Basic Requirements for Businesses Involving Food / Beverage
“Eating Outside Food”, though a common term used by the people worldwide, however, the same is a trillion dollar industry in terms of the businesses associated with the same, which is expected to reach a value of US$ 4.2 Trillion by 2024 (Credit: Research and Markets). From startups involving roadside eateries, food / beverage chains through dine-in restaurants, food delivery platforms, food delivery agencies, etc. the industry offers enormous potentials for any entrant to endure with the numerous options available like the type of business structure, investment options, etc.
Though it is an easily accessible industry for any person to enter the same at ease, the industry indirectly deals with the health of the consumers. Hence, the governments are highly cautious of approving the businesses associated with the food industry and have devised various regulations and approvals before starting any food / beverage business, apart from the regular requirements that need to be fulfilled by any businesses like business registration, GST, Shop license (for dine-ins), MSME (optional), etc. [Image Credit: Shutterstock]
License / Registration Requirements for Food / Beverage Businesses
Before entering into any type of food / beverage business, the following licenses or registrations are prescribed by the government.
FSSAI License: Since the business is associated with the health of the consumers, the government has to ensure that the food / beverage prepared is safe, healthy and meets the further requirements of “fit for consumption”. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is responsible for dealing with such requirements in India and they provide a license of the businesses that fulfill the requirements as prescribed by them. Hence, an FSSAI license is vital and one must follow the essential FSSAI registration process.
Document requirements for getting FSSAI License: PAN, Food license, Shop license, Property tax details of the place where the business operates, rental agreement and constitution of the business i.e. incorporation certificate, partnership deed, etc.
Shop License: Ashop license is one of the essential requirements for any business where any trade or business is happening whether they are being small eateries, food carts, food-trucks, fine-dining restaurants, etc. that can be registered with the states / regions where the business operates.
GST Registration: Even though there is a threshold limit of Rs. 40 lakhs has been set by the GST council, it is always better to have GST registration for any businesses that will not only facilitate the easier access to government schemes, bank loans, etc.
Health Trade License: Municipal Corporation of the state where the business located issues Health Trade License upon request, which works like a certificate of permission to run business or trade in goods and services that are directly related to the health of the general public including manufacturing units, sales, and storage and eating outlets, obtaining a health trade license are mandatory apart from merely having done the online FSSAI registration.
Trademark Registration: Trademark / Service mark is an intellectual property that distinguishes the goods or services (i.e., names, logos, etc.) of one business from that of the others. The key requirement for a trademark to be protected is highly dependent on its distinctiveness. Especially in the food / beverage business when a particular brand provides a flawless product with a unique taste, quality, aroma, etc. there is a certain chance of replication of the business names to sell counterfeit food products. This will not only hit the reputation of the business but will also lead to revenue loss. Hence it is advisable to have the business name to be trademarked to safeguard your logo against unauthorized use or counterfeits or malpractices from others.
Business Structure Registration: The persons who are venturing into food / beverage business should decide the type of business structure they prefer and must register the same with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). The well-known business structures that are commonly adopted include sole proprietorship, General Partnerships, etc.
IPLF and Registrations:
The process and procedure for registrations or getting licenses relating to food / beverage business are taxing and time consuming. Further, the document requirements and the methodologies adopted in acquiring licenses and registrations require the intervention of the experts that are well versed in the said formalities. Further, there are various requirements that need to be obliged based on the type of business performed by the client.
Our IPLF team comprises highly skilled and trained professionals including legal and tax professionals to assist in hassle-free License / Registration filing procedures and hastening the registration of the same, which not only protect your business interests but also to begin your favorite food / beverage business in a short span of time.
Author: Govindhaswamy Srinivasan, a Principal Associate – Patents at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorneys. In case of any queries please contact/write back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.