FSSAI License & Compliance

Online FSSAI License in India – An Overview

FSSAI stands for the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, responsible for the issuance of food licenses to food business operators. It is the apex body incorporated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Government of India is accountable for setting up standards for selling, packaging or storage of food items in India. Additionally, it was set up under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

It is essential for food business operators like manufacturers, traders, and food store owners to obtain the license of FSSAI. Furthermore, there are two types of food licenses depending on the size or scale of the food business, namely, FSSAI License and FSSAI Registration. FSSAI License is further divided into two parts.

Why Do You Need a Food License?

The point of obtaining a food license is to make sure that the food products packed, sold or traded by Food Business Operators stick to the quality standards prescribed by the FSSAI. The ultimate goal of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, therefore, is to reduce the chances of substandard products, food adulteration and improve the accountability of manufacturers by issuing them a food license for food service.

Who requires a Food License to Start a Business?

To better understand, every Food Business Operator is obligatory to be registered/ licensed under the FSSAI Law. FSSAI Registration is needed by small businesses like petty retailers, hawkers, etc., whose annual turnover is {Rs.12 lacs per year. Moreover, all food businesses more than this yearly turnover limit of Rs 12 lacs annually require an FSSAI License registration.

You need to obtain FSSAI State License or FSSAI Central License, whether you are a small scale or large scale business, as per your requirement. Usually, exporters, large manufacturers, importers, and many more obtain Central Licence, while mid-sized entities like traders, transporters, etc. require State Licence.

You Must Note That A Food License Is Mandatory For You If Your Business Falls In Any Below-Listed Categories.

    • Manufacture
    • Procurement
    • Processing
    • Distribution
    • Storage
    • Packaging

To be more precise and elaborate, any company or an individual that operates with food substances from the manufacturing units to the serving dishes must obtain the FSSAI food license. For your understanding, a more detailed list of those who need to get the FSSAI Registration Certificate is given below:-

    • Food chains
    • Hotels
    • Restaurants
    • Wholesaler
    • Food sellers and re-sellers
    • Dairy and its processing
    • Food importers and Food exporters
    • Processors like dry fruit and pickle maker
    • Suppliers of Raw material to food businesses
    • Retailers & establishments who have a retail outlet
    • Transporters – who transfer items from one destined location to other
    • Canteens in corporations, colleges, schools, government institutions or hospitals
    • Packaged food manufacturers who manufacture/produce items such as biscuits and ready to eat products

With this, you must also note that the Storage units and warehouses require an FSR (food safety registration) instead of a production license.

What are the Benefits of Getting an FSSAI License?

The benefit of FSSAI license and registration that help businesses are as given below:-

Consumers are becoming more mindful of the nature of their food, which deserves to give many thanks to the digital world of today’s era. Therefore, holding a valid FSSAI license allows for enhancing their credibility and businesses to improve.

    • The FSSAI logo can ensure goodwill among consumers, which is widely recognized.
    • It makes food manufacturing more reliable and trustworthy on science-based principles.
    • Streamlines all the processes occupied from manufacturing to distribution as well as the sale of the food products.
    • The important facet of cleanliness and hygiene are followed and regulated when FSSAI registration is concerned.
    • FSSAI license registration positively influences the production and dependability of the company. Therefore, FSSAI license registration gives it a huge chance for a business to expand and grow.
    • FSSAI license registration offers a platform to produce quality food products on par with IFS (International food standards).
    • FSSAI license is imperative for exporting food products to other countries also.
    • FSSAI is also liable for setting procedures and guidelines for the attributed labs’ quality assurance as per ISO17025.

What are the Types of Food Safety License?

All businesses involved in the food sector must apply for a food license. The type of Food Safety License you need to run food business depends on factors like turnover of the business, the scale of business and the kind of activity you are indulged in.

Basically, there are two types of food Safety License. One is the FSSAI Registration, and the other is the FSSAI License. But, how do you determine, which one of them is right for you?

Let’s Dig In Deeper To Know More About Food Licenses:

  • Basic FSSAI Registration: Basic FSSAI Registration is required by petty food business operators. The turnover of such business should not be more than Rs. 12 lakhs per annum. A petty retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor or temporary stallholders are examples of this category.
  • FSSAI State License: A business that has a turnover of Rs. 12 Lac to Rs. 20 Cr. is eligible for the state food license. Additionally, the turnover limit is the same for an FSSAI State trading license or an FSSAI State Manufacturing license.
  • Central FSSAI License: This license is for food businesses having a turnover exceeding Rs. 20 Crore. Manufacturing, Trading and Storage units beyond specified limits are some of the examples of FBOs that come under the category of obtaining this license.

