Why Food License/FSSAI License is mandatory for food businesses

Enterslice food licensing
FSSAI/Food Licensing for food business

My food blogging journey started with reviewing the restaurants. Starting a restaurant or any food business requires lot of preperation and getting the food licence is one of the critical and mandatory step to start the food business. This article will give insight about what is FSSAI and why it is required.


FSSAI is the abbreviated term for “Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.”

FSSAI Rules & Regulations

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is also commonly known as FSSAI which is an agency of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The FSSAI is accountable for safeguarding & encouraging public health for purpose of regulation & supervision of food safety.

FSSAI controls all types’ food business operators in a country & also has hand over powers at a number of levels to any other designated authorities like the FDA to speed up the process of allowing registration or licenses.

What is food business License?

A Food Business Operator License is a license granted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 has made it mandatory for the entities involved in activities related to entity to carry on such activities related to any stage of manufacturing, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution of food, import & includes food services, catering services, sale of food or food ingredients etc.

Who is required to obtain a license under FSSAI regulation?

FSSAI Registration or License is obligatory for all kinds of entities that are running a food business. Anyone who is handling, processing, manufacturing, selling and also serves, stores, distributes transports or imports food, generally known as Food Business Operators (“FBO”). It is also applicable to a street food vendor.

Why is Food Business Operator License required?

  • There are several intentions why Food license is required
  • For the safety of consumers or people who are ultimately consuming the food.
  • This license can be used as an effective marketing tool so as to boost your business.
  • Also with the purpose of make the sure good quality of food in your business and for the benefits 1 from government actions on non-compliances.
  • Food is proving that they have the FSSAI license, which can give you an added advantage of a solid and an increase in the customer base.
  • When the time comes for the business to go for expansion in different areas or outlets, one can easily do so with the usage of your FSSAI license.
  • Moreover, the license can also make it easier for one to get bank loans & for funding which is required for expansion.
  • FSSAI Logo can also be used in the menu cards & pamphlets to make publicity your food’s superior quality over others etc.

Services require the food license

A Food business is engaged in manufacturing, import, & processing, packaging, storing or distributing food. It also offers the following types of services:

  • Restaurants
  • Catering Services
  • Bakery
  • Sweet shop
  • Cafe
  • Warehouse
  • Homemade Food Business such as homemade chocolates, homemade pickles, jams, etc.
  • Food Truck
  • Food Tech etc.

A food business needs to fulfill with several laws & regulations and to obtain licenses to carry out its services and sell its products in India.

Penalty & Offences under FSSAI regulation: Inter alia are:

Purpose Amount
Not having FSSAI license Imprisonment for a term which may extend to 6 months and also with fine which may extend to Rs. 5 Lakh.
Food Quality issues up to Rs. 5 Lakh if foods sold do not match the required quality standard
Substandard food Penalty up to Rs. 5 Lakh
In case of death not less than Rs. 5 Lakh penalty
In case of serious injuries penalty up to Rs. 3 Lakh
In case of other injuries penalty up to Rs. 3 Lakh


Validity and renewal:

The validity for Food License remains from 1 to 5 years. An FBO can choose according to his convenience the number of years for which he has to take the License.

According to FSSAI guidelines, every single person with FSSAI License have to apply for renewal at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the validity of existing license. In case the License is renewed after the expiry time then a penalty would be imposed. Therefore, it is advisable to renew the Food License on time in order to avoid penalties.


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