Checklist of Licenses for starting a food business in India

Akshita Sodhi

Food business is one of the fastest growing businesses in India. With increase in urbanisation and Industrialisation, there is a change in the lifestyle of people. Today half of the population of the country, prefers to buy market food or to eat food outside. In the fast moving life of today’s world, where no one has time to make food at home, people prefer it more to eat outside or to eat the fast food.

There are various kinds of formalities which you need to follow for starting a food business in India. Apart from getting licenses there are various other legal formalities as well which you need to follow up to avoid any kind of further hindrance in your business.

Before starting a food business in India, its very crucial for you to decide carefully what kind of food business you want to start,whether manufacturing food business, storage, transport, e commerce, retail, food service or imports and what are its pros and cons.

Moreover, it’s also very important for you to decide carefully what kind of company you want to start for your food business. Limited liability Company, Limited Liability Partnership, and Sole proprietorship are some of the most common kinds of associations for starting a business in India.

In this article, I shall be going to brief you about what kind of licenses are required to start a food business in India:-

FSSAI license: Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is that autonomous body which is responsible for promoting public health and tomainian the standard of food and to regulate food safety, its main duty is to supervise food safety. Depending on your eligibility, location or need you can get either central license or state license from FSSAI. For applying for the FSSAI license, you can surf the official of FSSAI. If your food business is operational is more than one state, it’s crucial for you to get central license.

There are various kinds of licenses which are provided by FSSAI, some of them are:-

State license, Central license, Registration and Railway license.

The licenses issued by FSSAI can be applied for a maximum period of 5 years.


The fee charged by FSSAI for Central license is Rs 7500, for Registration its Rs 100 , for starting a food business at railway its Rs 2000

The list of documents required for registration:-

Photo of Food Business Operator
Document for Identity Proof like Ration Card, Voter ID Card, PAN Card, Driving License, Passport, Aadhar Card, Senior Citizen Card, Department Issued ID
Supporting Documents (if any):- NOC by Municipality/Panchayat, Health NOC.
You can also get the  list of Documents Required for central licensing and state licensing by clicking on the link


Liquor license: You can apply for a liquor license to the excise department of your state for the sale of liquor. But it must be noted that liquor is prohibited in states of Bihar, Gujarat and Nagaland as well as the union territory of Lakshadweep. Moreover, every state has its own procedure and rules and regulations for providing liquor license, for this you need to apply to the excise department of your state.

Health/trade license: For the purpose of starting a food business in health trade, or any business which may affect the public health directly, every entity is required to get health trade license for the same. If you get a health Trade license, you have authority to trade in any food items and services which may have direct impact on public health. It is provided by Municipal Corporation. For example in delhi, for applying for the health trade license, you need the following documents:an application form, a copy of site plan and key plan, an indemnity bond of Rs 100 on non judicial stamp paper and proof of legal occupancy.

Eating House license: Eating house is a place where different kinds of food and drinks are served to the general public for consumption. For applying to eating house license, you need to make an application to the police commissioner of your state. For getting the eating house license, you need to go to the official website of the state police in your state, and then you need to fill the application form and upload the requisite documents.

Fire security license: You need to get a NOC from chief fire officer to get the same. You can also apply online for the same, your premises might be inspected by the officer before issuing you an Noc for the same. For getting fire security license, you need to apply toDivisional Fire Officer, located in the Head Quarters of every district for the same. Some states requires fire security alarm as a requisite for issuance of license for the same.

Environment Clearance: You need to apply to the state or city Pollution Board to get the Environment Clearance Certificate. It’s a Certificate given by the government that your business is environmentally benign and is not causing any pollution to the environment. It’s also being issued by the state of your city. You can surf the official website of Ministry of Environment Forest and climate change.

Signage License: For the purpose of advertising and promoting your business through the use of words, signs and pictures you need a permit for the same called the Signage license.You need to apply to the local municipal body to get the license for the same.

Trademark Registration: You need to register the trademark of your shop or entity to avoid copyright infringement. Moreover Registration of your entity is necessary so that some other company or entity should not misuse you name and good will in the market for profit. For the registration of trade mark, you can surf the official website of IP India.

Music license: To avoid Copyright infringement of any kind of music,lyrics and albums, you need a license for the same from Indian Performing Right Societies(IPRS) to play music or videos in your restaurants, clubs, pubs or cafes.

Registration under Shop and Establishment Act: Every entity or business is required to register itself under the Act within 30 days of commencement of business. At some places establishing shops in residential area is not allowed, this act was enacted to regulate the same as well. This act also ensures that the workers in the entity should get proper wages, flexible working hours, leaves and better working conditions as per provided by the act. Each state has its own Shops and Establishment act.