What is an FSSAI licence and how to apply for it

If you are running a food business, then obtaining an FSSA License is mandatory. You could be running a small scale food manufacturing business or an eatery or be a big business house. It is mandatory for you to have your business registered or obtain a license for the same

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issues licenses to food related businesses. The FSSAI is an autonomous body, established under the aegis of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India. The same was established under the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 and it is a consolidated decree associated with food safety and regulations in India.

Food safety is a scientific process that encompasses everything to do with food items, including the handling of foods, methods involved in the preparation and proper storage of the foods, such that the quality of the foods does not diminish and they do not pose health hazards, due to contamination and poor handling. The duty of the licence issuing authority is to ensure that all safety checks are in place, so potential health hazards are prevented.

Food manufacturing units need to adhere to strict quality control norms. This ensures that inferior and adulterated products do not hit the markets. The procedure also shifts the accountability on the manufacturers and restaurateurs and others related to the business.

It is mandatory to secure an FSSAI license, before commencing a food related business. The FSSAI licence is basically a 14-digit license number also called an FSSAI registration number. This number must be displayed on food packages. Hence, anyone having a food business must apply for the license – this includes restaurateurs, traders and manufacturers.

How to get an FSSAI license

The basic steps involved are as follows –

  • Filling of FSSAI application form, mentioning details of food business
  • Attach required documents
  • Submit Form A & Form B
  • Forward copy to FBO

List of documents to be submitted

The following documents will need to be submitted at the time of filing the application –

  • Declaration Form
  • Copy of Property documents in case of self-owned property
  • Copy of Lease or Rent agreement in case of leased or rented property
  • Copy of Water Bill
  • Copy of Electricity Bill
  • Food Safety Management System certificate or plan
  • Copy of Aadhar card of the partners, director(s) or proprietor(s)
  • Form 9 – Nomination of individuals by the company, and a copy of the Board Resolutions

In case the applicant has a manufacturing unit, then the following documents will also be required to be submitted –

  • Layout plan or Blueprint of the processing/manufacturing unit
  • Detailed list of machinery & equipment
  • Classification of the foods that will be manufactured or processed
  • Water report specifying pesticide residue
  • Photographic evidence of manufacturing site

FSSAI License Number - Guidelines

  • The 14-digit license number carries detailed information of the manufacturer's registration or license number and the state where the foods are manufactured
  • Under the law the manufacturer must display the 14-digit license number along with the FSSAI logo on all the food packages being marketed
  • In case of food products being imported the importer must place a sticker on the packages mentioning the14-digit license and the FSSAI logo on the package along with his name and address, before the are sent for clearance at the customs

Types of FSSAI License

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India issues different types of licenses based on factors such as the type of activity, the scale of business or turnover. Businesses must obtain either a central or state license, or opt for basic registration with FSSAI.

Basic Registration with FSSAI

Startups or small businesses with a turnover of less than Rs. 12 lakhs per annum can go in for a Basic Registration with FSSAI. Once the turnover improves the same can be converted into a State License.

FSSAI State License

Mid-sized businesses with a turnover that exceeds Rs.12 lakhs and is under Rs. 20 crores can apply for a State License/

FSSAI Central License

Large business houses that have an annual turnover of over Rs.20 crores are eligible to apply for the FSSAI Central License. Businesses that supply their products to PSUs or those engaged in import and export of food products must also apply for the FSSAI Central License.

How to get the FSSAI License

The process for filing the FSSAI application has been simplified, and the same can be done online. However, the processing of the application and other works can take up to 2 months.

Here are the basic steps that will need to be followed –

  • Log into the FSSAI Website and fill Form A
  • Make payment at the FBO office
  • The payment confirmation will reflect in the registered FSSAI account within a stipulated time. Once that is done the business owner will need to file Form B on the official website
  • Along with Form B multiple documents as mentioned above under List of documents to be submitted will have to be attached
  • At this it is best that you keep a check on the status of the application because sometimes the same is sent back for corrections. If you do not resubmit the application within 15 days, your application will stand to be rejected
  • The final process of reviewing and issuing the license takes around 45-60 working days

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the procedure for applying for a License under FSSA-2006? How do I register my business under FSSA-2006?
To register your business or to obtain a license you will need to visit the official website and sign-up and file your application The website link is provided above.

What are the details required for the sign-up?
On the website's Homepage, on the right-hand panel, you will find a sign that says 'Apply Now'. Complete the sign-up procedure by entering applicant and company details.

Can you explain the application procedure?
  • Once you have completed the sign-up process you will need to login into the site using the Username and Password that you created
  • Next you will need to click on the 'Apply for License/Registration' tab
  • The website will display an undertaking, which you will need to accept, before proceeding further
  • Select the state where your business is established
  • You will be asked whether the business extends to other states – answer yes or no, accordingly
  • If you are applying for Head Office/Registered Office in a particular state then select 'yes'. However, if your business extends into many states, but you are not making an application for Head Office/Registered Office, then select 'no'
  • Next you select the type of business
  • Select the installed capacity or the accepted turnover
  • Provide the details regarding your establishment, including name of Operation Head, address of registered office etc.
  • You will be prompted to upload relevant documents
  • Remit the fees
  • Download Form B, print a copy, sign it, scan the copy and upload to receive the acknowledgement

You will receive your License or your business Registered, within 45-60 working days.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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