Food Licence in India – Document, procedure, fees & benefits

Last Updated at: Dec 10, 2020
Food License
Many people have been selling home-made food items to earn a living since the nation went into a lockdown. But, there have been only 2,300 registrations of such home-based businesses. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken note of it and issued a directive to all sellers of home-made food in India. It has been said that selling home-made food items without a license or registration will incur a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh and imprisonment for up to 6 months. FSSAI registration is required for businesses with sales below Rs 12 lakh and a license is compulsory for businesses with sales above Rs 12 lakh. 
  1. What is a food license in India?

  2. Documents are required for food licensing?

  3. What is the procedure for food licensing in India

  4. The fee structure for food license in India?

  5. What is the importance of a food license?


What is a food license in India?

A license that allows you to do a food business in India is called food licensing. Moreover, this license is offered by Food Safety & Standard Authority of India (FSSAI)

Documents are required for food licensing?

The documents required for food license registration are based on the kind of food business, the food business operators are dealing with. The common documents required for applying for a food license are as follows.

  • Duly filled and signed Form-B
  • Authority letter along with name and address of the responsible person
  • NOC from Municipality or local governing body
  • Ministry of Commerce Certificate for 100% EOU
  • IE Code document issued by DGFT
  • ID and address proof of FBO
  • Category of the food item
  •  A Copy of certificate received under the Coop Act, 1861/Multi State Coop Act, 2002 in case of Cooperatives
  • Declaration Form
  • Names of Directors or Members of Society/Trust with full address and contact details
  • List of Machinery with their registration number, the functioning capacity, and power usage
  • Form IX containing the nomination of persons by a company with the Board Resolution
  • Blueprint of the manufacturing unit
  • Food Safety Management System Plan or certificate
  • Supporting proof of turnover.

Apply For FSSAI Registration

What is the procedure for food licensing in India?

The FBOs can easily obtain food license online through the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) designed on the official website of FSSAI. The procedure involved in obtaining a food license has been discussed below in simple steps.

  • The FBO should apply for a food license by submitting an application with duly filled Form A to the Food and Safety department of FSSAI. Indeed, the applicant should submit the assigned FSSAI licensing fees along with the application.
  • The FBO receives a Unique Application Reference Number which can be used to track the status of the application online.
  • In case of any incomplete information, the authority asks the FBO to submit the required details. After this step, the FBO is provided with a unique application ID.
  • The authority inspects the business premises and issues an inspection report.
  • Finally, after receiving a positive inspection report, the FSSAI completes the food license registration by granting the license to the FBO.

The whole procedure is completed within 60 days of the receipt of the application. However, the FSSAI state license is issued within 15-20 days from the day of application. The FSSAI central license is issued within 30-45 days owing to the complex nature of the procedure.

The fee structure for food license in India?

The FBOs opting for a food license online has to make payment along with the application.

  • The FSSAI central licensing fees for a new license is Rs. 7500 per year.
  • The FSSAI state licensing fees for a new license ranges from Rs. 2000 to Rs.5000 per year.
  • The FBOs who apply for food license in India modification have to pay Rs.7500.
  • For the renewal of the food license, the FBO is charged Rs. 7500.
  • A duplicate copy of the food license can be obtained at the payment of 10% of the applicable license fees.

What is the importance of a food license?

Food license issued by FSSAI is, indeed, a mandatory document required by every FBO to start and run any food business in India. Food license assists the Food Business Operators in the following ways.

  1. Legal Advantage

Since food license is mandatory by law for all the participants in the food industry, holding a food license provides the FBOs with a legal advantage. The FBOs having a valid food license is protected from any penalization in case of sudden FSSAI inspections. The cost of obtaining a food license is lesser than the penalty amount.

  1. Customer Base

The FSSAI logo is considered as a label of trust for the consumers. However, possessing a food license and using the FSSAI logo on the packaging of the food items gives a competitive advantage to the FBO. The FSSAI logo attracts a large number of people and hence contributes to the customer base of the food business.

  1. Business Expansion

A food license provides the food business with the opportunity of expansion. For instance, an entrepreneur may open a chain of outlets of his food business in different states if he has obtained the FSSAI central license. Moreover, a food license may help the FBO to receive loans and fundings from the bank for business expansion.

  1. Assurance of quality

An FBO can obtain a food license only after passing the quality test conducted by the Food and Safety officers. Hence, any FBO holding a food license assures the consumer that the food item has been chemically tested and approved in the quality check by FSSAI. As consumers are becoming more aware these days, a food license holder gets more preference due to its standard and quality.

FSSAI food licensing is, however, an effective way to ensure that the food items that are being circulated and consumed are safe and free of toxic elements that can affect public health. The FSSAI licensing procedure has been designed in a simple and organized way through FLRS so that every FBO can apply for it easily. Due to the digitalization of the process, the time consumption is low. Thus, the official website of FSSAI provides a guide for the FBOs to help them to complete the licensing process without any hassle.