What are the Documents Required For FSSAI License Registration?

Given below is the list of documents you would require for the issuance of your food license:

    • Completed and Signed Form B
    • Photo identity proof of food business operator
    • A copy of proof of possession of premise such as rent agreement
    • MOA, AOA, Partnership deed, etc. – depending on the type of entity
    • List of food products involved
    • Plan of food safety management system

Documents for Central FSSAI License

    • Duly signed and completed Form B
    • Blueprint of unit
    • List of machinery and equipment used in the unit
    • A list of partners, directors, proprietors, etc. depending on the type of entity
    • Complete list of food items to be dealt with
    • Sources of various raw materials
    • Form IX
    • Certificate from Ministry of Tourism
    • Certificate from Ministry of Commerce for 100% EOU
    • Rent agreement or any other proof of possession of the premise
    • Authority Letter
    • PA/ NOC document granted by FSSAI
    • Manufacturer’s NOC and a copy of the license
    • Declaration Form

Documents for FSSAI State License

    • Duly signed and completed Form B
    • Blueprint of unit
    • List of machinery and equipment used in the unit
    • A list of partners, directors, proprietors, etc. depending on the type of entity
    • Complete list of food items to be dealt with
    • Authority Letter
    • Rent agreement or any other proof of possession of the premise
    • Food Safety Management System Certificate
    • Any other required document

Additional Documents for Manufacturers

    • The blueprint of the layout of the processing unit
    • A list of all machinery or equipment
    • A list of the categories of food that is to be manufactured
    • Report on the water for pesticide residues

What are the steps involved for Obtaining the FSSAI License?

There are many steps involved in obtaining the FSSAI License. Those are as follows:-

Step 1: Streamlining with Eligibility Criteria

You need to simply log in to their website to begin your application for FSSAI License Registration. For your understanding, the official website of FSSAI is http://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in. After that, one of the slides will appear with the title ‘Are your Eligible For’ with three options – once you visit the website:-

    • Central License
    • State License
    • Basic Registration

You need to click on the slide, and it will require you to fill up the state, address, district, and action of the core operations. There will pop-up as a hyperlink saying ‘Check Eligibility Criteria’ as soon as you save and add the information. After that, you need to ‘Click’ on the link, which will lead you to a series of ‘yes-no’ and descriptive questions connecting to your enterprises/business.

After that, there will be a choice bar to ‘Proceed’ as soon as you answer all the questions displayed on the screen. Again, click on proceed if you are satisfied with the answers you filled above in the YES/NO sessions. Moreover, you will know which license you can apply for based on their individual eligibility criterion after completing the pre-check.

For your information, there are two types of FSSAI License – Central License and State License, for which the eligibility for each of these is different from each other. You need to check which of the two you are eligible for as per the criteria mentioned. You need to firstly fill in the address for each location & then check on the given eligibility criteria for each of these licenses given.

It is noteworthy that the general line of distinction between these two types of FSSAI License is based on the business’s turnover. Such as, it is recommended for the State FSSAI License if the product or restaurant you wish to register with FSSAI has an annual turnover up to Rs. 20 Crs. Though, a Central FSSAI License is suitable for you if the said turnover is greater than 20 Crs.


Step 2: Application of Online FSSAI License Registration

You will notice a tab that says ‘Apply Online’ on the extreme right bar of the FSSAI webpage. You need to click on the option which will lead you to a declaration or undertaking forms. Read the declaration, and if you agree to the undertaking that the declaration form displays mentioned above, then click on the ‘I Agree’.

You will be directed to the same series of yes-no questions that you faced in the pre-check as soon as you click on ‘I Agree’. You need to answer them accurately and click on ‘Proceed’. After that, three options will come in front of you- Central, State and Registration after you are done with the answering the questions. You have to click on the option suitable for your eligibility and business dealings to procure a license.

Step 3: Register as a Member

After completion of the above, a login menu will pop-up when you opt for the type of license you require to apply for. You must register as a new member if you do not have the login recommendations and testimonials. While registering, they need some basic details like name, company, contact details, address, etc. After that, agree to the terms and conditions of the FLRS; enter the ‘captcha’ in the space given below. After that, you are good to go!

