FSSAI registration is an important step for any institution in India looking to sell food commercially.
This article will provide you all the information that you need to know about an FSSAI License.
Here are the key headers that would be covered.
- What is FSSAI License and Registration?
- About the FSSAI Registration and License Issuing authority
- What documents do you need to apply for an FSSAI Registration?
- How to get an FSSAI License?
- Checking FSSAI Registration application status
- Types of FSSAI Licenses
- Cost of an FSSAI License
- Validity of an FSSAI License
- Steps for renewal of the FSSAI License
- Why restaurants need an FSSAI License? (Benefits and legal aspects)
- Other licenses you need to have at your restaurant
- Frequently asked questions around the FSSAI License and registration
What is an FSSAI License and Registration?
FSSAI is short for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The license issued by the FSSAI is an authorization that allows an institution to commercially sell food. According to the FSSAI official website, any food business operator that is in the business of manufacturing, processing, storing, distributing and sale of food must mandatorily apply for and have an FSSAI Registration. So, the scope of the FSSAI goes above and beyond restaurants. Apart from serving as a legal certificate, an FSSAI License is a mark of a benchmark food quality. When you register with the FSSAI, you are given a 14 digit registration number. This license will, in turn, depend upon the scale of operations (we’ll cover this in the later section). This serves as a unique license number for your restaurant.
Issuing authority of the FSSAI License
FSSAI License is issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. The FSSAI is an autonomous body that was established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. It has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSSA Act, 2016) which is a consolidated statute related to food safety and regulation in India. FSSAI is primarily responsible for the protection and promotion of public health through its key functions of regulation and supervision of food safety.
What documents do you need to apply for an FSSAI License?
The basic FSSAI registration is fairly straight forward. These are the documents that you need for it.
Form B – duly completed and signed
The FSSAI Form B has about 15 fields that ask for the details of your food business.
Access the complete FSSAI Form B here.
The following are the documents required for the basic FSSAI License:
- Photo Identity of the Food Business Operator (Restaurant Owner).
- Proof of the complete possession of premises (eg. Rental Agreement ).
- A Partnership Deed or a Certificate of Incorporation.
- List of food products (that would be inputs as well as the final menu) to be dealt with.
- A detailed food safety management plan.
The following are the documents required for the FSSAI State License:
- You would need a government ID proof (Voter ID card, Passport, Driver’s License, Aadhar card).
- You need to have the Form-B that is duly filled up and signed (in Duplicate) by the Proprietor or Partner or the Authorized Signatory.
- You will need to have a blueprint or a layout plan of the restaurant having the exact specs (showing the dimensions in meters) and the operation-wise area allocation, this would include all kitchens or manufacturing spots of your restaurant.
- All the important personnel of your restaurant which would include the list of Directors or Partners/Executive Members of Society/Trust with the complete address and contact details. This is a mandatory detail for any restaurant.
- A comprehensive list of all equipment and machinery along with the individual details. This is of importance particularly when you have a kitchen or manufacturing unit.
- You would need an identity and address proof that is issued by the Government Authority for Proprietor/Partner/Director(s).
- You would need to share a list of food categories to be offered to the customers.
- An authority letter that includes the key details such as name and address, the responsible person nominated by the restaurant. Apart from this, you should also include other important persons and the powers vested with them so that the POC for any inspections, sample collection and so forth can be easily reached whenever necessary.
- An updated analysis report of water that is used as a key ingredient in the food preparation process. This should only be done from a recognized public health laboratory.
- A valid proof of possession of premises. This could be a sale deed or a rent agreement.
- You will need to furnish a Food Safety Management Plan or a certificate of the same.
- In case milk is used as an ingredient/raw material – you’d need to demonstrate the source of milk or procurement plan for milk including location of milk collection centers (in case of Milk and Milk Products processing).
- In case your restaurant is a non vegetarian one, you would also need to mention the sources of raw materials for meat and meat processing plants.
- In addition to the water analysis point mentioned under point number 9, you would also need to produce the pesticide residues report of water. This is in the specific instance of units manufacturing packaged drinking water or mineral water and/or carbonated water from a recognized public health laboratory.
