Do you know that if you are starting a food business in India, you must obtain an FSSAI registration or license? FSSAI stands for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, which is responsible for monitoring and governing the entire food business in India. In this blog post, we will guide you through the FSSAI registration and license process, the eligibility criteria, benefits, and penalties associated with it. So, if you plan to open a restaurant, bakery, hotel, or food stall in India, keep reading to know all about FSSAI License in India.
Explanation of FSSAI License
The FSSAI License is a must-have for every person who intends to run a food-related business in India. It is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India that regulates and oversees the entire food business. FSSAI is an autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Indian Government. It is mandated to monitor the quality of food products, prevent food adulteration, and ensure that all food products undergo quality checks. FSSAI issues a 14-digit registration number that must be printed on all food packages to help trace the food products’ origin. The Food Business Operators must compulsorily obtain FSSAI Registration or License depending on the size and nature of the business. Depending on the eligibility criteria and business turnover, FBOs can choose from three types of licenses: Basic Registration, State License, and Central License. The FSSAI License or Registration is valid for a specific period and must be renewed once the license or registration expires. Non-compliance with FSSAI regulations attracts penalties and fines.
Importance of obtaining FSSAI License
Obtaining an FSSAI License in India is of great importance for any food-related business operator. Food products play a crucial role in the health and well-being of the public, and hence, the quality of food should be strictly monitored. The FSSAI License ensures that the food outlets maintain adequate standards and follow the rules and regulations established by the regulatory body.
Having an FSSAI License carries numerous benefits for the food business. It not only demonstrates legal compliance but also shows a commitment to food safety and quality. Consumers nowadays are highly aware of the importance of food safety, and they are more likely to choose a food outlet that has an FSSAI License. This builds trust and loyalty with customers and enhances the brand image of the food business.
The FSSAI License also opens up new business opportunities, such as supplying products to government institutions, schools, and hospitals that require suppliers to have an FSSAI License. It also provides access to valuable information and resources on food safety and quality, improving operations and staying up-to-date with the latest industry developments. Compliance with FSSAI standards can reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses and other food safety issues, leading to a healthier and safer environment for consumers.
Brief overview of eligibility criteria for FSSAI License
To an FSSAI license in India, every food establishment must adhere to the guidelines set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). FSSAI offers three different types of licenses catering to a wide range of businesses. Organizations earning less than Rs 12 lakh per year fall under the category of essential registration, whereas businesses with yearly revenue between Rs 12 lakh and Rs 20 crores are labeled as state licenses. For bigger organizations dealing in FMCG, food chains, and hotel businesses earning more than 20 crores of yearly revenue must obtain a central license. The eligibility criteria for FSSAI license depends on the size and nature of the company, turnover, and production capacity. The licensing and registration procedure is regulated by the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations 2011. FSSAI registration is mandatory for food businesses in India, which requires documentation and fee varying as per the turnover and production capacity of the business. Not complying with FSSAI regulations can lead to penalties and legal action.
II. FSSAI Registration Process
Detailed explanation of the registration process
FSSAI registration is essential for every food business operator in India. The FSSAI Registration Process differs based on the size and nature of the business. The eligibility criteria for each kind of business, and the type of license/registration required, is detailed on the FSSAI website. Depending upon the installed capacity and turnover, registered FBOs are eligible for licenses such as basic, central, or state licenses.
Businesses with a turnover of less than Rs.12 lakh p.a must obtain FSSAI basic registration. For FSSAI basic registration, the FSSAI registration form that the applicant has to fill is Form A. Businesses with a turnover of more than Rs.12 lakh p.a and less than Rs.20 crore p.a must obtain the FSSAI state license. For obtaining the FSSAI state license, the FSSAI registration form that the applicant has to fill is Form B. Businesses with a turnover exceeding Rs. 20 crore must obtain the FSSAI central license. For obtaining the FSSAI central license, the FSSAI registration form that the applicant has to fill is Form C.
Once the right FSSAI registration form is identified, the applicant must submit their documents online, which are verified, and the FSSAI registration certificate is issued in due course. Remember, FSSAI registration ensures credibility and quality control measures, thereby promoting public health and ensuring industry compliance.
