FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Food License in India
1. What is a food license in India?
A food license, also known as a food business operator (FBO) license, is a legal requirement for individuals or entities engaged in the production, processing, storage, distribution, and sale of food items in India. It ensures that food businesses comply with the necessary food safety and standards regulations.
2. Who needs to obtain a food license?
Any individual or entity involved in food-related activities, including manufacturers, processors, transporters, distributors, retailers, and online food aggregators, must obtain a food license. This applies to both small and large-scale businesses to ensure the safety and quality of food products.
3. Are there different types of food licenses in India?
Yes, there are three types of food licenses in India, based on the size and nature of the food business:
– Central License: Obtained by large-scale food businesses with an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 20 crore or engaged in specific food activities like import/export, dairy processing, meat processing, etc.
– State License: Obtained by medium-scale food businesses with an annual turnover between Rs. 12 and 20 crore.
– Registration: Obtained by small-scale food businesses with an annual turnover of less than Rs. 12 lakh.
4. How can one obtain a food license?
To obtain a food license, the FBO needs to apply online through the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) portal. The application must include the necessary documents and information related to the business, such as infrastructure, food safety management systems, and supporting documentation.
5. What are the documents required for obtaining a food license?
The documents required may vary depending on the type of food license being applied for. However, generally, the common documents include: proof of identity, address proof, entity registration documents, affidavit, as well as a blueprint and layout plan of the food processing unit or premises.
6. Is it mandatory for street food vendors and small-scale food businesses to obtain food licenses?
Street food vendors and small-scale food businesses fall under the registration category, requiring them to obtain a registration certificate rather than a full-fledged food license. This registration acts as a simplified version of the license and facilitates compliance with food safety requirements.
7. What happens if a food business operates without a license?
Operating a food business without a license is illegal and can lead to legal actions, including penalties, fines, and even closure of the business. It is essential for all food businesses to comply with the regulations to maintain safety and hygiene standards.
8. How long is a food license valid for?
A food license in India is typically valid for one to five years, depending on the regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). After the expiry, the FBO must renew the license to continue their food business operations.
9. Can a food license be transferred or amended?
Yes, it is possible to transfer or amend a food license under certain circumstances. The FBO must inform the concerned authorities about any changes in the business structure or location and obtain the necessary permissions or amendments to ensure compliance with the regulations.
10. Is it necessary to display the food license at the business premises?
Yes, it is mandatory for food businesses to prominently display their food license or registration certificate at the premises where the food activities take place. This provides confidence to customers and authorities that the business is operating legally and meeting the required food safety standards.