FSSAI – Food licensing

FSSAI – Food licensing

Legal & Compliance

Vakilsearch Staff

Vakilsearch Staff

195 week ago — 8 min read

If you’re planning to start a food retail business in India, the most important license is the one from the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Family Health and Welfare, Government of India. Indeed, the FSSAI provides licenses for the safety and standardisation of food products manufactured and sold in India. However, without one, no legitimate wholesaler or retailer would stock your products.


What is FSSAI?

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is responsible for maintaining the standard of food delivered by the food industry of India. The Food Business Operators (FBO) need to abide by the rules and regulations set by the FSSAI. Every FBO should have a valid food license issued by FSSAI to execute their business in India. Any FBO that fails to show its FSSAI License document at the time of inspection will be penalized, and this may also lead to shutting down of the business. While applying for the FSSAI food license, one needs certain documents, and the process can be completed easily via the official website of FSSAI.


Also read: Want to sell food online in India? Legal requirements you need to know


What are the types of FSSAI Food Licensing?

FSSAI License can be further classified into two sections: FSSAI state license and FSSAI central license.


  • FBOs fetching an annual turnover of between Rs. 12 lakhs and Rs. 20 crores can obtain an FSSAI state license. All grain, cereal, and pulses milling units irrespective of turnover, must obtain the food licensing FSSAI offers.
  • The FSSAI central license should be obtained by the FBOs having an annual turnover above Rs. 20 crores and operating in two or more states. The Food business covered under Schedule 1 of FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011 must obtain an FSSAI Central License.


FSSAI food license is required for operating food businesses in the Indian Railways and Konkan Railways as well.


What documents are required for FSSAI Food Licensing?

The following documents are required for the Food licensing FSSAI through the FSSAI portal.


  • Duly filled Form-B along with the proprietor’s signature.
  • Business location layout or blueprint
  • Contact details of the directors
  • A detailed list of the types of equipment and machinery to be used
  • Photo ID of the proprietor
  • The food category in which the business will be operating
  • Proof of possession of premises such as rental agreements or lease papers
  • Partnership affidavit for proprietorship
  • Authority letter of the responsible person containing his name and address
  • NOC and a copy of the license issued by the manufacturer
  • Food Safety Management System Plan or certificate.


Apart from the above documents, the FBO may have to produce some documents specific to the kind of business he undertakes. You may check the specific document requirements on the official website of FSSAI.


What is the procedure for online food licensing? 

FBOs must undergo food licensing online through the Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS) designed on the official FSSAI portal. The FBOs can complete the food licensing process through the following simple steps.


  • Duly filled Form B along with the required documents, should be submitted to the authority while applying for FSSAI food licensing along with the assigned fees.
  • After the submission of the application, the FBO will be given a Unique Application Reference Number which will be required during the food licensing login.
  • In case of any missing information, the FBO is intimidated about that fact and asked to provide the required information. The FSSAI provides a unique application ID to the FBO.
  • An inspection is conducted by the Food and Safety department at the business premises, and a report is prepared based on the inspection.
  • If the inspection report is positive, the FSSAI issues the FSSAI License document of the FBO.


The whole procedure takes 15-20 days for the FSSAI state license while the issuance of the FSSAI central license may take up to 30-45 days. The FBOs can check the status of the application by entering the food licensing login number in the “Track Application Status” section on the official website of FSSAI.


What charges are necessary for food licensing?

The charges for FSSAI Central license and FSSAI State license along with the charges for the FSSAI license of Indian and Konkan Railways have been given below.


Fee structure of FSSAI Central license

  • The renewal fee for the FSSAI Central license is Rs. 7500 per year.
  • The renewal fee for the FSSAI Central license is Rs. 7500 per year.
  • The fee for any modification of an FSSAI Central license is Rs. 7500 (per modification).
  • The fee for a duplicate copy of the FSSAI Central license is 10% of the Applicable License Fee.


FSSAI Central licenses can be issued or renewed for a maximum of 5 years.


The fee structure for FSSAI State license

  • The fees for a new FSSAI State license ranges from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 5000 per year based on the type of Food Business Operators.
  • The fees for the renewal of the FSSAI State license depends on the number of years selected.
  • The fee for any modification of an FSSAI State license is the fees of one year (per modification).
  • The fee for a duplicate copy of the FSSAI State license is 10% of the Applicable License Fee.


Fee structure of FSSAI Railway food license

  • The fees for a new FSSAI Railway food license is Rs 2000 (per year).
  • The fees for the renewal of the FSSAI Railway food license depends on the number of years selected.
  • The fees for any modification of an FSSAI Railway food license is the fees of one year (per modification).
  • The fee for a duplicate copy of the FSSAI Railway food license is 10% of the Applicable License Fee.


What is the penalty for default?

Holding an FSSAI license is mandatory, and therefore, any Food Business Operator operating without an FSSAI license can be penalized. Under the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, FBOs can be charged from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh and can even be sent to prison. The penalty and punishment are decided based on their offences. The FSSAI can cancel the license and shut down the business as well.


Food Business Operators must apply for an FSSAI food license and renew it timely. It will help the FBOs to fulfil the statutory requirement as well as to avail additional benefits. FBOs selling products containing the logo of FSSAI become trustworthy to the public as the quality check done by FSSAI has approved their products. FBOs with FSSAI licenses get the opportunity of expanding business and can avail loans and funds for the same purpose. FBOs can either opt for food licensing online or can take help from an online consultant. Food license online consultants can help in applying for the license and also in renewing the license.


Also read: Legal requirements for starting an organic food business


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Vakilsearch Staff

Greetings! We would love to work with you and your company. We look forward to connecting with business houses and MSME's.