Documents required for FSSAI Registration
When comes to FSSAI registration in India, submitting the correct documents is crucial. The Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a revised list of mandatory documents that are required based on the type of food business activity.
For all kinds of businesses, the list includes a photo ID and address proof issued by the government authority of the proprietor/partner/director/authorized signatory, proof of possession of premises (sale deed/rent agreement/electricity bill), partnership deed/self-declaration for proprietorship/memorandum and article of association towards the constitution of the firm, and a copy of the certificate obtained under the Coop Act-1861.
Additional specific documents are required depending on the type of food business activity, such as analysis reports of water or pesticide residues.
For manufacturers/processors, a blueprint/layout plan of the processing unit and an analysis report of water to be used as an ingredient in food are also needed.
Finally, documents such as a certificate from the Ministry of Commerce for 100% EOU or any other document required by the licensing authority to ensure food safety must also be submitted.
Benefits of procuring FSSAI License
Procuring an FSSAI License in India is mandatory for all those individuals and companies who are involved in the food business, right from manufacturing to distribution and sale. Here are some key benefits of obtaining an FSSAI License:
1. Ensures Food Safety: FSSAI License ensures that food products are produced, stored, distributed, sold, and imported as per the highest international food safety standards. This can help prevent any harm or health hazards to consumers.
2. Builds Credibility: Obtaining an FSSAI License adds credibility to your business and helps build trust with your customers. It shows that you are committed to following food safety regulations and that your products are safe for consumption.
3. Legal Compliance: Having an FSSAI License makes your business legally compliant with government regulations, avoiding any legal action against your business by the FSSAI.
4. Facilitates Business Expansion: FSSAI License is mandatory for any food business planning to expand its operations. Having a valid license can help you expand your business opportunities by opening up new markets and ensuring hassle-free exports of food products.
Overall, it is clear that having an FSSAI License is essential for all businesses involved in the food industry in India, not just for compliance but also for safer and more trustworthy products. 
Penalty for non-compliance
It is important for food businesses to comply with the guidelines and regulations set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to ensure the safety and quality of food products. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to penalties and fines under Chapter 9 of the FSSAI Act, which includes various sections specifying penalties for non-compliance.
These penalties can range from a fine of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, and in some cases, even life imprisonment.
Non-compliant businesses can face penalties for selling food that is not of the required nature, substance, or quality demanded, sub-standard food, misbranded food, misleading advertising, food containing extraneous matter, and failure to comply with FSSAI requirements.
The adjudicating officer can also issue directions to rectify the mistake, failing which the food article shall be destroyed. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain an FSSAI license and comply with the regulations to avoid penalties and ensure the safety and quality of food products.
III. Eligibility Criteria for Food Business Registration/License
Explanation of eligibility criteria for FSSAI License
FAI License is mandatory for any food business operator in India, and it is governed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. FSSAI grants various licenses and registrations based on criteria such as business size, nature of business, and annual turnover. The eligibility criteria for FSSAI License vary from small business to large enterprises. Currently, FSSAI provides three types of registrations, including Basic registration, State License, and Central License. FSSAI registration/certification is mandatory for micro, small, and medium-scale businesses dealing with food items in India. The eligibility criteria and the cost of obtaining an FSSAI license depend on the turnover, production capacity, and nature of the food business. However, the penalty for non-compliance is severe, and businesses must adhere to the regulations provided by FSSAI. FSSAI license is valid for one to five years, depending on the type of license and the fee paid by the business operator.
Types of licenses (Essential Registration, State License, Central License)
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issues three types of licenses for food business operators (FBOs) in India: Basic Registration, State License, and Central License.
The type of license required depends on the business type, turnover, and capacity of production. Basic Registration is mandatory for FBOs having an annual turnover of less than ₹12 lakh.
It is a 14-digit registration number printed on food packages that gives details about the state and producer’s permit. State License is required for FBOs having an annual turnover of more than ₹12 lakh and up to ₹20 crore. State licenses are issued by the state government and are valid for five years, with a minimum validity period of one year.
Central License is required for FBOs with an annual turnover of more than ₹20 crore, importers, and exporters. It is issued by the Central Government, and the validity period is also five years, with a minimum validity period of one year. FBOs can apply for any of the three licenses on the FSSAI website, and the documentation for each license is almost similar.
