For human civilization, food is something that is imperative for their existence and has undergone tremendous changes in terms of consumption as per the changing times. Food is essential for obvious reasons as it provides an incentive to the growth, promotes health and activeness, and allows the development of the body enzymes to ensure protection from diseases.

Food and water are the main sources of nutrition and strengthening the body, but at the same time need to be safe, nutritious, and free from any adulteration. Food businesses may attempt to mix cheap toxic substances, increase the quantity of the food article offered to help them to grow quick profits and causes harm to innocent consumers, keeping their health and well-being at stake. This qualifies the reason for the introduction of the legislation, Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been recognized under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act) and FSSAI regulations 2008, constituted under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare which is a consolidating statute associated with the food safety and regulation in India to safeguard consumer interest. It ensures the products undertake proper quality checks and safety procedures thereby curbing the food adulteration and sale of sub-standard products. It not only lays and oversees regulations for the compliance procedures that are followed by the applicable food businesses and also oversees the approval process for Food Business Operators (FBO) in India. For which, the FSSAI has been conferred with powers to practice the same to eliminate the toxic and hazardous elements out of the greedy businesses which deliberately adulterate food substances or add chemicals to food articles offered to genuine consumers.

To assure the food articles produced, manufactured, distributed, imported, and stored are undertaken in line with certain standardized guidelines and procedures, an immediate need was felt to impose deep and stringent regulations in place to be complied with by all food businesses depending upon the business size and their annual turnover.

Thus, as per the relevant guidelines, it is important for every food business operator including small scale businesses like hawkers, retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor, or a temporary stall owner and large scale businesses like public corporations including the ones who also meant for the ones who plan to distribute food regularly, publicly, for instance, at religious or social gatherings.

Before discussing the importance of the FSSAI Registration/License for a food business, let’s understand a bit about it- 


Ideally, what differentiates an FSSAI Registration from the FSSAI License is the size or presence of the business at first, and secondly, the annual turnover of the business proposed to be registered. Apart from that, the fee and process of registration including the document requirement get more elaborate depending upon the type of approval sought. While the application for FSSAI Registration is made in Form A, an application for an FSSAI license is made in Form B. 

FSSAI Registration vs. FSSAI License

Petty food business or petty food operator/small Scale Businesses are those Food Business Operator/s (FBO) working either a manufacturer or seller of any article of food as a retailer, hawker, and vendor or on a temporary food stall with an annual turnover of less than 12 Lakh per year. Such FBO is required to obtain an FSSAI Registration by filling FORM A available on the FSSAI web portal. On filling the application form with requisite documents, the FSSAI authority verifies the documents and where required undertake an inspection of the premises where the FBO intends to carry on his business and an FSSAI registration certificate is granted for the same bearing a 14 digit registration number and a photo of the applicant. Such FBO is obligated to display the FSSAI granted certificate in some conspicuous position at all times while carrying on the food business. 

Whereas, an individual or person who is not covered in the above category are covered in this category is required to obtain an FSSAI License before initiating their businesses. In other words, while FBOs earning and holding an annual turnover between 12lakhs to 20 crores and presence in one or more States are required to obtain an FSSAI State License. On the other hand, businesses holding above 20 crores are required to necessarily obtain an FSSAI central License. Such FBO/s are required to file and submit an application in FORM B available on the FSSAI web portal and the License certificate offers details about the assembling state.

Who Grants FSSAI Registration?

The FSSAI License/Registration is governed by the Food Safety & Standards Authority which was legislated in the year 2006 under the Food Safety & Standards Act 2006 (FSS Act 2006) rules 2008. Apart from the activities such as approval regarding registration and licensing of food businesses, the authority is also responsible to lay out regulations, guidelines, and procedures to be complied with by the FBOs.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

Any individual or Food Business Operator (FBO) who intends and proposes to deal in the business as a manufacturer, transporter, storage, supply, or distribution of food products whether individually or through a retailer, hawker, itinerant vendor, or a temporary stall owner must necessarily acquire either an FSSAI Registration or License

Besides, the FSSAI license/registration is also required to be obtained by those individuals or businesses who intend to prepare and distribute food repeatedly even at religious or social gatherings.

What is the Importance of FSSAI Registration?

Imagine you just relished a sweet or savory from a stall nearby your home which is a very popular food joint at all times. But, once you come home, you feel sick and get some disease like typhoid or cholera. Now, in this case, you may be able to understand the importance of buying a food article from an FSSAI registered stall or shop.

Discussing the benefits of the same, here are a few listed down for your convenience- 

1. Benefits for Consumers- 

There are multiple benefits for a food business including legal and social benefits for a business, food safety, and business expansion opportunities and builds consumer confidence upon the food article manufactured, produced, distributed, or offered for sale. Often, consumers come through misleading advertisements that promise to deliver healthy and tasty items but fail to get the promised results. Thus, a food business possessing an FSSAI Registration/License builds consumer trust in the food products being offered and builds trust in the product. 

2. Building Business Goodwill

Often an FBO/s possessing an FSSAI registration will be able to establish its credibility for its offerings in comparison to those not. No doubt, possessing an FSSAI will establish the reliability of the business and can protect your business from unnecessary accusations. 

 After procuring the license, the concerned food business operator can advertise and promote the integrity of their business which will further help you to attract and gain customers for your business, which will help you to gain customers, increase your business and expand your business.

3. Assurance of High Standard Products/Articles

FSSAI Registration/license is a government license that grants approval to your business and further oversees the working of your business and as a part and parcel of receiving approval for your business, the FBO is required to follow established procedures and guidelines for the working of their business. During the process of approval, the concerned food business undergoes a verification process including inspection or quality test ensuring that the food product concerned is prepared following proper standards.

 Any food business intending to get itself registered has to go through an elaborate process of verification and inspection. This verification may any possible flaws or improvements in the business.

4. Attracting Investors and Sponsors for Business

Investors and Sponsors would naturally be interested in investing in businesses with established goodwill and adequate credibility in the form of proper licenses.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failure to adhere to the applicable rules and regulations under the FSSAI Act 2006 may invite civil liability. Such verification/inspection is conducted by a Food Safety Officer who observes the standards of items of food preparation including the water supply arrangements and marks accordingly as- Compliance (C), Non-compliance (NC), Partial compliance (PC), or Not applicable/Not observed.
Furthermore, the Food Safety Officer may also issue an improvement notice on any observed dissatisfaction as per Section 32 of the FSSAI Act, 2006 and can cancel the registration/license after giving an opportunity of being heard.


Though, the FSSAI Act and regulations 2008 have made it mandatory to acquire a registration certificate or a license for every food business operator. In other words, it establishes the credibility of the business, builds consumer trust and their reliability, attracts investors, and affords legal protection against unworthy accusations in the business. So, if you are an FBO or an organization seeking to start a food business of your own, you should probably know that it is mandatory to obtain the same since consumers are aware these days and look for harmless and nutritious food products.


eStartIndia Team

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