- You may also have to show the business plan so have it handy.
- You would need a NOC certificate from the Municipality or local body.
- A completed version of Form IX: Nomination of Persons by a Company along with the Board Resolution.
- Certificate provided by the Ministry of Tourism.
How to get an FSSAI License?
The FSSAI has now launched an online application process called the FLRS which is short for Food Licensing and Registration System. You can access the page here (FLRS)
FLRS now provides users the option of checking the eligibility for the license and apply for it online. In addition to this, it also sends out automated alerts to entrepreneurs via a text message and email so that the registration and license can be renewed timely.
FSSAI Hygiene Code for Restaurants, Source: FSSAI website
Online Application of the FSSAI License
To apply for the FSSAI License online you will have to follow these simple steps:
1. Go to FSSAI’s official website (Link – http://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in) and check your eligibility for the registration or state/central license.
2. Fill out the sign-up form for the given criteria and have your account activated.
3. Now, go ahead and log-in to your newly created account and start filling out the application form. Make sure that you have all the documents that are required for the criteria you selected. Basically, this would consist of all the documents that you would need at the time of applying.
4. Once you have filled out the form, click submit and take a print out and keep it as a copy. A reference number would then be shared with you will help you keep track of the status of your application.
After receiving the application, the designated authorities would examine it and will then carry out an inspection. If the appointed inspector is satisfied with the details and the physical inspection, he or she would then forward the report and the license would then get issued by the concerned authority. This may take a period of 60 days.
If you are more comfortable with the offline mode of payment, FSSAI provides you a provision for that as well. Within 15 days of the submission of your application form, the applicant should take a printout of the Online Application Form, attach a demand draft of the amount (in case the fees is not paid online) and submit the supporting documents along with the application to the State Authority.
How to check the application status of your FSSAI registration
It is fairly easy to check the application status of your Food License.
- Go to the FSSAI website – FSSAI website quick link.
- Enter your unique tracking details as shown on the form below.
(You would need to keep handy of a 17 digit application number that you get on first signing up for the food license.)
Upon entering your details, you would be routed to the status page.
Types of FSSAI License
FSSAI License can be of three kinds.
FSSAI Central License
The Food Business Operators (FBOs) are required to obtain a Central Food License issued by the Central Government. A central food license operates only when a state is operational for more than a month. The central license then applies to the central office alone but covers all the offices across the country. Usually, a central license is procured by restaurants (FBOs) having an annual turnover of greater than 20 crores. The maximum tenure of the Central License is 5 years and the minimum is 1 year.
FSSAI State License
Small to mid-sized restaurants are expected to obtain the FSSAI state license. This license is issued by the government of that particular state where the party wishes to open a restaurant. It is important to note here that the restaurant must have operations only in 1 state, in order to obtain the State FSSAI License in Delhi. So if a restaurant has an annual turnover falling between 12 lakh to 20 lakh INR then it would need a State license. The maximum tenure for this license is also 5 years and the minimum is 1 year.
Basic FSSAI Registration
The small and low turnover restaurants with annual revenue of up to 1 lakh are required to obtain an FSSAI registration (basic). This FSSAI registration is also issued by the State Government of the concerned state. The maximum and minimum tenure of this license are 5 years and 1 year respectively.
Cost of an FSSAI License
The cost of an FSSAI license varies according to the type of license issued. The FSSAI registration fee starts from only 100 INR per year (for the basic FSSAI registration) and goes up to 7500 INR per year (for the FSSAI Central License).
Here are the fees for all license types.
FSSAI Registration – 100 INR per year
FSSAI State License Registration – 2000- 5000 INR per year
FSSAI Central License Registration – 7500 INR – per year
Validity of an FSSAI License
The validity of an FSSAI license is anywhere between 1 to 5 years. The licenses usually get renewed yearly upon payment of the license fee.
Renewal of the FSSAI License
As stated by the FSSAI, the FSSAI food license must be renewed for a period of 1 year or 5 years (depends on a case to case basis). The renewal should be done not later than 30 days before the expiration date as given on the license. A late renewal fee of 100 INR per day applies for each day of delay post the expiration date.