Where to obtain FSSAI registration based on business type and turnover?
Depending on the nature and turnover of your food business, FSSAI registration can be obtained at different levels.
FBOs with a turnover of less than Rs. 12 lakh per annum must obtain FSSAI essential registration. Small-scale businesses such as petty food manufacturers and retail shops can opt for this registration. The registration form to be filled out here is Form A.
For businesses with a turnover between Rs. 12 lakh to Rs. 20 crore per annum, FSSAI state license must be obtained. Food business operators such as transporters, retailers, marketers, distributors, and small to medium-sized manufacturing units need to take FSSAI registration from the state government. The FSSAI state license registration form is Form B.
For establishments with a turnover of over Rs. 20 crore per annum, FSSAI central license is mandatory. Large manufacturers, importers, 100% Export Oriented Units, and food business operators in Central Government Agencies, airports, and seaports should obtain FSSAI registration from the central government. The FSSAI central license registration form is Form B. FSSAI registration can be obtained online in India through IndiaFilings.
V. Validity and Renewal of FSSAI License/Registration
Validity period of FSSAI License/Registration
The Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issues licenses to Food Business Operators (FBOs) based on their turnover and place of operation.
The validity period of an FSSAI license/registration ranges from one to five years from the date of issuance. It is mandatory for FBOs to obtain an FSSAI license before commencing their food business, and the license number must be displayed on food packages or in the place of business. The FBOs must renew their license before its expiry date to continue their business operations. The renewal application process must be initiated 30 days before the expiry date, and it can be done as early as 180 days before the expiry date.
The FSSAI has implemented a new policy that allows FBOs to renew their license even after the expiry date, subject to penalties. The renewal application must be filed within 180 days from the original expiry date and subjected to online submission of Annual Returns through FoSCoS by the licensed food manufacturer or importer. FBOs are not permitted to conduct any food business during the period from the original expiry date until the issuance of the renewed license. Penalties will be imposed on FBOs conducting food business during this period. A fresh validity date is generated on the issuance of a renewed license. The renewal fee structure includes a late fee of Rs. 100 per day for non-renewal of the license within 30 days before the expiry date.
Renewal process and fees
Ren an FSSAI license is mandatory for every food business operator in India to continue operating legally.
The renewal process differs based on the type of license and the turnover of the business. The renewal must be done before the expiry date of the existing license, with a 30-day window for basic registration and a 60-day window for state and central licenses.
Failing to renew an existing license and operating with an expired license can result in heavy penalties imposed by the FSSAI. Renewal can be done online by filling out and submitting Form A or Form B, along with required documents such as identity and address proof, audit reports, FSM plans, certificates, and self-declarations.
Renewal fees are the same as for new licenses, and the validity period can vary from 1 to 5 years depending on the size of the food business. Professional Utilities can assist with the license renewal process and ensure timely compliance with FSSAI regulations.
Modification of License and Certificate
Food Business Operators (FBOs) in India who hold a valid FSSAI License or registration for manufacturing food products need to modify their existing license upon migration to the new Food Safety and Compliance System (FoSCoS).
The modification of the FSSAI License and Certificate is applicable only for existing license holders. FBOs filing the application for modification of license or registration need to resubmit all the documents submitted at the time of applying for the original license. The Modification of the FSSAI License is of two types, namely Form C Modification and Non-Form C Modification.
The fee structure for applying the FSSAI Modification of the existing license varies based on the type of modification. Non-Form C Modification does not require any fee, whereas the Form C Modification costs Rs. 1000 for the license and Rs. 100 for the registration.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) extended the period for modification of the license by existing FSSAI licensed manufacturers without any modification fee till October 31, 2021. Failure to modify the FSSAI License by the specified deadline could lead to penalties under FSSAI compliance regulations.
VI. Recap of key points about FSSAI License in India
In summary, obtaining an FSSAI license is mandatory for all food-related businesses in India. The license is issued based on the size and nature of the business, ranging from basic registration to state and central licenses. Operators involved in the production, processing, distribution, storage, and sale of food products must obtain FSSAI registration or license, as per the Food Safety & Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations 2011. A 14-digit registration or license number is printed on all food packages, providing details about the assembling state and producer’s permit. The FSSAI aims to ensure quality checks of food products, curtail food adulteration and sale of sub-standard products, and enforce food safety and hygiene standards to protect consumers from health hazards. The FSSAI license helps establish trust and credibility with customers, demonstrating a commitment to food safety and quality. Compliance with FSSAI regulations is crucial, considering the stiff penalties for non-compliance. It is equally important to renew and modify the license/certificate as per the FSSAI guidelines and regulations.
