Start spreading the news that New York City doesn't run New York State. Although the city government is formidable and critical to the safe and prosperous functioning of the nation's great metropolis, New York State has a significant government of its own. Businesses throughout the state must have state-level licenses and sometimes many of them. From retailers, auto mechanics and physicians alike should expect to file forms and respect the Empire State's authority.
In New York, any business that serves food can endanger public health. That’s why restaurants are some of the most regulated businesses out there. Multiple state, county and city environmental health permits are common for restaurants. Those that serve alcohol need even more licensing. Prospective restaurateurs should expect to apply for at least five licenses and permits and in many cases much more.