Owning a food business be it a restaurant, cloud kitchen, or a food truck, comes with a lot of responsibility. The Indian government promotes entrepreneurship in the food industry. At the same time, they also want the population to have access to good quality food prepared in hygienic environments. Hence, they issue an FSSAI License to ensure that the food is prepared with the utmost care and due delliengence. The health of customers is not being compromised just because of taste.
There is a set of rules and regulations issued by the government body called the FSSAI which has to be followed by all the food businesses.
What is FSSAI?
FSSAI stands for Food Safety and Security Association of India. The FSSAI is an autonomous body that was established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. It has been established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSSA Act, 2016).
They issue a food license known as the FSSAI License to commercial food business owners. This license stands for and proves that the particular restaurant produces food in safe and clean surroundings by following proper guidelines.
Who should own an FSSAI License?
As mentioned in FSSAI Guidelines, any food business operator that is in the business of manufacturing, processing, storing, distributing, and sale of food must apply for and have an FSSAI Registration.
It includes not just restaurants, cafes, but suppliers and vendors in the food industry as well. It is not just a legal certificate for restaurants, but an FSSAI License is also known for setting a standard for food quality and safety for their consumers. Once you have registered with FSSAI, you are given a unique 14 digit registration number specific to your restaurant.
Types of FSSAI License
FSSAI issues three types of licences
FSSAI Central License
Food Business Operators which have huge operations have to obtain a Central Food License issued by the Central Government. A central food license functions when a state is functional for more than a month. Restaurants that have an annual turnover of more than 20 crores can procure a central license. The maximum tenure of the Central License is 5 years and the minimum is 1 year.
The following units can obtain central FSSAI license:
- Dairies serving milk products.
- The Vegetable oil processing units and those units that produce vegetable oil by the process of solvent extraction
- Slaughtering units.
- Meat processing units.
- Food processing units
- Proprietary foods.
- 100% export oriented units.
FSSAI State License
Small to mid-sized restaurants have to issue the FSSAI state license. This license is issued by the government of that particular state where the owners wish to open a restaurant. If a restaurant has an annual turnover between 12 lakh to 20 lakh INR then it would need a State license. The maximum tenure for this license is also 5 years and the minimum is 1 year.
Basic FSSAI Registration
The small and low turnover restaurants with annual revenue of up to 1 lakh have to take the basic FSSAI registration. The State Government of the concerned state issues the basic FSSAI registration. The maximum and minimum tenure of this type of license is 5 years and 1 year respectively.
Cost of an FSSAI License
The cost of an FSSAI license varies according to the type of license issued.
- Basic Registration – 100 INR per year
- FSSAI State License Registration – 2000- 5000 INR per year
- FSSAI Central License Registration – 7500 INR – per year
The validity of an FSSAI license is anywhere between 1 to 5 years. You can renew the licenses yearly upon payment of the license fee.
Why do restaurants need an FSSAI License?
Food business Entrepreneurs or restaurant owners are aware that the FSSAI License is an important legal document and it has a specific objective. However, there are several other benefits and uses to the FSSAI License. Here are some of the important benefits of this license.
FSSAI is the highest standard when it comes to food quality and safety in the food industry in India. Due to the recent circumstances, consumers are more cautious about food quality than ever before. FSSAI also delist the restaurants if rules have not adhered.
An FSSAI registration stamp acts as an authority and quality control measure for a restaurant, which in turn builds credibility for the brand.
The FSSAI registration is absolutely necessary as a legal certificate for any restaurant whatever be its scale or size. The FSSAI registration process is time-consuming and entails multiple rounds of quality check. A valid FSSAI License ensures a safe and assured journey for your restaurant business. Breach of laws can result in a heavy fine to the authorities.
Marketing and Promotion
An FSSAI License also fulfills many marketing goals for the restaurant. Restaurants use the logo at the outlet in their menu cards and other places where it is directly visible to the customer. Restaurants use the logo along with the unique FSSAI ID. It represents a strong symbol of effectiveness, quality, and also an assurance standard for the consumers.
State and Central FSSAI registration will make the business expansion of your restaurants easier. If your restaurant business is expanding from a single city to a multiple city presence, then you will have to upgrade your FSSAI License as well. If you already have a presence in multiple cities then adding a new city will not be difficult for you. You can commercially sell food across India with a central license(as long as you have the other essential licenses). The FSSAI License helps you build your brand and makes it easier for you to take your restaurant to new heights. It is also easier for an individual with the license to procure bank loans and funding for expansion.
How can you get an FSSAI License?
A person could apply for the license which will cost him around Rs.2000 each year for a new license. The application procedure for obtaining the license is easy to follow.
An individual is required to visit the FSSAI Website www.fssai.gov.in to complete the sign-up procedure by creating a username for the registration. Then sign in to the account and fill up the online application by clicking the Food Licensing and Registration System” (FLRS), with all the requisite documents.
The applicant has to fill and submit the online application form for the Regional/State authorities with the documents within 15 days from the date of making the online submission. This confirms the application.
Documents required for an FSSAI License
- Photo Identity of the Operator(Restaurant Owner).
- Proof of the ownership of property (eg. Rental Agreement ).
- A Partnership Deed or a Certificate of Incorporation.
- List of food products (in the inputs as well as the final menu.)
- A detailed food safety management plan.