What is the basic difference between FSSAI license and its Registration?

To incorporate a food business in India, it is necessary to get certified by a regulatory authority. Also, for considering and getting a business listed for a category of food product manufacturing, trading or for doing any food-related business activity it is necessary to understand what basic registrations and certifications are required for doing such businesses. While the government has defined different regulations for different business units it is difficult for entrepreneurs to understand the basic difference in getting a food license or making an application for food business registration.

Different size and composition of business activities can make entrepreneurs confused about whether they require a license or should only opt for registration only like For ex:- Mr. A starts a business of homemade buttermilk, his sales turnover is limited to his locality and some small retail houses. Does he need to register himself in government records for doing such business? Does he need to get his final product tested and certified by a government body?

Let us consider another situation – Mr. B starts a business of trading chocolate flavoured candies which he imported from some other country and supplied it to different food agents in different parts of India. So, does he require a food license?

In India, every food business whether it is related to manufacturing, trading, storage or distribution of food products, whether on a small scale or big scale- it is governed by a food licensing act and a food regulating authority naming- ‘Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food businesses) Regulation, 2011‘made under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.

Depending on the nature and size of business it specifies whether it requires an FSSAI Registration or FSSAI Licence approval. While both are required to food assurance in different respective firms but there is a slight difference between the two. In this article, we have highlighted the key differences between FSSAI registration and FSSAI licensing:


FSSAI License FSSAI Registration

Issuing Authority



Regulated By

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India

Required for 

Businesses having a turnover of more than 12 lakh.

Businesses having the turnover upto 12 lakh


Central FSSAI and State FSSAI License. Large food manufacturers, operators, processors, transporters, importers working with other state members having a turnover above Rs 20 crore would require a central FSSAI while for Medium-sized food processors, manufactures etc have to obtain the state FSSAI working within state boundaries.


Issue type

14 digit registered number

14 digit registered number


Is Issued for a period of 1 to 5 years Depending on the applicability of registration


Can be renewed before 30 days of expiry N/A

Application Form

Form B

Form A

Publication Condition

It is necessary for the importer, exporter, producer & traders to publish the license number so obtained on the package of product

The registration so obtained shall have to be displayed in the office premises and the registered number so obtained on the package of the product

Other than procedures of FSSAI food license application, FSSAI registration is simpler and is required only for petty food business operators like manufactures or small sellers of food articles, petty retailers, itinerant vendors, stall holders, distributor of food products at social or religious places or any other food processing unit or cottage industry having annual turnover not more than Rs 12 lakh.

Grant of both FSSAI License and FSSAI Registration is a measure taken by government food licensing and registration system to ensure that food products as made for consumption undergo certain quality checks, thereby reducing their instances of adulteration, substandard production and limit the evil activities of food manufacturers by improving their accountability.

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