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Understanding the Various Types of FSSAI Licenses and Choosing the Right One

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) offers several categories of licenses and registrations based on the type and scale of food business operations. Selecting the appropriate FSSAI certificate is important to legally conduct intended activities. This article provides an overview of the main license types with tips on choosing the right one.

Central and State FSSAI Licenses

The two main categories are central and state licenses.

  • Central license is for businesses looking to market products across multiple states or pan-India. It permits unrestricted food trade across India. Manufacturers, processors, distributors, etc. with nationwide reach require this.
  • State license allows intra-state trade within that state's jurisdiction only. It suits manufacturers and suppliers with operations limited within a state.
    Some key state licenses are:
  1. Manufacturing/Processing License:
  2. Issued to businesses engaged in manufacturing, processing or packaging food items. The scale of operations determines sub-categories like large or small-scale units.

  3. Storage and Warehouse License:
  4. For businesses storing and warehousing food products. Sub-types based on packaged or bulk storage.

  5. Distribution/Transportation License:
  6. For traders, wholesalers, and transporters involved in distribution and supply chain.

  7. Retail and Franchise License:
  8. For retail stores, franchises, and businesses conducting last-mile sales.

    Special Category FSSAI Licenses:

    • Besides the above, FSSAI offers licenses for specific business types:
    • Import license for food importers
    • Milk and milk product businesses
    • Meat and meat product processors
    • Organic food manufacturers/retailers
    • Food catering services and food premises
    • Nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, etc.

    Choosing the Right FSSAI License Type:

    • Analyze your current and intended business activities, operational scale, and locations.
    • Map activities to the license categories given above.
    • Apply for the license that most closely aligns with the core business.

    Choose a central license if pan-India market access is needed, or else opt for a state license:

    • Go for a special category license if dealing with products like milk, meat, etc.
    • In the future, licenses can be updated if business activities evolve.


    2. Conclusion :

      Selecting the appropriate FSSAI license based on the nature of your food business is important to legally undertake intended activities. However, the process is now simplified through online applications.

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