Licenses And Registration Required To Start A Food Business In India

December 18, 2019

5 min read

This blog provides a comprehensive guide on how to set up a food business in India and the registrations, licenses and permits required for the same.


Moon Goel

Consultant, Gurgaon

Licenses And Registration Required To Start A Food Business In India

The food industry is one of the business sectors that has a high success rate and setting up a food business has become the most preferred business options in India. With online food delivery taking the Indian market by the storm, more businesses are choosing to start a food business from home, as restaurants, and as catering or food truck setups. However, starting a food business in India is a complicated process and requires numerous licenses and permits. This blog provides a comprehensive guide on how to set up a food business in India and the registrations, licenses and permits required for the same.

Food Business In India

There are various kinds of Food Business Operations or FBOs that can be set up in India, such as:

  1. Small-scale food delivery business from home.

  2. Catering business.

  3. Restaurant.

  4. Food Trucks.

  5. Online food delivery website.

  6. Food manufacturing unit.

  7. Beverage manufacturing unit.

  8. Wholesalers and retail unit.

Laws Relating To Food Business In India

There were numerous laws that regulated the food industry in India, such as:

  1. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954

  2. The Fruit Products Order, 1955

  3. The Meat Food Products Order, 1973

  4. The Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947

  5. The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998

  6. The Solvent Extracted Oil, De oiled Meal, and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967

  7. The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992

  8. Essential Commodities Act, 1955

However, these laws were repealed and the new Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 was enacted to regulate and harmonise the food sector in India. The new FSSAI Act establishes the FSSAI Authority, FSSAI licensing and registration, food standards, packaging and labelling standards, and much more. 

Every food business in India is required to work as per the guidelines and provisions set by the FSSAI Act to avoid license revocation and heavy penalties.

How To Start A Food Business In India?

Business Registration

The most basic step to start a food business in India is to incorporate the business and choose the right business structure. The business registration can be done as:

  1. Private Limited Company

  2. Limited Liability Partnership

  3. One Person Company

  4. Partnership Firm

  5. Sole Proprietorship

The type of business structure for a food business depends upon the requirements, type and scale of business. It is advised to consult a good business consultant in India to choose the right business structure and protect the business from unwanted legal complications. Call SeekWiser’s top consultants at: 8010880066

GST Registration

The business must be GST compliant and obtain a GSTIN by registering with the GST department. A food business is required to obtain a GST registration in India if it falls under the mandatory category irrespective of the fact that it deals with food products or services.

Shop And Establishment Certificate

Every food business which falls under the category of a shop or establishment must obtain a shop and establishment license within 30 days of its incorporation.


A food business must protect its brand name and the identity of its goods or services by protecting its logo, name, symbol, slogan, words, etc. through Trademark registration. Consult top business consultants in India through SeekWiser for your Trademark Registration - give us a call at: 8010880066

Licenses And Permits For Starting A Food Business In India

FSSAI License And Registration

As per the FSSAI Act, every FBO has to obtain a FSSAI license and registration as per the scale and type of food business. The FSSAI licensing and registration are divided into 3 tiers:

  1. Basic FSSAI Registration

  2. State FSSAI License

  3. Central FSSAI License

FSSAI license acts as the verification that the business follows food safety and provides a sense of safety to the customers. 

Health Trade License

A food business needs to verify that it follows all the standards of health safety, and for this, it is required to obtain a Health Trade License. Not all food businesses are required to obtain this license, and it is better to talk to a business advisor in India to know the applicability of this license.

Eating House License

When the business will be serving food at its location, it is required to obtain the Eating House License. This license is valid for three years and is mostly required by restaurants, food trucks and eateries.

Liquor License

When the business is planning to serve alcohol at its location, it is required to obtain the liquor license. Serving liquor without obtaining the license is a huge violation and the business can face a heavy penalty for this.

ALSO READ: How To Set Up A Food Business In India

NOC From Fire Department

The business needs to obtain a No-Objection Certificate from the Fire Department verifying that the business follows all the protocol for fire safety.

Lift Clearance

If the food business has a lift installed at the business place, it needs to obtain a clearance that the lift is safe to use for the public.

Environment Clearance Certificate

This certificate verifies that the business does not violate any environmental laws and no activity undertaken by the business contributes to harmful environmental damage.

Call SeekWiser's Top Business Advisors: 8010880066

Documents Needed To Start A Food Business In India

Since the documents required for different license and permit differ, it is better to consult a business advisor in India to know the complete list of documents as per the requirements of the business. However, the basic documentation needed to start a food business in India includes:

  1. PAN card and Aadhaar Card

  2. ID and Address proof of the partners

  3. Passport size photo

  4. Site plan and layout

  5. Water and power bill

  6. Structural stability certificate

  7. Trade license from the local authority

  8. Kitchen layout plan

  9. Latest bank statement

  10. Digital signature certificate

  11. Proof of business incorporation

Starting a food business can be hectic for first-time business owners and handling all the legal formalities to set up the business on your own can be challenging. However, consulting a good business expert can provide much-needed clarity and guidance on the right process to follow for a food business registration in India. 

SeekWiser’s IVR makes it easier for businesses to talk to the best business experts- CA, CS and lawyers in India. Give us a call at 8010880066 or send us an email at [email protected] to get the best solutions for your business.