What Are the Licenses Required to Start a Food Business in India?

The food sector in India has grown immensely in the last few decades. The food business has turned into one of the most trending businesses in India. Not only normal food joints, but the online food business has become the most favorite thing among the youth. These online food businesses are termed as “Food-Tech”.  Such services have actually made it possible to have your favorite food anytime anywhere at your doorstep.

A food business can be any business that includes manufacturing, importing, processing, packaging, storing, selling, or distributing different types of food items and obtain benefits in exchange for this. In India, there are different types of food businesses available to the public at large. These are:-

  • Restaurants
  • Cafe
  • Bakery
  • Catering Services
  • Sweetshop
  • Homemade food businesses like homemade pickles, jams, chocolates, etc.
  • Tiffin services etc.

To start your own business is good but it is very important to have knowledge about the correct way to carry it forward. Any negligence on your part and all your efforts to have a successful business will go in vain. Having said that, one of the most important steps in this regard is to have a valid license. Now, when it comes to starting a food business in India, there are few licenses that one must mandatorily obtain.

Licenses Required to Start a Food Business in India

How to Get Food License in India

Food License

Every Food Business Operator (FBO) is required to have either a registration or a food license. This rule is governed by the Food Safety and Security Act, 2006, according to which every FBO should have an FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) Food License. This license is the most important one as it:-

  1.  Facilitates the trade and it gives an assurance that there is no compromise on the safety of the consumers.
  2.  This makes sure that there is no compromise with the quality of the food. This, in turn, attracts more and more consumers.
  3.  This license helps in promoting innovation in food products.

You can apply for the Food License online over at FSSAI’s website.

Health & Trade License

Apart from the food license, all FBO should also have a health and trade license from Municipal Corporation or the Health Departments of their respective states. This license depends upon the size of the business. It is provided for a period of 1 year which has to be renewed every year.

Fire Department NOC

It is very important to take all kinds of precautions on the premises of your business towards any fire hazard. The owner of the FBO is required to obtain a No Objection Certificate(NOC) from the fire department through an application. The fire department will then send its officials to your business premise. After the proper inspection, if the authority is satisfied, it will grant the NOC.

What Are the Licenses Required to Start a Food Business in India?

Liquor and Bar License

Apart from just-food, if you are also planning to serve alcoholic drinks in your restaurant/food joint, it is mandatory for you to obtain a liquor license. The Excise Commissioner of your respected State/ City will provide you with the liquor license (L-17).

Environmental Clearance License

Any act of a human is either directly or indirectly affecting the environment. So, even your business requires a license which assures that the environment is not affected by your business. So, an Environmental clearance license is required which would be granted by the State or City Pollution Board.

License for Playing Music/Videos

It is a very common practice nowadays that there are music or live bands which play in restaurants or cafes. But there are certain Copyrights inherited in prerecorded music or songs which are involved. So the business is required to obtain a license for playing such music or videos so that there is no breach of Copyright. This will be obtained by Phonographic Performance Limited.

The legal formalities in India to start one’s own food business is not a difficult task, but it can be a bit complicated. It is not rocket science, but you definitely need to be aware of the legal compliances and comply with it. It will not only affect your business, but you may also be charged with high penalties if you fail to have all the required licenses before starting a food business in India. Thus one should always get the information about your respective state-specific licenses through your local municipality and get your business registered under the relevant laws.

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