Are you planning to start a food business in India? Carry on! But one thing to keep in mind is that, before starting any type of food business you have to be apply for registration or licence as per section 31 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 & rules made there under.


FSSAI is an abbreviation for the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. FSSAI is an independent body recognized under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India that manages the food licence registration. FSSAI Registration is basically a 14 digit registration number to Food Business Operators (FBOs) which is required to be printed on all the food products with FSSAI logo.

FSSAI 14 digit stands for:

  • First digit indicates the status of whether the food business is registered or not.
  • The second and the third digit indicate the state code which means the state where the business is registered.
  • The fourth and fifth number will talk about the year in which the food business is registered.
  • The sixth, seventh and eight numbers will help you to understand the quantity of enrolling master.
  • Ninth to fourteen is the Makers license number.

The registration/licence can be applied for a minimum 1 year to maximum 5 years; it can again be renewed, modify or re-applied for as per rules stated under Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006.


FSSAI has launched a Food Safety and Compliance System (FoSCoS) to replace the earlier Food Licensing and Registration System (FLRS). Food Safety and Compliance System (FoSCoS) is a cloud-based, upgraded new food safety compliance online platform.


FSSAI Registration is required for each type of the business even small food business like, homemade food, fast-food lorry, bakery, grocery store, vegetable or fruit stall or whether it’s a trader or manufacturer or import export or dairy farms etc. if you are involved in the food processing or food manufacturing or packaging or distributing then its mandatory to required the FSSAI Registration or Food License from starting irrespective of the turnover. Even NGOs involved in distribution of surplus food or Temples organising langar or bhandara, offering prashad need FSSAI License or Registration as per their eligibility criteria.

Section 3(1)(n) of Food Safety And Standards Act, 2006: “Food business” means any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any of the activities related to any stage of manufacture, processing, packaging, storage, transportation, distribution of food, import and includes food services, catering services, sale of food or food ingredients.

Section 3(1)(j) of Food Safety And Standards Act, 2006: “Food” means any substance, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, which is intended for human consumption and includes primary food to the extent defined in clause (zk), genetically modified or engineered food or food containing such ingredients, infant food, packaged drinking water, alcoholic drink, chewing gum, and any substance, including water used into the food during its manufacture, preparation or treatment but does not include any animal feed, live animals unless they are prepared or processed for placing on the market for human consumption, plants, prior to harvesting, drugs and medicinal products, cosmetics, narcotic or psychotropic substances :

Provided that the Central Government may declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, any other article as food for the purposes of this Act having regards to its use, nature, substance or quality.


FSSAI registration is segregated in three different types are mentioned below:

1. Basic Registration –

  • Petty Food Business Operators (FBO) are those who manufacture or sell any article of food or a petty retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor or a temporary stall holder or small scale or cottage or such other industries relating to food business or tiny food business operator having annual turnover up to Rs. 12 Lacs and/or whose

1. production capacity of food products does not exceed 100 kg or litres per day, or

2. procurement or handling and collection of milk is up to 500 litres of milk per day, or

3. slaughtering capacity is 2 large animals or 10 small animals or 50 poultry birds per day or less

These FBOs are required to obtain FSSAI Registration Certificate.

  • When someone is starting up a business and unsure of expected turnover, basic registration is done which can be modified to state license if the turnover exceeds Rs. 12 Lakh.

2. State Licence – Annual turnover above 12 lakhs and below 20 crores

3. Central Licence – Annual turnover above 20 crores

  • Now the businesses which do not fall under the above two categories, they need to go for central licence, e-commerce, the importer and exporters mandatory needs central licence, in case you are in a business having multiple outlets across the country then you need to go for central licence for your registered address and also need to get basic state or central licences depending on the turnover of each outlet.

These are basic criteria. The applicant’s eligibility for food registration and the licence is determined based on turnover, production capacity, nature of business and area of operation cumulatively. Even if an FBO falls in the category of registration as per turnover, its nature makes him eligible for licences. The FBO has to apply for a licence (State/Central Licence).


  • The licence indicates that the food consumed by the consumer meets hygiene standards as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. It is Facilitates best practices to the business owner to ensure food safety
  • It spreads awareness among the consumers which automatically helps building the trust & goodwill in the market which can drive business expansion.
  • It helpful in easy to get funds from investors when you have FSSAI registration/licence.
  • It helpful in easy to register your food or grocery business with Zomato, Swiggy, Amazon or other e-commerce platforms. Without an FSSAI Food registration/licence for your business, Zomato, Swiggy, Amazon or other e-commerce platforms will not allow you to list your product on their platform.
  • This gives you a legal advantage in comparison to other businesses operating without a licence. To avoid the cost of penalties, you must obtain proper proof of registration


  • Any FBOs running his/her food business without FSSAI registration/licence shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and also with a fine which may extend to five lakh rupees.


  • You must apply for the renewal before thirty days prior to expire the existing food registration/licence. Renewal window opens from 180 days prior to expiry of the existing food registration/licence.
  • If you apply for renewal during the last 30 days prior to expiry of existing food registration/licence then a late fee of Rs. 100 per day delay is calculated and added to the renewal fee of License. i.e. if you are applying for renewal on the last day of expiry, a late fee of Rs. 100 x 30 = Rs. 3000 will be added to the renewal fee of License.
  • If Renewal of Food registration isn’t done within the stipulated time i.e. before expiry, then it will be considered as expired and a new license would need to be applied by the food business operator to continue the business further.
  • Special care should be taken that renewals and modifications need to be done under existing registration/licences. Otherwise, your registration/licence number will change and your goodwill may be affected or you may incur losses.


There is a mandatory requirement of displaying FSSAI License/Registration Number at food premises. Usually, the FSSAI license number is not visible to the consumers. Thus, to change the overall consumer perception and to strengthen food safety, FSSAI has introduced Food Safety Display Boards (FSDBs) for various food businesses.

Food Safety Display Boards are informative boards which primarily display food safety and hygiene practices to be followed by FBO in their establishment. The FSDBs are colour coded for different kinds of food businesses for ease of recognition by the consumers.

Purple – Restaurant

Green – Fruit & Vegetable Retail

Red – Meat Retail

Blue – Milk Retail

Purple – Street Food

Grey – Retail Store

Brown – Liquor Retail

Navy Blue – Transport & Distribution

Yellow – Storage

Turquoise – Manufacturing


In a nutshell, for every food business operator, it is essential to obtain FSSAI license even for small businesses, and you will be benefited in the future as it leads to business expansion. Therefore get your License today itself. FSSAI or Food License is a 14-digits registration number issued to all the FBOs operating in India. Further, this license has 1 to 5-year validity and is further renewal & modification also available. All applications on a web-based platform has resulted in saving time and cost for every FBOs.

DISCLAIMER – This article is based on the relevant provisions and to the best of my knowledge at the time of preparation of this article and moreover in no event author shall be liable for any direct and indirect result from this article and this is only a knowledge sharing initiative provided solely for information, this article is not a professional advice or recommendation. 

AUTHOR-CS JINAL SHAH, JINAL SHAH & CO. Company Secretary in Practice from Surat, Gujarat and for any query fell free to contact me on or 9173610133.


Author Bio

Qualification: CS
Company: JINAL SHAH & CO.
Location: Surat, Gujarat, India
Member Since: 29 Jul 2022 | Total Posts: 3
I am Jinal Shah, Surat base Practicing Company Secretary, a member of ICSI since 2018. Founder of JINAL SHAH & CO. (Compliance Partner for YOUR BUSINESS) View Full Profile

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