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Transfer of Food License

The transfer of the FSSAI license is initiated if the current license holder of the food business passes away. The procedure requires an application for transfer of the license to be submitted to the FSSAI. The license is usually transferred to the legal representative or a family member of the previous license holder.

What is Transfer of Food License

Food License or FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) License is mandatory for all food-related businesses in India. This license ensures that food products sold or served to consumers are safe and comply with the standards set by the authority. In certain circumstances, businesses may need to transfer of food license to another entity. In this article, we will discuss the process of transferring a food license.

Food standards in India are governed and regulated by the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006. The FSSAI (Food Standards and Safety Authority of India) supervises the various specifications pertaining to food manufacture, processing, and storage methodologies. The main objective of the FSSAI is to protect and safeguard the health of consumers by nominating various food safety authorities for this purpose.

The Food Business Operators (FBOs) dealing with various stages of food manufacture and production are required to obtain a valid license under the FSSAI. The license is mandatory for businesses that intend to start a food business in India or sell food items directly to consumers. The FSSAI offers three different categories of licenses to businesses depending upon the type and size of the food business and its total annual turnover.

Registration with FSSAI:

The FBOs while getting registered with the FSSAI for the purposes of procuring a license will have to provide details regarding the type of company, manufacturing size, product segment or formulation, etc. In case there are changes, Food Business Operators (FBOs) are expected to report it within a fair amount of time to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). 

Food license registration online is not only mandatory for businesses that are involved in the manufacture and cooking of food but for every business that treats food at multiple levels before it actually hits the customer, such as acquiring raw materials, production, packaging, packing, and delivery of canteens, as well as the companies who have the authority to market them. Even catering agencies that operate from home that have a minimal customer base are mandated to acquire the license, let alone hotels and restaurants.

Categories of FSSAI License:

The FSSAI License can be categorised into 3 broad types :

  •   Basic Registration
  •   State License
  •   Central License

Basic Registration: A license and a registration are quite different when it comes to FSSAI. A basic registration would suffice for businesses that have a turnover of less than 12 lakh with Form A.

State License: Businesses that have turnover between 12 lakh to 20 crore should procure a State License using Form B

Central License: FBOs that have a turnover of more than 20 crore should acquire the Central License mandatorily.

Alternatively, the license is also dependent on the size of the food business. A medium-sized outlet which can be a hotel or restaurant could go for a State License and a large-scale manufacturer, regardless of the turnover should opt for a Central License. Further, in the case of FBOs that operate from multiple locations, the licences would vary as per the size and turnover of the respective establishment. A hotel, having a registered office in Chennai while operating out of several other locations in India, would have to get hold of a Central License for the registered office and separate licenses for other locations.

When is a Food License Transfer Required?

Transfer of Food License is required when there is a change in the ownership of a food-related business. This may happen due to a sale of the business or a change in the management or ownership structure. In such cases, the existing license cannot be used by the new owner, and a new license in the name of the new entity must be obtained. In other cases, the food business may relocate to a new location, in which case the license must be transferred to the new address.

Transfer of Food Licence:

An FBO might have procured the FSSAI license under the owner’s name but might require it to be transferred to someone else if the owner passes away. Most often it is transferred to the respective person’s legal representative or an immediate family member. To alter or transfer an existing license, an application must be submitted to the FSSAI.

Thereafter, the lawyer of the legal representative should make an application to the FSSAI to get the license transferred in their favor. The concerned authority would verify the application and if there are no discrepancies, the license will be transferred to the applicant. Alternatively, if there are any inconsistencies, the applicant must be given the opportunity of being heard, before rejecting the application.

It is however pertinent to note that, the registration will subsist in the name of the deceased license holder, and can be transferred only when the legal representative or other surviving family member requests the transfer of the license certificate. Furthermore, the license would become invalid if the legal representative fails to present it for transfer within 90 days of the holder’s registration certificate or license expiration.

Procedure to Transfer of Food Licence:

  1. Enter the official website of FSSAI and log in with the assigned credentials
  2. Select “Duplicate/Surrender/Transfer of Certificate(s)” from the dropdown menu and click on “Apply for Duplicate/Surrender/Transfer of Certificate(s)” 
  3. Click on ‘Transfer’ against the FSSAI license number
  4. Fill in the required information such as the address of the business, contact information, registered office information, the cause of the license holder’s death, and the date of the death, and click ‘Proceed’
  5. The application will then be submitted to the authorised officer who would process all the FSSAI transfer applications
  6. Along with the application for transfer of food license, the death certificate of the previous license holder and the legal heir certificate of the subsequent owner who intends to acquire the license must be attached.

Both applying for transfer of food license could be an outstretched process. At Vakilsearch we are more than ready to help you get through the legal compliances pertaining to the FSSAI license. Give us a call and we will guide you to get hold of the license in no time!

Points to Remember

  • The process for transfer of food license must be completed within 30 days of the change in ownership or address.
  • The new entity must comply with all the conditions and regulations mentioned in the original food license.
  • The validity period of the new license will be the same as the original license.


In conclusion, the transfer of food license is a straightforward process that involves applying for a new license in the name of the new entity or at the new location. It is important to ensure that all necessary documents are submitted and compliance with food safety standards is met. Businesses must complete the process for transfer of food license within the specified time frame to avoid any penalties or legal issues.

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