How to Start a food business in India? What are the licenses/registrations you need to obtain before you start?


This is a very economically unstable period for the world. Many people have lost their jobs or they have quit their job to come back to their homeland considering safety. Many of them will be thinking about a self-employment/business idea of their own. The food business is the easiest and evergreen demanding business. 

As everyone knows even during the lockdown, all food businesses were allowed to run as it comes under essential service under the Essential Commodities Act. Food is essential and in such critical situations the demand for packaged food us going up since people as less dependent on restaurants amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

So here is a list of Licenses you need to obtain in order to start a food business. Starting a food business without these is a punishable offense under respective laws regulating.

1) FSSAI License/ Registration

U need to apply for either registration (for firms with turnover up to 12 lakhs) or license (for firms with turnover more than 12 lakh) to the Designated officer of your District. The application can be done online through the FSSAI website.

2) Local body Registration (Panchayat/Municipality/Corporation)

Any business running in a locality must be registered with the local body. This can be obtained through the local body office and can be obtained easily within a day.

3) Packers License

If you are going to sell the product in a labeled and sealed package (retail selling), then u need to obtain a packer's license. The packer's license is obtained from the Legal metrology department. They have to ensure that you are using certified weighing machines. 

4) Sanitation certificate from Health inspector (Pre-requisite for Localbody registration)

Due to the environment and health concern, you will have to take a health ad sanitation fitness certificate from the Health Inspector of your locality. This is to ensure that you are processing the food in a well-sanitized area. Also, the health of food handlers is proper.

5) GST Registration

In order to do business with big dealers, you will have to have a GST certificate which enables the revenues recorded and taxed properly. Any agent can get you a GST certificate and help you file your GST returns. This is also a comparatively easy procedure.