Noteworthy Points
  • You must receive a confirmation via email & SMS after having successfully signed-in.
  • You must also observe that this registration is only valid for up to the next 30 days after the registration. Consequently, within 30 days you are obliged to finish the entire process of FSSAI registration. Otherwise, you might have to re-do the entire process over again, which is definitely time-consuming.
Step 4: Sign-in & Fill out the Application Form

You need to sign in to the portal & fill out the application form with all the relevant details after getting your login credentials/testimonials. Please Double-check the details inserted by you before clicking on the ‘Submit’ option. In addition, you need to take out a print of the application form for future orientation and references. You need to save the reference number that will come along with every application form after completing the Signing.

Step 5: Final Submission and Documents Required

You need to take the form’s print-out to the “Regional Authority of FSSAI” within fifteen days of the submission of the online registration. After that only it will be considered to the processed thereafter. In addition, you must note that it requires you to submit some fee, which is different for state and central licensing.

The Authority Requires You To Submit The Following Documents As Proof Along With The Application Form. Those are as follows:-

  • The address proof and the Government-issued Identity Proof.
  • List of Board of Directors and other stakeholders in the business with their individual identity proof.
  • Valid Contact Number and Email ID
  • Notarized FSMP – Food Safety Management Plan
  • Rent Agreement or Electricity Bill, Sale Deed, to proof the possession over the Location.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from local bodies or Municipal Corporations.
  • Provide Kitchen Layout Plan and Water Testing Report (ISI approved)
  • Provide types of equipment to be used, List of Food Category, etc.

It is recommended that you should see that the authority might require you to submit some other documents as well. These actions it is well up to the sole discretion of the authority seated.


Procedure for Basic Registration

After your documents have been verified by the regulatory body, comes the login creation stage, and when your login ID is created, we will send you a duly filled Form A for approval. Furthermore, when you send us your approval, we will process your application. Finally, we will submit your application along with the prescribed fees. Your license will be issued within ten to fifteen days, depending on the location of your business.

Procedure for State License

After your documents have been verified by the regulatory body, we will create your login ID. For obtaining a State License, an additional document called the ‘Declaration’ is required to be submitted along with the prescribed Form. Moreover, the ‘Declaration’ contains the signed general declaration statement of the client along with prescribed Form 9, Declaration of Food Safety Management System {FSMS} and declaration depending on the kind of business carried on by the client.

Then, Form B is filed by us along with the required documents. You will receive your license within twenty to thirty days, depending on the location of the business. However, in case your application contains any error or any other problem, you have to get it corrected, and the application must be filed within thirty days. Otherwise, your application will get rejected, and you have to repeat all the steps from the initial stage.

Procedure for Central License

The procedure to obtain a Central License is almost similar to that of obtaining a State License. The difference is only because of the kind of business carried out by the FBO. Additionally, the time taken for the issuance of the Central License is also the same.

In case your entity is involved in import or export of food items, then you need an IEC, i.e. Import Export Code irrespective of the turnover of your business. Similarly, if you are involved in a business of transportation of food items from one source to another, then you would require a central license, in which it should be specified that the FBO is involved in the business of transporting food items.

Considering the above text, the process of FSSAI registration happens in just five simple steps. Firstly, an account is created. After that, the type of registration chosen is based on business occupancies. Thirdly, all documents are submitted to the concerned authority, followed by the required payment. Lastly, the fourteen-digit license number is allotted to the company as their FSSAI License Registration!

What are the fees associated with FSSAI License Registration?

In practice, there are two kinds of FSSAI license Fees that need to be paid for getting the Food License. The first one is the government fees, and the other one is the professional fees that you need to pay.

What are the Consequences of Not Obtaining a Food License?

It is a must to obtain a food license for all food-related businesses. The consequences of not holding a valid food license are as follows:-

  • An FFSAI Logo is helpful to increase the credibility of the food items sold, distributed or stored by your entity. However, without valid registration, you would not be able to use the FSSAI Logo on your food products.
  • You might face some difficulties obtaining credit for your food business. This is because most investors, banks, and lenders prefer a certificate holding borrower over borrowers not holding the FSSAI License while issuing credit.
  • Not holding a relevant FSSAI License can result in loss of opportunities for applying for tenders or events held by the government, etc.
  • You experience a lack of trust from your target consumers.
  • Also, you become liable for a penalty which may extend to five lakh rupees or a jail term up to six months for carrying out a food business without holding a valid certificate of registration.
What are the Penalties for Not Obtaining a Food License?

