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All Food Business Operators (FBO) in the country will be registered or licensed in accordance with the procedures laid down in Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act), rules and regulations made thereunder. The FSS Act establishes an independent statutory Authority – the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) with head office at Delhi. FSSAI and the State Food Safety Authorities shall enforce various provisions of the Act. FSSAI has been created for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

Food Business Operator (FBO) under the FSS Act means a person who undertakes and carries 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 whether for profit or not and whether publicly or privately. Such person is responsible for ensuring the compliance of FSS Act and regulations made thereunder.

FSSAI Registration of Petty Food Business Operators:

Every petty Food Business Operator needs to get FSSAI registration. “Petty Food Business Operator” means any person, who

(a) Manufactures or sells any article of food himself or a petty retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor or temporary stall holder; or

(b) Distributes foods including in any religious or social gathering except a caterer;

(c) Such other food businesses including small scale or cottage or such other industries relating to food business or tiny food businesses with an annual turnover not exceeding Rs 12 lakhs and/or whose:

  • Production capacity of food (other than milk and milk products and meat and meat products) does not exceed 100 kg/ltr per day or
  • Procurement or handling and collection of milk is up to 500 litres of milk per day or
  • Slaughtering capacity is 2 large animals or 10 small animals or 50 poultry birds per day or less

The application for such registration shall be made in Form A. The Registering Authority shall consider the application and may either grant registration or reject it within 7 days of receipt of the application.

The Registering Authority shall issue a registration certificate and a photo identity card of the applicant, which shall be displayed at a prominent place at all times within the premises or vehicle or cart or any other place where the person carries on sale/manufacture of food in case of Petty Food Business. 

FSSAI License for food business:

(i) Any person or entity that does not classify as a petty food business operator is required to obtain a FSSAI license for operating a food business in India. FSSAI license is of two types, State FSSAI License and Central FSSAI License. No person shall commence any food business unless he possesses a valid license.

(ii) Based on the size and nature of the business, the licensing authority would change. Large food manufacturer / processors / transporters and importers of food products require central FSSAI license; State FSSAI license is required for medium sized food manufacturers, processor and transporters.

(iii) Application for license to the Licensing Authority shall be made in Form B and it will be accompanied by a self-attested declaration and copies of documents as mentioned under the applicable rules.

(iv) On the receipt of a complete application including the additional information if asked for, the Licensing Authority shall issue an Application ID number to the applicant that will be referred to in all future correspondence between the Licensing Authority and the applicant.

(v) After the issue of Application ID number the Licensing Authority may direct the Food Safety Officer or any other person or agency specially designated for such functions to inspect the premises in the manner prescribed by the FSSAI in accordance with the Act.

(vi) Within a period of 30 days from receipt of an inspection report excluding the time taken by the applicant in complying with the advice, if any, given in the inspection report and verification thereof, the concerned Licensing Authority shall consider the application and may either grant license or reject the application upon giving a reasonable opportunity of being heard.

(vii) The Licensing Authority shall issue a License in Form C, a true copy of which shall be displayed at a prominent place at all times within the premises where the Food Business Operator carries on the food business.

(viii) The Food Business Operator shall ensure that all conditions of license related to safety, sanitary and hygienic requirements depending on nature of business are complied with at all times.


Validity and Renewal

FSSAI Registration or license is granted for a period of 1 to 5 years as requested by the food business operator. Higher fee would be applicable for obtaining FSSAI Registration or license for more years. The same can be renewed by making an application, not later than 30 days prior to the expiry date of the FSSAI Registration or license.

Suspension or cancellation  

The Registration Certificate or License granted under the FSS Act may be suspended if there is reason to believe that the Food Business Operator has failed to comply with the conditions of granting Certificate/License. Also, the same may be suspended or cancelled in the interest of public health for reasons to be recorded in writing.

Modifications, Expansion or Changes in premise(s)  

FBOs shall ensure that the Registering or Licensing Authority always has up-to-date information on their food business establishments and shall inform the relevant Authority of any modifications or additions or changes in product category, layout, expansion, closure, or any other material information based on which the registration/ license was granted and such information shall be conveyed before the changes occur.

Transfer of registration certificate or License in case of death 

  • In the event of death of the holder of a Registration certificate or license, such certificate or license shall subsist for the benefit of the legal representative or any family member of the deceased until the expiry of:
  • the period of 90 days from the date of death of the holder of a Registration certificate or license; or
  • such longer period as the Designated Officer may allow, for reasons to be recorded in writing.
  • The legal representative or family member of the deceased holder of the registration certificate or license shall apply to the concerned Authority for transfer of such certificate or license in his favour.
  • Upon filing of application for transfer and pending the decision of the authority, the registration or license shall continue to be in force.

(The author of this article is a Practicing Company Secretary and can be reached at

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are solely for informational purpose. It does not constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation. No part of this article should be distributed or copied without express written permission of the author.

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April 2024