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How To Start A Food Business In India

The Food business can never go out of business well, for obvious reasons. In India, food business is one of the most profitable businesses, with a one-time legal and financial investment. It can be of varying types and it’s not just a restaurant type-setup which constitutes a food business. A food business is any business that is involved in the manufacturing, importing, processing, packaging, storing, selling or distributing any kind of food. 

To start a food business in India, a business needs to comply with several laws and obtain different licenses to carry out services and sell food products. Here are a few points to guide you on registration and licenses required to start a food business in India:

  • Choose a business structure: The most preferred business structure in India is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or a Sole Proprietorship. A business may also opt for one person company registration.
  • Tax Compliance: A business needs to complete its GST registration and get a GSTIN number to operate a business in India. You’ll also need a PAN number, professional tax license and an NOC from atleast 3 neighbours.
  • FSSAI license: Before starting a food business in India, every FBO has to register their business by obtaining a FSSAI license. FSSAI stands for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. An application form is sent to the Licensing Authority along with registration fees, which can now be paid online as well. On registration, a FSSAI number is given to the business. This number is printed on every food package manufactured or processed by the business.
  • If your plan is to open an outlet in various cities or states in India, then you need a central FSSAI licence for your registered office and state licences for individual units.
  • Shop and Establishment Registration: In accordance with the Shop and Establishment Act for the particular state, all FBOs have to obtain this registration to start their business as a commercial marketplace.
  • Health Trade License: A health trade license allows a business to trade in any items or services which have a direct impact on public health. A Health Trade license is issued by the Municipal Corporation or the health department of the State in which the business carries out its trade activities.
  • Liquor/ Bar License: In case your food business also serves alcohol, appropriate Bar and Liquor license.
  • NOC from the Chief Fire Officer: To obtain a NOC- No Objection Certificate, the business has to submit its building plans, model of the building and certificate of an Architect, and fill out a questionnaire with the Chief Fire Officer.

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