A food restaurant, bakery, café, warehouse, food truck, sweet shop, grocery store, and homemade food goods such as jam and pickles, meat products, and dairy goods are all examples of start-up food businesses. Both manufacturing and processing are regarded to be part of the food industry. This means that even a restaurant will fall under the food industry’s authority.

The food industry is a profitable one for all entrepreneurs. This is because no matter what, everyone must eat. Aside from the obvious challenges that a food company has, one must follow to several rules and regulations at both the federal and state levels. Because any negligence in the food sector might be dangerous to customers, the restrictions are strict. It may potentially result in a large-scale epidemic in some situations. Here are some facts that one should be aware of to make food business planning simple, quick, and painless:

  1. FSSAI/ Food license: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is the country’s major regulatory body for the food industry. It ensures that high-quality requirements are met to protect consumers. There are two sorts of food packaging compliances in general:
  • Central License: Large food manufacturers, exporters, company offices with activities in multiple states, and certain companies with a yearly turnover of more than INR 20 crore are all eligible. Learn more about the Eligibility and Process of Central FSSAI License.
  • State License: A food firm that has a turnover of up to INR 20 crore and operates inside the state boundaries requires an FSSAI State License. This contains all food service providers, such as hotels, restaurants, and small to medium-sized food producers.
  1. Packaging and Labelling of food products: For pre-packaged, proprietary, and other special items, there are food packaging compliances that are prescribed according to the laws. It states that food should be packaged in such a way that its contents stay untouched until it is consumed. To this end, the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, apply to all new food businesses.
  2. Compliances related to food contamination: Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins, and Residues) Regulations, 2011 give FSSAI compliances that have been strengthened to offer food quality to prevent food adulteration. Food contamination at any step before it reaches the consumer is a serious problem.
  3. Environment and pollution-related clearances: The following clearances are required:
    • Pollution control: Before the development of the food business can begin, the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) must issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC). A full-fledged Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is necessary if the industry falls into the high-pollution category. It is then submitted to the SPCB for review. Then only the construction can start.
    • Industries that require water and effluent disposal: Before construction may begin, a no-objection certificate from the designated SPCB must be obtained.
    • Industrial units functioning outside industrial area: Permission from local bodies, such as the municipal corporation and panchayats, is required. If private agricultural land is purchased, it must be rezoned to be recognized as an industrial zone. Permissions are obtained from the Directorate of Town & Country Planning’s local office.
    • Registration and licensing of a boiler: Before the operations can begin, the boilers must be cleared for safety reasons. Clearances for electrical and pressure vessels (boilers) shall be provided by the Chief Electrical Inspector and Chief Inspector of Boilers, accordingly.
    • Additional concessions are only available to units that are 100% export oriented upon receiving approval from the Export Processing Zone’s Development Commissioner (EPZ). If equity shares are offered to the public to raise capital, the Stock Exchange Board of India must approve the offering (SEBI).
  4. GST Registration: All businesses with a yearly turnover of INR 20 lakh are required to be registered and pay GST under the recently implemented Goods and Service Tax regime. To comply with the new GST regime, the FSSAI has decided to categorize food enterprises depending on their turnover.
  5. Land Registration: Land acquisition is challenging when it comes to establishing agro-processing clusters. The government assists in the acquisition of at least 10 acres of land, which must be purchased or leased for at least 50 years.
  6. Fire Department: A NOC from the Chief Fire Officer is required under the state’s Fire Services Act. One share requires two sets of the construction plan and a properly completed questionnaire from the Fire Department. A model of the building, as well as a checklist with certification from the Architect, must be shown.
  7. Health Trade License: Because each state has its own municipal rules, this license can be obtained by the local municipality office.
  8. ESI: Employees are entitled to certain advantages under the Employees State Insurance Act of 1848. For Indian workers, all factories with more than 25 employees must give self-funding social security as well as health insurance. Medical, sickness, maternity, and disability benefits are available to cover any accidents that may occur while a person is on the job.
  9. Electricity Meters: Meters and metering regulations must be maintained by factory-built buildings and residences. This contains electrical wiring and meter sockets. Measures should be made to ensure that electricity consumption is kept to a minimal while being safe. In a factory, only commercial units that are appropriate for the electrical demand of the industry can be used.

On the one hand, all of these requirements are necessary, although there are schemes run by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The plans call for the construction of modern facilities and common areas. Agro-processing communities may benefit from the provision of basic and core infrastructure. In addition, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana has created Mega Food Parks. To develop abilities, steps have been taken. While compliance is tough to maintain, these programs provide a haven for food sector start-ups to grow and thrive.

Do you have the confidence and motivation to start a food business in India?

MeraLegal will assist you in obtaining all appropriate food licenses and registrations to begin your business; please click on the following link to contact one of our consultants.

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