Types of Certification Required To Start Food Industry

Several food certifications are available in India, especially whether you work in the food production industry or own a small-town restaurant. Although obtaining a food certification wasn’t common practice in the past, it is quickly emerging as one of the most dependable ways to ensure that your food business engages in optimal hygienic practices, attends to food safety, develops goodwill, and benefits from several legal advantages. Furthermore, these certificates are useful if and when the company has to expand domestically or globally.

10 Certification/License to Start Food Industry

This manual thoroughly explains the various certifications necessary to launch the food sector in India.

1. Food License

A food license from the FSSAI is required for all food company owners, small vendors, and hawkers. There are three categories of FSSAI license:

  • FSSAI Certification
  • State License by FSSAI
  • Central License from FSSAI

You can apply offline or online for an FSSAI Registration or License. After completing the registration process, the food company operator receives an FSSAI license number. 

2. Trade License/ Eating House License 

Under the S&E Act, businesses such as restaurants, eating houses, food trucks, small street shops, canteens, residential hotels, etc., must have an eating house establishment license. On the website of the relevant state’s police department, a license application must be submitted along with an FSSAI license, a GST certificate, and other essential papers.

3. Liquor License

The local Excise Commissioner issues the liquor license to anyone who wants to offer any alcoholic beverage. An applicant must submit the required fee, documentation, and information on an online application form to the state excise department where the company or establishment is located to get a liquor license. 

4. Fire Department NOC 

A “No objection Certificate” from the Chief Fire Officer is required before opening a restaurant, café, hotel, or bakery, according to the fire safety legislation of the majority of Indian States. You must submit architectural drawings, a model of the building, an architect’s certificate, and a questionnaire about compliance with fire safety laws and regulations to receive a fire license.

5. Shops and Establishment Registration

Every owner of a store or other commercial institution with more than ten employees is required to register their business with the relevant State Labor Department. Upon renewal fees, certain states give lifelong Shops and Establishment Registrations. 

6. Pollution clearance

Given the smoke emissions from the cooking process and washings of food waste, the food sector is seen as a polluting industry. The Central Pollution Control Board has provided a category-by-category breakdown for hotels and restaurants, which you can see below.

  • Hotels (Big) – Red Category
  • Medium-Scale Hotels – Orange Category
  • Non-alcoholic Beverages (Soft Drinks) – Orange Category
  • Small Bakery/Confectionery – Green Category
  • Small Hotels – Green Category 

7. License for playing music or videos 

In venues like restaurants, cafes, dining establishments, hotels, etc., the license intends to safeguard the rights of the musicians, lyricists, creators, and owners of such creative/artistic works. There are two categories of music licenses:

  1. Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) — For tracks that have already been recorded.
  2. Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) — For live performances.

8. Tax registrations

One of the most important registrations for every firm is tax registration.

  • Income Tax

First, if the business is a sole proprietorship, the owner must have a Permanent Identification Number (PAN) and Tax Account Number (TAN) under the business’s name. 

  • GST (Goods and Service Tax)

Second, regardless of size, volume, or frequency, all businesses—including trade, commerce, manufacturing, and all food businesses—must register for the Goods and Service Tax (GST). GST registration is necessary when a company’s financial turnover (“Aggregate turnover”) exceeds Rs. 20 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs for special category states as defined by the GST Act, 2017) in a fiscal year. 

  • Professional Tax

The local municipality assesses a professional tax on each employee’s wage. States have different tax rates. Most States offer a registration certificate or enrolment number as a reference for submitting the professional tax. 

9. Labour law Registrations

The S&E Act governs working conditions in commercial enterprises such as working hours, opening and closing hours, public holidays, overtime compensation, etc. Here is several significant labor legislation where registration is required:


  • Businesses with more than ten workers must register for Employees State Insurance (ESI) if their employees make less than Rs. 21,000 per month. Exempt establishments must get an exemption certificate stating as much.
  • EPF registration is required for companies with more than 20 workers. Employees who make less than Rs. 15,000 per month must be enrolled in the EPF.
  • Contract labor registration – Companies that hire more than 20 personnel through a staffing agency, such as waiters, security guards, housekeepers, etc., must register as the primary employer of those individuals. 

10. Infrastructure Licenses

You will also need other permits, which are not exclusive to the food industry but may be necessary depending on the infrastructure that you invest in for your company. A license from PESO may be required for food businesses that store flammable products such as diesel, kerosene, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), boilers, etc.


In recent years, licensing has become increasingly important for defending food against pollutants. The Indian government took drastic action and created various permits to safeguard the rights of consumers to high-quality food. It is crucial for those who trade in food to secure permits from the appropriate authorities, as required by the Indian government.

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