The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is responsible for maintaining food safety standards within the country. All food business operators functioning in India need to obtain an FSSAI registration to begin operations.
As per government mandate, all food business operators need an FSSAI registration to operate in India. The FSSAI is responsible for maintaining the quality of food items sold in India. Over the years, the FSSAI has helped in raising the overall standard of food items marketed and sold.
The authority offers several FSSAI license types to ensure it handles different food business operations efficiently. The FSSAI license categories factor in the size, turnover and food categories. Here’s everything you need to know about the FSSAI registration process and the FSSAI license categories.
What Is the FSSAI?
The FSSAI is an autonomous body that works under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This subsidiary of the government of India helps protect and promote public health through strict policies, rules, and regulation. Similarly, the organisation works under the purview of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which consists of several laws relating to the food industry. Hence, the Act has also been responsible for establishing science and research-based standards for food manufacturing and storage.
What Is the FSSAI Registration Certificate?
All food business operations that work within India need to obtain an FSSAI registration certificate before they start operations. This license acts as a permit for such food-related businesses.
The following food-related businesses must register under any one of the three FSSAI license categories:
- Food manufacturing companies
- Food trading businesses, such as wholesalers and retailers
- Restaurants, hotels, canteens, and caterers
- Small eateries, dhabas, and street food vendors
- Grocery shops
- Importers of food products
- Exporters of food products
- Home-based food businesses
- Dairy farms
- Food processors, transporters, distributors, packers, and labellers
These businesses need to mandatorily obtain a 14-digit FSSAI license number before they start functioning in India.
FSSAI License Types
There are mainly three FSSAI license categories:
- FSSAI Basic License or FSSAI Registration: For businesses whose annual turnover falls below ₹12 lakhs
- State FSSAI License: For businesses whose annual turnover falls between ₹12 lakhs and ₹ 20 crores
- Central FSSAI license: For businesses whose annual turnover exceeds ₹20 crores
Let us now take an in-depth look at what businesses can apply for these licenses as per the FSSAI guidelines.
FSSAI Registration via Form A
- Small retailers, vendors, stallholders, and hawkers
- Businesses that distribute food at religious and social gatherings
- Small scale food manufacturing industries whose annual turnover falls below ₹12 lakhs
- Businesses whose production capacity falls below 100 kg/ltr per day
- Similarly, dairy farms whose milk handling and collection capacity falls below 500 litres per day
- Slaughtering houses whose maximum capacity is two large, ten small animals, or 50 birds per day
- Retailers with limited operations
State FSSAI License via Form B
- Suppliers, retailers, hotels, restaurants, distributors, and establishments whose annual turnover falls between ₹12 lakhs and ₹20 crores
- Proprietary food manufacturers
- Further, businesses whose production capacity is greater than 100 kg/ltr and less than 2 metric tonnes per day
- Dairy farms whose milk handling and collection capacity falls between 500 to 50,000 litres per day
- Slaughtering houses whose capacity lies between 2 to 50 large animals, 10 to 150 small animals, or 50 to 1000 birds per day
- Hotels with a maximum rating of four stars
- Storage units whose capacity falls below 50,000 metric tonnes
Central FSSAI License via Form B
- Suppliers, retailers, hotels, restaurants, distributors, and establishments whose annual turnover exceeds ₹20 crores
- Businesses who are 100% export or import oriented
- Operators who have establishments in more than one state
- Businesses whose production capacity is greater than 2 metric tonnes per day
- Additionally, dairy farms whose milk handling and collection capacity exceeds 50,000 litres per day
- Additionally, slaughtering houses whose capacity exceeds 50 large animals, 150 small animals, or 1000 birds per day
- Storage units whose capacity exceeds 50,000 metric tonnes
- Moreover, wholesalers whose annual turnover exceeds ₹30 crores
- Hotels whose rating is 5-stars and above
- Businesses that operate under a government agency such as the defence, railways, airports, seaports, and airlines
- Similarly, all processing, repacking, and relabelling units whose capacity exceeds 2 metric tonnes per day.
Documents Required for Different FSSAI License Categories
- Photograph of the applicant
- Identity proof and address of the food business operator:
- Ration card
- Voter ID
- PAN card
- Driving license
- Aadhar card
- Senior citizen card or government-issued ID card
- No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the local governing body, such as the municipality or panchayat office
- NOC from the local health department
- Application form A or B
- List of directors and partners along with their ID and address proof and contact details
- Declaration Form
- Proof of possession of business premises
- Business incorporation certificate
- No Objection Certificate from the manufacturer for repackers and re-labellers
- Food safety management system plan
- Source of milk, water, and raw materials
- Form IX along with the board resolution
- Certificate from the Ministry of Tourism for hotels
- For manufacturing and processing units:
- Blueprint of the unit
- List of equipment used along with the installation capacity
- List of food categories
- Authority letter, if required
- Water analysis report
FSSAI Registration Process
The FSSAI registration process consists of the following steps.
- Business owners have to register or incorporate their business as a legal entity. Entrepreneurs can choose between several options, including private limited company, partnership firm, limited liability partnership, and sole proprietorship. Further, the individuals must meet with a legal expert to ensure they choose the legal structure that best suits their business.
- Further, food business operators must discuss with legal experts to determine which FSSAI license category to register under as per their requirements.
- Collect all the required documents for the same as stated above.
- Applicants must file an application with the FSSAI through either Form A or B depending on the license they require.
- Once they submit the application form, individuals will need to upload copies of the required supporting documents. Moreover, they will also have to pay the required processing fees online to complete the application process.
- The executives will then go through the application and review it to ensure that all the documents are in place. In certain cases, officers might visit your place of business to verify the documents provided and inspect the premises.
- Furthermore, if the officers are satisfied with the application, the agency will issue a registration certificate within seven days of applying for an FSSAI license.
FSSAI License Validity
The FSSAI license remains valid for a period between one to five years. Food business operators may choose the extent of their license validity at the time of application. Also, operators have to renew their application in time to prevent legal trouble.
The application for license renewal must be filed at least six months before the expiry of the current license. Additionally, failure to comply with these norms can lead to severe penalties and even harsher punishments, such as the suspension or cancellation of the FSSAI license.
Benefits of FSSAI Registration
- The FSSAI logo serves as a global symbol for reliability and trustworthiness and has inherent value as a recognisable icon
- Further, having an FSSAI registration makes it easier to market your products and improve your overall brand image
- Likewise, businesses that have a valid FSSAI license will find it easier to attract new investors and secure extra credit when required
- Additionally, a mandatory requirement if you wish to start any food-related business in India
- Enables businesses to stay on the right side of the law and remain compliant
- Further, provides various training camps and workshops, helping raise the standard of your products
- Therefore, makes it easier to expand your business to foreign markets and export your food products
Now that you know all about the importance of licensing under FSSAI, are you ready to kick-start your business? Moreover, reach out to us at Vakilsearch at the earliest in case you have any queries regarding which FSSAI license category to register under to start your business.
You can schedule an appointment with our team of legal experts to receive expert guidance on this subject. Hence, not only can they guide you with regards to what license to obtain, but we can also apply for you, making the process a whole lot easier and faster!