FSSAI license can be renewed online or offline.
Online Renewal of the FSSAI License
- Create a User ID and password that would be used to log in. This User ID and password would be only applicable for a period of 30 days.
- Fill out the renewal form.
- On filling out the form, you will get a unique 17 digit number that can be used by you to track the status of the renewal.
- Typically, the renewal should be completed in a 30-60 day window.
Offline Renewal of the FSSAI License
- Fill out the FSSAI form A, B, and C that are publicly available on the website.
- Submit a self-attested declaration of ownership of the business.
- The FBO will conduct a check and ensure that all the details provided are in order.
- If all the documentation is in order and the inspection result (as conducted by the authority) is satisfactorily, then the license would be issued in a 30-60 day window.
The FSS Act, Inspections and Updates
FSSAI’s primary objective is to ensure the compliance of a basic set of standards in the entire value chain of production, distribution, storage, and sales. To meet this requirement, a certain act was passed called the FSS Act of 2006 which sets down clear rules and regulations pertaining to food safety and quality management. FSSAI is the body that makes sure that all restaurants are following the laws laid down on the FSSA. A failure to adhere to the same puts restaurants at risk of delisting – 10000 restaurants get delisted under the FSSAI.
FSSAI also brings about certain updates to keep up the practice of food safety and quality compliance.
- Eat Right Movement – A program that aimed at getting citizens to opt for healthy food options (August ‘19)
- Delisting of 10,000+ restaurants (August ‘19)
- 20 lakh street food vendors to come under the ambit of FSSAI (August ‘19)
- Banning of Plastic for distribution of food (December ‘18)
Why restaurants must have the FSSAI License?
Entrepreneurs or restaurant owners know that the FSSAI License serves an important legal objective. However, most oversee a few of the other important functions that the FSSAI License serves. Here are some of the ways in which an FSSAI License can be used.
FSSAI is the gold standard when it comes to food quality. Consumers are aware of this especially in the wake of recent happenings. FSSAI is often found on the news with restaurants being delisted across multiple locations. An FSSAI registration stamp then acts as an authority and quality control measure for a restaurant, which in turn builds brand credibility.
Needless to mention, the FSSAI registration is a legal necessity for any restaurant whatever be its scale. The FSSAI registration process is indeed time-consuming (takes around 2 months) and entails multiple rounds of quality check. If a restaurant is caught without a valid license a heavy fine is involved, thus having one is always the first step for any entrepreneur wanting to open his food business.
FSSAI Logo – A marketing tool
An FSSAI logo lives to serve a marketing objective also, Restaurants use the logo at the outlet in their menu cards and other places where it catches the eye of the customer. The logos along with the unique FSSAI ID can be used by restaurants. It is seen as a strong mark of validity, quality and also an assurance standard for the consumers.
An FSSAI registration makes business expansion easier. If you are upgrading from a single city to a multiple city presence, then you may have to upgrade your FSSAI License as well (from a State License to a Central License). If you already have multiple city presence then adding a new city will not be difficult at all. With a central license, you are legally allowed to commercially sell food across India (as long as you have the other essential licenses of course). The FSSAI License helps you establish your brand and makes it easier for you to grow your business. The license also makes it easier for you to avail of bank loans and for funding which is needed for expansion.
Other licenses (besides the FSSAI) that you need at your restaurant
An FSSAI License is perhaps the first license that puts a restaurant legally into the business. Having one surely puts you on the right track. But there are a host of other licenses that a restaurant needs in order to be legally safe. Here is a comprehensive list of all the other licenses that you need at your restaurant.
If you plan to sell liquor at your restaurant, then getting the Liquor License is a mandate. You can obtain this from the Local Excise Commissioner, forms for which are available at the respective State Government websites. Having this license is a must since selling liquor without the license is a punishable offense.
Liquor License Cost
An amount of 5,000 INR must be paid on document submission and an additional 50,000 INR is required to be paid for each additional spirits brand (like whiskey, rum, gin, brandy, vodka)
This license will ensure that your restaurant is cleared of all the possible health concerns as on the list shared by the Health Department. It will need around 60 days to be issued to you after your submission of the form and documents.
