How to License/ Register Food Business in India?

Licensing/ Registration of food business is compulsory in India. The facility for this has been made in Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which covers entire India. It is an Act to merge the laws regarding food, which establishes the FSSAI for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to control their manufacturing, storage, distribution, sale and import, to make sure availability of safe and healthy food for human intake and for issues associated therewith.

Basic features of Food License in India

  • It is obligatory for every food business
  • Tenure of food license can be of 1 to 5 years
  • Each Food Business Operator (FBO) has to stick to the conditions of license
  • License shall be shown at the prominent places
  • Inform the authorities about all the changes in activities

Whether a FBO needs a license or registration depends upon the aspects like capacity of manufacturing/ handling etc., nature of food business, area of operation as well as turnover. Before applying to the authorities FBO must go through the eligibility search to know whether it requires registration or license (FSSAI State License/Central License).

Every importer has to apply for a central license at their address of Import Export Code. A food business conducting trade at diverse places is supposed to apply for separate license for each location. As a result, each place will be given out a separate license apart from transporter where one license will be assigned for every vehicle of a single transporter/ business.

Just in case a Food Business Operator is operating in over 2 states, it has to get hold of one additional FSSAI central license for the Head Office/ Registered Office and separate license for each place, which will yet again depend upon the factors like ability of manufacturing/ handling etc., nature of activities, area of operation as well as turnover. As the entitlement of license or registration depends upon a number of factors, you might get in touch with FSSAI license consultant for that.

When the license/ registration is granted to the FBO, all such Licensee must validate that all the condition in the food license/ registration comply at all the time all through the course of business. All the returns need to be provided inside the time stated and authorities shall be kept informed for all the modifications in the activities.

Labelling was a concern for the food manufacturers as there was no law on it. But, in year 2011 FSSAI notified a law for Packaging & labeling.

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