Facebook/Instagram Ad

Almost everybody of all ages is present on the internet now, whether it is on Facebook to Instagram hence this makes for a great idea to have a presence on both these platforms. You can opt for Facebook and Instagram ads and reach millions of accounts and gain popularity.

With these ads, you don’t just target people from your locality but also from all other places. Based on people’s searches, it would be shown to people who would have some common aspect as your business or the product that you are selling.

There is a certain amount that you would have to spend on these advertisements but they would bring you popularity like no other.

Register The Name and Company

One of the most important rules of starting a business is that you register the name and company. Without this, your business would not be legal. In fact, you would not be able to attain any licenses and registrations without the registration.

You must decide on a good name that is easy and unique and see if it is available. Once you find that name get it registered. Once this step is down, you can then move ahead with other things in your plan as now you are legally registered as a company that can function.

Your business Your language

Lio app has 10 languages which means you can record data of your business in your own language.

Local Licenses and GST

To make a company run legally, you must attain the local licenses as well as GST which is a mandate for all businesses all across the country. Without a license, the government can stop your business at any given point in time. 

GST is another important thing that you must register for as this is one of the biggest tax reforms in the country and now covers many indirect taxes that were earlier imposed by our government like VAT, service tax, and excise. GST eliminated the cascading effect of taxes.

Work On Distribution

When you start a business, selling products on your platform is fine but what would take your business to a whole new level when you work on distribution? The main aim of a business should be to reach more and more people one way or the other.

As a business, you can sell your products through any whole sellers or retail seller. You can reach out to local shops and ask them if they can sell your products in their shops and they could keep some percentage of the money made.

Find out more ways to distribute your product and you would be soon running a very profitable business. 


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How Can Lio Help in Starting A Business in Kolkata?

To make your dreams come true of having a business of your own and managing it nicely, Lio App can help you big time. The app lets you keep all sorts of data together in a more organized manner. You can keep records, and create tables and lists while working solo or with a team. 

If you want to upload a document, then you can do that. Know the money transactions, cash inflow, profit and loss you are making, udhaar, list of products, services, and even the teammates and clients that you have all in one place. 

Change the business ideas in Kolkata to your business in Kolkata with these simple steps and run a business successfully in the most organized and well-planned manner, all with Lio.

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Step 2: Create your account using your Phone Number or Email Id.

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Verify the OTP and you are good to go.

Step 3: Select a template in which you want to add your data.

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Step 4: All Done? Share and Collaborate with your contacts.

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How Lio Automation Can Help You Business Process

Automation surely does make a difference in running a business whether small or large. It can be tricky and overwhelming at first to switch all the business processes to automation but not with Lio. 

Lio Automation gives you many amazing features that make your work super simple and effective. There are very many features that will help you and your business in various aspects. From connecting and staying in touch with your customers, to working together as a team, and everything in between, Lio Automation will truly make your business run smoothly and make it reach new heights of success.

If you are using Lio Automation for your business processes consider all your data safe and secure all the time. Not only is the data saved in the cloud, but it also offers a data versioning feature in which you can actually see the many changes the document or file has gone through and who has made those changes. You can save the version of the file as required by you. 

Another great feature that Lio Automation offers is color formatting the sheet. Colour formatting can help bring information and more clarity to the audience. Applying colors to different parts of any data will let you narrate a more effective story that easily catches one’s attention as well.

You can create dashboards for each file which would give you clear details of your company’s operations, marketing campaigns, sales, and other analytics. This is one useful feature that would truly make a difference to your business and help your see all the processes clearly so that you can make well-informed decisions.

Since customers are a big part of any business and staying in touch with them is a crucial job, Lio automation gives you the ability to automate Whatsapp communications. Automating WhatsApp communication is another popular trend that businesses can benefit from. With the help of this, you would be able to save a lot of time, boost your customer retention and renewals, save a lot of money, have lower operating costs, and much more. 

Lio Automation also makes working in teams very easy with their Task feature. you can not just assign tasks to your team efficiently. You can set the priority of each task along with the due date. Your team will get a notification about the task automatically, even on Whatsapp, they can see their assigned tasks in the app, mark them complete, and you will get a notification on Whatsapp! 

Not just this, Team management and work allocation are made super easy with Lio Automation. You can also work with teams in real time and see all the changes happening.

You can share invoices and receipts with your customers while also sharing the payment links with them to make the whole transaction process smoother and absolutely hassle-free for everyone. 

Lio also makes collecting valuable reviews from customers very easy with its automation process. Along with this, you can also manage leads very easily with the help of automation. Now no lead would be missed and can be responded to the minute you receive them. 

There are several other amazing Lio automation features that are made so that you and your business can benefit from them. Excited to know more about it? Start with your Lio automation process for your brand and start your journey to success.


In my opinion, Kolkata is a boiling pot for anyone who wants to start a business in the city. What is advised is that one looks at and understands the market well and gets the expertise and knowledge that is required to start a business. 

Do your homework and make a well-thought-out business plan that is clear on the target audience, the consumers, opportunities, threats, and other minute details that one must keep in mind. 

Yes, it would be tricky and you will see a lot of ups and downs but that is what an entrepreneur is and one must be prepared for it. I hope you find great ideas from this list of business ideas in Kolkata and make the most of them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which business is best to start in Kolkata?

BPO – Telemarketing Service
Coaching Centre
Photography Studio
Travel Agency
Automobile Repair Shop
Online Trading Business
Event Supplies
Mobile Repair

How can I Start a Small Business in Kolkata?

You would have to meet all the legal requirements and fulfill the registration process as mandated under the Companies Act of India to start a small business in Kolkata.

What Business can I start with Rs 10,000?

These are the Top 5 business ideas in Kolkata to start from Rs. 5,000 to 10,000:

Breakfast point
Online bakery store
Tea Stall
Mobile repair
Personal trainer

Is it mandatory to have a physical store for your business in Kolkata?

Thanks to the internet but one does not really need a physical store to make their business profitable in Kolkata. Every kind of marketing can be done online.

Is it tough doing Business in Kolkata?

There has been a significant improvement in the business environment in Kolkata in the last few years.

The central government, state governments, and industry associations have taken proactive measures to improve the business climate in Kolkata.

What is the Average Cost of Maintaining a Small Business in Kolkata?

The maintenance cost of the business is dependent upon the industry or the nature of the business.

The cost of maintaining a business in Kolkata can be as low as 5000 per month, including rent and other permanent expenses.

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  • You have mentioned that we can launch our online sweet business in Kolkata. Can you please elaborate on what would be its procedure, would it be hard to start online as sweets are perishable by nature?

    • Hi Manav.
      Thankyou for your query. With the right implementation, anything can be done easily. First and foremost, make a thorough assessment of the viability of the business idea, develop a business plan and design a business structure. Make sure you implement the marketing strategies. These are the basic steps. All the best for your new venture

  • So many business opportunities in my state. Thank you for sharing it. Will surely start something of my own super soon.

    • Hi Prithvi ,
      So glad that this article enlightened you.
      All the best for your new venture.

  • I just read about Cloud Kitchen in this article. Could you please tell me in short what Cloud Kitchen is?

    • Hello Kailash,
      The Cloud Kitchen is a business that produces cuisine exclusively for delivery. These commissary kitchens are also referred to as virtual restaurants for the delivery-only food businesses that operate inside of them, ghost kitchens, shared kitchens, or virtual kitchens.

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