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How to Start a Food Van Business? Legal Permission

A lot of restaurants have been opening up recently, serving a variety of global regional fast food and well-known gourmet cuisines. Fast-food vans/trucks are becoming increasingly common in India, especially in the major cities. So this article is for you to those who have an idea of doing business using food van & Tea Business in India.

Food Van Business in India are becoming increasingly popular because they have lower initial start-up costs than restaurants or any other format. The Food Van Business is a new start-up idea, but if implemented appropriately implemented to be a successful business strategy. You must have a trade license from the local MCD and an fssai food license for a food van.

Benefits of Food Van Business

Starting a Food Van Business in India has the following advantages:

  • Flexible Location: As we all know, a company’s location can make or break it. One cannot alter the location in the case of a café or restaurant. However, flexibility in location is one of the key advantages of a Food Van Business in India. That implies that a food truck can operate without difficulty in several locations.
  • Low Expense: In India, starting a Food Van Business is cheaper than opening a full-service hotel or restaurant by 30 to 35%.

There Are Several Factors That Contribute to the Cost Reduction of a Food Van Business

  1. Lesser Space
  2. Minimal Equipment and Cutlery
  3. Minimal Furnishing
  4. Less Staff
  5. No Rent or Lease
  6. Less Electricity
  7. Enable Food Experimenting

Using low-cost investments, the owner of a Food Van Business can easily experiment with the quality of food items to satisfy the needs of customers without worrying about losing money.

Better Outreach: Due to its mobility, a Food Van Business enjoys greater customer outreach than a café or restaurant. In contrast to a café or restaurant, which must wait for customers to arrive, a Food Van Business has the advantage of allowing customers to sample its food.

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How Can Start a Food Van Business in India

  1. The first step in starting any business is to create a roadmap regarding what you want to accomplish. Having a robust and clear business plan will help you grow and expand your business sensibly.
  2. To do so, you will need to conduct thorough market research to find a target audience and understand what they want from you. Based on this, you can choose what niche you want to market to, and then create a menu based on that plan. 
  3. Next, you will have to draw up a rough estimate of how much the entire operation will cost. In case you don’t have the funds, you may approach your friends and family. You can also consider going to banks and other financial institutions to receive some credit.
  4. You will then have to search the market for a good food van on sale or buy a new food truck if your finances permit it.
  5. After you buy the vehicle, you will have to order the kitchen equipment and other raw materials and install it in the truck.
  6. Once the food truck is functional, you will have to go ahead and obtain all the required licenses and permits needed to start such a business in India.
  7. Next, you should consider hiring extra help if needed. You can also ask members of your family or your friends to help out initially to reduce operational expenses. 
  8. Before you start your operations, try to figure out a sustainable marketing plan or strategy and implement it. The best way to get people to come to your food truck is to build a good word-of-mouth reputation.
  9. Lastly, set up various payment methods to make it easier for people to buy items from you. 

What Are the Costs Associated With Opening a Food Van Business in India

  1. The most expensive part of opening such a business is buying the food truck and kitchen equipment required. A new, 18-foot-long food truck will cost around 7 to 8 lakhs. Multiple companies, such as Ashok Leyland, Tata and Mahindra, and Mahindra, make such trucks. 
  2. In case you don’t have enough money to purchase a new truck, you can buy a food van in the sale. A second-hand truck will cost you around 3 to 4 lakhs. You will then have to spend around 1 lakh to refurbish the truck and make it as good as new. 
  3. The total kitchen equipment cost will be around 3 lakhs. Most food van businesses will require a juicer mixer, refrigerator or freezer, grill, steamer, exhaust, stove, and deep fryer.
  4. To operate all this equipment, you will need to invest in some generators and large batteries with inverters. This, along with the fuel needed to run the truck, will also cost you around 40,000.
  5. Insurance and the rest of the processing fees to get all your licenses, permits, and documentation in order will come to around 50,000.

