In recent news, all sweet sellers will be required to declare the 'best before' date of their non-packaged or loose sweets. In a letter dated 25th September, 2020, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) informed the commissioners of food safety of all states and union territories of this development.
Starting a business is a dream come true for many individuals. Nowadays, there has been a greater emphasis on homemade food, and hence, the Homemade Food Business is at a surge. It is an excellent opportunity to explore this not-so explored market. You can find several new entrants in this. However, for you to establish an online homemade food business, you need to adhere to certain protocols set by the authorities. In this blog, we will be exploring the steps and protocols that you need to follow if you want to start an online homemade food business in Kolkata.
Well, there are certain prerequisites that you need to follow in case you want to start a food business in India:
1. Decide your niche
One of the first things that you need to finalise is the niche of your business. You must know what kind of market you are targeting, for example, in this case, we are looking for homemade food. Again this can be of different types like tiffin service, customised food service, party or catering orders, etc. Hence, you must first check which niche you are looking for.
2. Do a bit of market research
You must do a bit of market research before investing in any business. It will give you an estimate of whether you have the market for such a business. You must see whether the market for the type of homemade food that you are projecting exists or not.
3. Have a website and social media page
It is very important to have a website and social media platform. With this, you can establish a connection with the people. The website will work as your marketing tool, and social media forums can be a great way to promote your brand and reach out to the people. You can make business accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Business, etc.
4. Now you need to work towards getting a license
If a person wants to start any kind of food business whether it is online or offline, he/she needs to have a license for the same. You also need to connect with the local municipality office; in this case, you need to get in touch with Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
5. Mobile App or online ordering system
You also should go for mobile applications and also make a system for ordering your food online through the website. Mobile applications can grow your business manifolds as it gives your customers the ease of ordering online quickly. A system to track the order should also be in place so that your customers can track their orders simultaneously. It instils the faith in your customers and proves the genuineness of your brand.
6. Customer support
In case you can afford it, place a customer support mechanism in place. You can address feedback, queries, and inquiries through that portal. The toll-free number, SMS, email, and live chat can be among various options for customer support. It helps in increasing your brand value.
Let’s explain what type of license you should have:
FSSAI is the governing authority in India that looks after the food regulation in India. It is mandatory to get a license from FSSAI. Before that, you must have a look at the following:
- If the food business has an annual turnover of up to ₹ 12 lakh, then you need basic FSSAI registration
- If the food business has an annual turnover of up to ₹ 20 crores and operates in one state, then you need a State FSSAI license.
- In case the business has an annual turnover of more than ₹ 20 crore and operates in different locations, then you need the Central FSSAI License.
Moreover, the FBO or the Food Business Operations need to register under the Shop and Establishment Act. You also need to get the health trade license for the same. The health trade license allows a business to trade in any items or services which directly impact public health. You must get this license from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to ensure compliance with the hygiene and safety standards. So, if you are planning to start an online homemade food business in Kolkata, you must connect with Kolkata Municipal Corporation or KMC to get a health and trade license. There are certain prerequisites for the same.
In an extension of the above-mentioned parameters, to start a homemade food business, you must have a clean and hygienic kitchen for cooking. Your kitchen must be separate from your kitchen. Also, you need to have separate utensils that you will be using in your professional kitchen. You must also get a resale license and food license, and it will help you buy food ingredients at wholesale tax-free rate.
These are some of the basic steps that you need to follow in case you are planning to start a homemade food business. You also need to connect with food home delivery partners to ensure the timely delivery of food.
Documentation and other mandatory procedure for food license
To get the food license, you need to submit certain documents like:
- PAN card
- Aadhaar card
- Form A or Form B (as per the volume of your business)
- Current bank account
- VAT registration
As a result of the information provided in this article, we hope that you will be able to start your food business easily.
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