VII. Importance of complying with FSSAI regulations
Compliance with FSSAI regulations is not only legally mandatory but also essential for maintaining the quality and safety of food products. The FSSAI license serves as a mark of assurance that a business complies with the set standards and regulations. It ensures that food products are subjected to quality checks and reduces the risk of food adulteration and the selling of subpar products. Non-compliance with FSSAI regulations can lead to hefty legal penalties and fines, tarnish the reputation of a business and even cause harm to the health and welfare of consumers. Therefore, it is imperative for food businesses to obtain an FSSAI license and adhere to the regulations laid down by the authority. Compliance can also enhance the credibility and trust of a business with customers, which can result in improved sales and revenue. In summary, complying with FSSAI regulations is not only a legal requirement but also necessary for maintaining the safety and quality of food products.
VIII. Documents required for FSSAI License in India
To obtain an FSSAI license in India, the following documents are required:
1. Basic registration form or application form.
2. Proof of identity (PAN card, voter ID card, Aadhaar card, passport, etc.).
3. Proof of address (electricity bill, telephone bill, water bill, lease agreement, or property documents).
4. List of food products and their categories.
5. Blueprint of the processing unit with a list of machinery and equipment installed.
6. Analysis report of water used in the processing unit.
7. Declaration form signed by the proprietor, partner, or director.
8. Affidavit of proprietor, partner, or director.
9. Copy of the certificate obtained under the Coop Act 1861/Multi-State Coop Act 2002.
10. NOC from the municipality or the local health authority.
IX. Advantages of FSSAI License in India
1. FSSAI license ensures compliance with food safety regulations and standards.
2. It increases the credibility and trust of customers in the food product.
3. FSSAI license increases the marketability of the food product and helps it reach a larger audience.
4. Consumers are assured of the safety and quality of the food product.
5. FSSAI license also serves as a benchmark for the performance of food businesses.
X. Disadvantages of FSSAI License in India
1. The process of obtaining an FSSAI license can be cumbersome and time-consuming.
2. The documentation required for the FSSAI license can be extensive.
3. The fees charged for obtaining an FSSAI license can be high, especially for businesses with a large turnover.
4. FSSAI licenses are subject to periodic renewal which can be a hassle for business owners.
5. Non-compliance with FSSAI regulations can lead to heavy penalties and even closure of the business.
XI. Process of getting FSSAI License in India
The process of getting an FSSAI license in India involves the following steps:
1. Determine the required FSSAI license type based on the type and size of the food business.
2. Gather the required documents including proof of identity, proof of address, analysis report of water, and list of food products and their categories.
3. Submit the documents along with the prescribed fee to the FSSAI office or online through their portal.
4. The FSSAI office will verify the documents and inspect the processing unit.
5. If all the requirements are met, the FSSAI license is issued to the food business.
6. The FSSAI license is valid for a specific period and needs to be renewed periodically.
XII. Frequently Asked Questions about FSSAI License in India
1. What is the FSSAI license?
The FSSAI license is a food safety license issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
2. Who needs an FSSAI license in India?
Any person or entity involved in food manufacturing, processing, packaging, or sale requires an FSSAI license or registration.
3. What are the benefits of obtaining an FSSAI license?
Obtaining an FSSAI license ensures compliance with food safety regulations, increases credibility, trust, marketability, and serves as a benchmark for food business performance.
4. How long is the FSSAI license valid for?
The validity of the FSSAI license depends on the type of license issued and can range from 1 to 5 years.
5. What happens if a food business does not have an FSSAI license?
Non-compliance with FSSAI regulations can lead to heavy penalties and even closure of the business.
6. How much does it cost to obtain an FSSAI license in India?
The cost of obtaining an FSSAI license depends on the type of license required and the annual turnover of the business. It can range from a few thousand rupees to lakhs of rupees.