The other cost associated with running a food van business involves hiring additional employees. You might need to employ an extra chef or maybe one or two youngsters to help deliver orders for you. If you want to save some money here, you can opt to partner with a third-party food delivery service. In such a case, you will need to provide such partners with a commission, but will not have to hire delivery boys or girls. Additional costs include the following;

  1. Point-Of-Sale software for your business will roughly cost 1500 per month. 
  2. Staff uniform for all your staff, including the chefs, which will be a one-time cost of around 5000. 
  3. Marketing campaigns, which may cost anywhere between 5000 to 20,000

What Legal Permissions Do You Need to Open a Food Van Business in India?

All Food Business operators need to have certain Food Certification to operate in India. Here’s a quick look at the legal permits required to start a food van and tea business in India.

  1. If your establishment generates less than 12 lakhs a year, you can make do with an FSSAI registration. In case you make more than that, you will need to get an FSSAI license. This 14-digit code will also help ensure all your consumers that you maintain the highest standards of safety and hygiene.
  2. Since your food truck will have gas and electric appliances, you will need a NOC from the Fire Department to ensure you don’t have any fire hazards.
  3. Depending on your location, you might need an authorization or permission letter from the local municipal body.
  4. Since you will be using a commercial vehicle for your business, you will need a vehicle license issued by the RTO.
  5. If your municipality mandates it, you will need to obtain a Trade License or Eating House License, which is valid for one year.
  6. If you employ more than ten people, you will need to get a Shops and Establishment Registration from your State’s Labour Department.   
  7. You will also need to get a Pollution clearance certificate from your State’s Pollution Control Board.  
  8. To minimise your liability, you can register your business as a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or even LLP. In this case, you must also get a company PAN card and TAN.
  9. It is also highly advised that you get your business a new gst registration online.

How can I get a Food Van Business for the least amount of money?

There is a wide variety of food trucks on the market, and their prices can change depending on their features, modifications, and available space. When purchasing a food truck, one must think about getting a vehicle with enough room for mobility and room for all the kitchen equipment to be installed properly. Additionally, a lot of manufacturers will customize the food truck to your specifications; however, this may result in a slight price increase. A used food truck can also be purchased to save money.


The requirements laid out in the regulations must be met by FBOs because the rules and regulations governing the registration application for food business operators are very detailed and strict.  Consequently, it is sage to seek professional assistance. As Legal experts like Vakilsearch provides services to assist FBOs in the process of applying for a fssai license, hire them as your professional consultant since they are the number one legal service provider in India.


What licenses and permits are required to start a Food Van Business in India?

To operate a Food Van Business in India, you typically need the following licenses and permits:
Food License (FSSAI): Mandatory to ensure food safety standards.
Health/Trade License: Issued by the local municipal corporation.
Vehicle License: Register the vehicle with the local transport authority.
Pollution Certificate: Ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
Shop and Establishment License: Required for the food truck's base kitchen.
NOC from the Fire Department: Ensure fire safety compliance.

Is a food van legal in India?

Yes, food vans are legal in India, provided they comply with all the necessary licenses and permits. Adherence to health, safety, and food regulations is crucial for legality.

What permissions and licenses are required to make a tea product?

For manufacturing and selling tea products, you need:
FSSAI License: Ensure compliance with food safety standards.
Trade License: From the local municipal corporation.
GST Registration: If the turnover exceeds the threshold limit.
Pollution Control Board Clearance: If applicable.

Can I park my food truck anywhere in India?

No, you cannot park your food truck anywhere. You need to follow local regulations and obtain permits from municipal authorities. Many cities have designated areas or food truck parks where parking is allowed.

How to start a roadside food stall business?

To start a roadside food stall business, follow these steps:
Licenses: Obtain necessary licenses, including FSSAI and local health licenses.
Location: Choose a strategic and legal location with high footfall.
Setup: Set up a clean and hygienic food stall.
Menu Planning: Plan a diverse and appealing menu.
Pricing: Determine competitive yet profitable pricing.
Marketing: Promote your stall through word of mouth and social media.
Compliance: Follow all regulations and hygiene standards.

Can food trucks drive around neighborhoods?

The ability for food trucks to drive around neighborhoods depends on local regulations. In some areas, it may be allowed with specific permits, while in others, food trucks may need to operate from designated locations or events. Always check and comply with local rules to avoid legal issues.

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