A restaurateur can apply for Health/Trade License either at CSB or online. The forms are available at the State’s Municipal Corporation website or Zonal Citizen’s Service Bureaus. Municipal Corporations hold power to shut down restaurants that do not have this license.
Eating House License
The Eating House License is provided and authorized by the Licensing Police Commissioner of that city where you would want to open the outlet.
Eating House License Cost
The approximate cost required to issue the Eating House license is Rs. 300, applicable for a period of three years.
Shop and Establishment License
To run a food business in India, you must register your restaurant under the Shops and Establishment Act. For anything from a cloud kitchen to a fine dining restaurant, a Shop and Establishment Act is needed. Your restaurant needs to be registered within a 30 day period of the commencement of your business. This license is city-specific.
Shop and Establishment Cost
The total cost you would incur for this license is between 200 INR to 4,000 INR per year. The cost of the license is relative as it depends on the number of employees and the location of the restaurant.
Fire Safety License
As a legal mandate, a restaurant must protect the customers from all things dangerous, be it adulterated food products or fire hazards. Thus, a No-Objection-Certificate (NOC) from the fire department is needed to run a restaurant.
Fire Safety License Cost
Currently, there is no fee associated with Fire Safety.
If you wish to install a lift in your restaurant, you have to get a clearance from an inspector from the electricity department and the Labour Commissioner of the city your restaurant is in. The Electrical Inspector issues this license from the office of the Labour Commissioner after verifying the details – that would be the installation of life, layout, safety gear, and the likes. State-wise applications are also available for obtaining the lift clearance.
To be able to play music at your restaurant, you would be needing a restaurant music license. In India, this license is issued by the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). If a restaurant does go ahead and play music and operates without the said license (within the restaurant premises), they will be charged a legal penalty fee.
Certificate of Environmental Clearance
A restaurant is legally and morally bound to ensure that its operations do not negatively impact the environment. Keeping this in mind, you are supposed to apply for the Certificate of Environmental Clearance.
You need to market your restaurant well to ensure that your business does well and gets the maximum profit. You need to mandatorily obtain the signage license from the Municipal Corporation or a local authority for legally being allowed to use posters, graphics and paintings to market your restaurant in the nearby areas.
Quick and Important FAQs – FSSAI Registration and License
How much time does it take in India to get an FSSAI registration done?
A basic FSSAI License can be issued in 7-10 days. A State and Central license can take a time period of 30 days.
Can an FSSAI License be transferred?
FSSAI License can be transferred upon the death (or other mitigating circumstances) of the license holder. In this case, the license gets passed onto a family member or another legal representative.
What is the fees of a duplicate FSSAI License?
A duplicate FSSAI fee is INR 10 and can be applied for from the FSSAI website.
What is the maximum tenure for an FSSAI License?
The maximum tenure of an FSSAI License is 5 years and the minimum tenure is 1 year. Upon completion of the license period, it must be immediately renewed.
Do I need an FSSAI License for a home-based food business/restaurant?
Yes, FSSAI License is needed for any food business and should be acquired for any home-based business or a cloud kitchen.
What is FSSA 2006?
FSSA is short for Food Safety and Security Act 2006. It is the updated legal document that sets the standards for food products, and the production and distribution of foods. Its main objective is to maintain a certain quality to prevent any adulteration in the food.
Do consultants help in the FSSAI registration process?
FSSAI registration is pretty straight forward and can be done by individual restaurant owners themselves. However, consultants can be hired for a given fee that ranges from 1000 – 4000 INR.
What kind of restaurants fall under the purview of the FSSAI registration?
All restaurants need an FSSAI License. Be it QSR, pubs and bars, casual or fine dining, all restaurants need to have the food license. Not having one is a legal offense.
Here are some more links to help you know all that there is to know about licenses you need at your restaurant and FSSAI updates
We hope this article helped you understand the nitty-gritty of FSSAI registration, applying for and acquiring one for your business. In case you have any questions, do let us know in the comments section below.
More power to you!