All FBOs excluding the exempted group under Section 31 (2) of the FSS Act need to obtain a food license according to their eligibility criteria to carry on their food business. On the other hand, FBOs not holding a food license is liable for penalty as specified below:

  • Quality of food not in-compliance with the Act: Rs. 2 Lakhs, Rs. 25 thousand for petty manufacturers
  • Misbranded food items: Rs. 5 Lakhs
  • Substandard food products: Rs. 3 Lakhs
  • Misleading advertisement/ false description Rs. 10 Lakhs
  • Extraneous matters in the food item: Rs. 1 Lakh
  • Failing to comply with the food safety offer’s directions: Rs. 2 Lakhs
  • Using unhygienic ways of processing or manufacturing food products: Rs. 1 Lakh
FSSAI Annual Return

Government of India has introduced the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 with the motive to regulate and prevent the food industry. The Food Safety And Standard Act, 2006, consists of laws that direct the sale, manufacturing, storage, distribution and import of food items within the country. Obtaining FSSAI license is mandatory for all the food business operators. Showing off the license within the premises and displaying a license number on the labelling and packaging of the food product is also a compulsory thing for them to do. It is essential for food business operators with FSSAI license to file for FSSAI Annual Return.

The term food safety guarantees that food is healthy and clean and is free from diseases like stomach aches, poisoning etc. To ensure the purity of food and packed food items the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 was enacted. It has framed the food safety laws and regulates the food industry relating to manufacturing, sale, storage, distribution, and import.

Kinds of Annual Return laid down under the FSSAI Act:
Who should file the FSSAI Annual Return?
  • Businesses involved in food manufacturing, importing, exporting, selling are required to file for the FSSAI annual return. Those who are involved in manufacturing and distribution of milk should file for a half-yearly return.
  • Each FBO with the business turnover equivalent to or surpassing Rs. 12 lakh.
How to file FSSAI Annual Return?

Business operator can file for FSSAI annual return as per their convenience. The annual return form is available in two forms; the operator can fill it either electronically or physically since the form is available in physical format as well.

The Details To Be Included In The FSSAI Annual Return Form Are As Follows:

    • Food product name which is being manufactured, exported, imported or handled.
    • Bottle size, can size or size of any other package
    • Quantity in metric ton
    • Value
    • Quantity in kgs which is being exported or imported
    • Selling price per unit of packaging or per kg
    • Name of the countries where food products are exported
    • Rate per unit or per kg of packaging CIF/FOB
    • Mandatory FSSAI Annual Return

It is compulsory for food business operators to file for FSSAI Annual Return. There are two kinds of return and these are:



FSSAI ReturnsDue DatesTo Be Filed By
Form D131st MayEvery food manufacturer, importer etc.
Form D2 (Half-Yearly Return)30th September/30th MarchManufacturer of milk/milk products


Food business units involved in manufacturing, importing, labelling, packing, re-labelling, and re-packing needs to file for FSSAI Form D1, filling form D1 is mandatory for them. The form is prescribed by the Food Safety Commissioner and is a mandatory thing for the FBOs irrespective of the production they are involved in.

The FSSAI annual return, Form D1 should be filed on or before 31st May of every fiscal year. The form is filed with the Licensing Authority depending upon the type of food products sold by the FBO in the preceding financial year.


Form D2 is filed half-yearly and not every food business operator is eligible to file Form D2. Instead, FSSAI license holders who are involved in the manufacturing and distribution of milk or milk products can file Form D2.

Form D2 is filled from 1st April to 30th September and from 1st October to 31st March of every financial year.

Exemption from Filling FSSAI Annual Return

Penalty for Late filing of FSSAI Annual Return

According to Section 2.1.13 (3) of FSS (Licensing and Registration) Regulations, 2011, if the food business administrators don’t record the return within the prescribed time period, at that point a fine of Rs 100 will be forced on them consistently and will continue expanding if the default proceeds.

Additional Regulations under the FSSAI Act
  • A food business must comply with the given mentioned compliances:
  • FSSAI rules states factory’s sanitary and hygiene and also keep a record of worker’s hygiene.
  • Keep up day by day records of creation, crude materials, use, and sales independently.
  • Guarantee that the source and norms of raw material utilized are of ideal quality.
  • Not to produce, store or expose for sale, any article of food in any premises. That is close by or part of any privy, urinal, sullage, channel or spot of capacity of waste issue.
  • On a daily basis, clean the machines and other equipment.
  • Guarantee testing of pertinent synthetic as well as microbiological contaminants in food items, at any rate once in a half year.
  • Guarantees that the temperature is exact all through the store network. From the spot of obtainment or sourcing until it arrives at the end buyer.