FSSAI License

How to set up a Food Business in India

calendar01 Nov, 2019
timeReading Time: 4 Minutes
Food Business in India

Food business can be the best business option if you are thinking of starting a business to launch in India. Starting a Food Business in India has a vast scope of growth. Also, a lot of opportunities are available as India has a wide variety of food options and a vast population of food-loving people. However, before starting any food-related business, you would need specific registrations and licenses. So, let us learn more about them.

What is a Food Business?

Any business engaged with food or dealing with food items in any form can be called as a food business. The restaurants, street food stalls, food storages, import/ export of food products, food manufacturers, and petty food businesses are few of the examples of food businesses.    

Types of Food Business

Food businesses can be of many types, and not just a restaurant type setup comprises a food business. There are many categories under which a food-related business can be grouped. Let’s look, what those categories are;

  • Bakery
  • Café
  • Warehouse
  • Small eating joints
  • Food truck
  • Sweets shop
  • Grocery shop
  • Home-based food chain
  • Cold storage
  • Import/export business
  • Catering services
  • Food product Manufactures
  • Resellers

Deciding Business structure for starting your food business

Deciding on the type of entity you are going to form before starting your food-based business is a very crucial step. Moreover, you can form any of these business entity models for your business;

  • Private limited company
  • Limited liability partnership
  • Sole proprietorship
  • One person company

These business models are just a name to few. Apart from these entity types, you can start a home-based food items business if you are short on finances. You would just need certain permissions and licenses from the concerning department, and you will be good to go.

How To Start A Restaurant In India

Considering the massive opportunity that the Indian F&B industry holds for both future & existing restaurant businesses, you must not waste any further time and dive, rather quickly, into this lucrative domain.

Step by step guide to open a restaurant in India: 

  • Decide the restaurant concept – it is important to decide the capital and Average price per customer. Accordingly the theme and cuisine which should perfectly go with the interiors.
  • Evaluate restaurant costs – it is imperative to decide the total cost of the restaurant including food cost, labour cost, rent costs, interiors, kitchen equipments, licenses and marketing, etc.
  • Decide the location of your restaurant – the location decides the success of restaurant. The person should make sure with the competitor’s restaurant regarding the cuisine, interior, dining quality and quality of food, hygiene and other necessary conditions.
  • Get all the licenses – it is important to obtain all the necessary licenses that are mandatory to start a food business in India.
  • Get the workforce – workforce acts as a pillar of the restaurant business. Therefore, it is important to manage the service staff, kitchen staff and management staff.
  • Design an attractive and neat menu – The attractive design of the menu works as a significant factor in deciding about the restaurants image. The food must be categorically divided and the veg and non veg menus must be different so that the customers can conveniently order accordingly.
  • Arrange vendors and suppliers – it is important to maintain a healthy relationship with the vendors and supplier. There must be stock for at least 2 days for the smooth functioning of the restaurant. 

Read our article:FSSAI Guidelines on the Clearance of Imported Food in India

What are the licenses/ registrations you need to set up your Food Business?

Given below is a list of registrations and licenses you can consider obtaining as per the requirement of the type of your Food Business in India;

  • FSSAI License:

The Food Safety and Standardization Authority of India or FSSAI is an apex body of Government of India solely responsible for providing licenses to FBOs. Obtaining an FSSAI License ensures your customers that the food items sold/ served by you confirms to the food safety standards and increases the trust of consumers. Furthermore, FSSAI License is of three types based on the turnover of the business, namely Basic registration, State License and Central License.   

  • Liquor License:

You would require a Liquor License if your food business involves selling or serving of alcoholic drinks. However, you might face difficulties in obtaining the Liquor License if your business establishment is near a temple or a school.

  • Eating house license:

It is mandatory to obtain an Eating house license if your business involves the serving of food items. This license is valid for three years.

  • Shop & Establishment Registration:

 In accordance with the Shop & Establishment Act, every shop owner needs to get registered.

  • Trademark Registration:

If you are involved in a business which produces their own food products, then you need to get a trademark for your product to avoid misuse. Also, a trademark registration can be obtained to protect your shop’s logo, brand name, etc.

  • GST Registration:

It is necessary to obtain GST Registration to be able to run any kind of business in India.

  • Music License:

If the premises of your food business involve playing prerecorded music or playing live music, you would need to get the Music License.

  • Health Trade license:

 The local municipal authority issues this Health Trade license keeping the public health concerns in mind to all Food Business Operators.

  • NOC from the fire department

Also, you would need to get the No Objection Certificate[1] from the fire department.

  • Lift Clearance:

If your business premise is a tall building and has a lift, you would need to obtain the Lift Clearance.

  • Environment clearance certificate:

Moreover, the Environment clearance certificate is also attainable for commencing your food-related business.

Documents required for incorporating your food business

Generally, the following documents are needed for obtaining a food license;

  • PAN card
  • Aadhaar Card
  • Details of the employee
  • Address proof of the partners
  • Partnership deeds
  • Passport size photo
  • NOC from landlord
  • Site plan and layout
  • Water and power bill
  • Water quality report
  • Employee’s medical certificate
  • Property tax proof
  • Structural stability certificate
  • Certificate of completion in case of newly constructed
  • Trade license from the local authority
  • Kitchen layout plan
  • Affidavit
  • Contact details
  • Food category list
  • CCTV installation undertaking
  • Amusement undertaking
  • Lease deed proof
  • Latest bank statement
  • Digital signature
  • Any other particular document based on a different type of business


Opening a Food Business in India can be a very profitable option for entrepreneurs who are intending to start a business. You just need to obtain all required licenses and registrations, and you will be ready to start your food business without any interference of the government.

Read our article:FSSAI Guidelines on Fortification of Edible Oil with Vitamin A, D

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