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FSSAI License Requirement for E-commerce Business

FSSAI License for E-commerce

The Internet revolution has changed the life of people across the world enabling them to lead a highly convenient lifestyle. Initially, it was not possible to reach out to the large customer base using conventional marketing methods, but now it is possible because of e-commerce. As many Food business operators have taken their business online therefore in this article we will look at the need for FSSAI License for e-commerce business.

What is E-commerce Business?

E-Commerce means purchase and sale of goods and services over the digital and electronic network. FSSAI Central License/State License or FSSAI Registration is required for E-commerce business operator. It depends upon the turnover.

The online business allows one to sell his product not just in the local market, but to the customers around the globe.  This has dramatically changed the lives of the small business owners as it facilitated for more profit coming their way. It enabled the business owners to sell their products directly to the consumers without any middlemen and this is highly beneficial for both sides. 

It also helps in reducing the product prices. Besides that in the e-commerce platform, there are no holidays & it works 24 x 7, and thus the sale can happen every single minute of the day and night. This is definitely an enormous advantage as there’s no limitation thing about terms of your time and thus leads to additional sales and additional profit.

How do E-commerce businesses function?

E-commerce Companies primarily function in the following ways:

  • Marketplace – where they act purely as platform providers for buyers and sellers. Their Revenue is usually generated through service charges and advertising
  • Retailing/wholesale – where the products are sold under their own brand or any other brand and the revenue is income from such sales.
  • Hybrid – where they function as a marketplace and also as a retailer/wholesaler and the revenue is service charges and income from the sale of goods

Types of E-commerce Models Covered under FSSAI

In recent times, there has been a sharp rise in the number of online food retailers like Swiggy, Hola chef, Zomato, etc. With this increase, FSSAI has made it compulsory for all E-commerce food companies to obtain food license for their entire supply chain.

Besides this, they have to ensure that the product is delivered by trained personnel for maintaining safety under the new guidelines issued by FSSAI. With an aim to regulate e-commerce food business, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) defined e-commerce Food Business Operators (FBOs) as those carrying out business through an online medium through its order dated 02nd February 2017.

It provided for the various types of E-commerce FBO models covered under the act. They Include:

  • E-Commerce entity providing listing services to sellers/ restaurants/ manufacturers on their platform.
  • Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners who offer their food products for sale through market based or inventory based model of e-commerce.
  • Entities providing Storage and/or distribution services to the Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners who list their products with the e-commerce entity.
  • Providing transportation services to such Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners for delivering their products to final customers.

FSSAI License for E-commerce Business: Registration Requirements

According to Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011, all E-commerce FBOs shall be covered under schedule-I & are required to obtain a license from the Central Licensing Authority for the entire supply chain which shall include its Registered office, Manufacturers, Storage Place, Distributor, Transporter etc. The Registration / License required shall depend upon the turnover requirements as specified by the Act.

All e-commerce FBOs are required to enter into an agreement with such Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners averring that such Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners have compiled/complying with the FSSAI Regulations.

However, the E-Commerce entity which is engaged only in listing services of brands, restaurants, food products is not required to obtain FSSI License / Registration under the act, provided that they are not engaged in Food business as defined in section 3 (n) of the Act. But such e-commerce entities have to ensure that no misleading information about such brands/ food products/restaurants is published on their platform.

FSSAI License for E-commerce Business: Display/ Listing Requirements on Website

All Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners who display or offer any pre-packed Food for sale to customers on their own e-commerce platforms or on a marketplace based model of e-commerce are required to put a clear picture of “principal display panel” of such pre-packed food. Along with the “principal display panel” the Batch/ Lot no. , Best before, expiry date and MRP shall also be displayed on the platform.

The Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners dealing in fresh produce will provide images of the same product to the e-commerce FBOs for displaying on their platform.

All the Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners selling their products via e-commerce Platform are also required to display their FSSAI Registration No. / License No., along with the relevant Mandatory Food information free of cost.

FSSAI License for E-commerce Business: Documents Required

The list of documents are as follows:

  • Photo ID of the FBO;
  • Proof of possession of premises;
  • Partnership deed or Certificate of incorporation;
  • List of food products;
  • A detailed food safety management plan.

Advantages of FSSAI License for E-commerce Business

The following advantages can be enjoyed by e-commerce businesses:

Advantages of FSSAI License
  • Having FSSAI license can instil confidence among consumers that your product and services meets all the safety requirements.
  • It will result in increase in customer onboarding.
  • You can expand your business to various places by it and it will lead to growth in your services.
  • It will help in regulating, manufacturing and storing import food.

Liability of E-commerce FBO

All FBOs. I.e. Sellers/ Manufacturers/ vendors/ brand owners are required to comply with the basic hygiene and sanitary practices mentioned in Schedule 4 of Food Safety regulations 2011[1]. The E-commerce FBO shall immediately delist such food product which does not comply with the FSSAI Regulations, made thereunder.

Penalties under FSSAI

Any person or an FBO (except those exempt from licensing) whether by himself, or by any person on his behalf, who is required to obtain a license, manufactures, sells, stores, or distributes any food product without license, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and  a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.

If any FBO provides or produces any information /document on his website which is false or misleading, then he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three months and also with fine which may extend to Rs 2 lakh.


FSSAI License for E-commerce business is vital considering the benefits it gives and also to avoid huge penalties. The process of obtaining FSSAI License has been made seamless as it’s online. In case you need any information on the same, contact Enterslice.

Read our article: What is the Procedure for Getting an FSSAI License Number?

Ashish M. Shaji

Ashish M. Shaji has done his graduation in law (BA. LLB) from CCS University. He has keen interests in doing extensive research and writing on legal subjects especially on corporate law. He is a creative thinker and has a great interest in exploring legal subjects.

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