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How to Start A Food Business/Startup At Home


How to Start A Food Business/Startup At Home

Many a times you would be see a person being praised for their cooking prowess. They might also be urged to put their skills to use by opening a food business. But how should they go about it?

A cooking business in India can be an excellent opportunity to get the best out of your hobby. It may sound difficult to start a new business, but you can start small from nowhere else but from your home! Create your food business, sitting and cooking at home. However, you will need to take care of some govt. permits before being allowed to make a sale. We have summarized below the activities required to start your own business.

Licenses required to start a food business from home

Since you will be dealing with food, you will require a few licenses and certifications from the FSSAI before you start. You should be well-informed about these licenses and certifications and do the necessary actions to fulfil them. Here’s a quick look at a few licenses and registrations you will require before you start a food business from home.

1. Shop and Establishment Act License:

The Shop and Establishment (S&E) Act is applicable on all the commercial establishments; viz, business centres, offices, warehouses, stores, hotels, eateries, amusement parks, theatres, etc, nationwide. It is one of the most important regulations required to be complied with for any business. As each state in India has its own Shop Act and follows separate regulations. The process, fee structure, documentation may be different depending on the State regulations.


FSSAI registration or License is mandatory for all types of food business operators in India whether they are transporters, distributors, manufacturers or caterers, etc. there are 3 types of registration available depending upon the annual turnover and type of the establishments or business.  In most cases, small start-ups will require only a basic registration with the FSSAI. The major importance of FSSAI License is that it ensures that your food is verified chemically and hence is safe to consume. Therefore, anything related directly to health is a matter of great sensitivity.

3. GST:

If your establishment generates revenue that exceeds the annual registration threshold, you will need to complete the GST registration. Once you receive a GSTIN, you will also need to file all your returns on time to maintain compliance. GST Registration is also required if you want to get registered in food aggregators like Zomato, Swiggy, etc.

4. Trade License: 

It ensured that the business or trade is carried by adhering to all the standards of safety as issued by State Municipal Corporation. It protects the residents from being affected by any health hazards.
However, the license does not allow the holder to carry out any other trade or business than for which it is issued. Furthermore, this license does not pass on any kind of property ownership to the holder of the license.

5. Fire and Safety License:

Since you will be working with fire, you should get the required clearances from the Fire Department. Fire NOC is a document which is compulsory to obtain to get building plan approval. One can obtain the Fire License from the Fire Services Department, which is regulated by the State Government. A Fire NOC ensures that there are no/fewer chances of fire outbreak in the building.

6. NOC from the Food and Health Department/Society in which you live is also helpful though it may not be mandatory.

7. Trademark Registration:

In case you want to maintain brand exclusivity, you can also opt to trademark your name or logo. However, this is more relevant once you have started generating healthy profits and your business becomes recognizable.

8. Signage License

You need to market your restaurant well to ensure that your business garners the maximum profit. You need to obtain a signage license from the Municipal Corporation or some local authority for legally being able to use posters, graphics and paintings to market your restaurant in the nearby area.

9. Eating House license: 

An eating house license is an integral license for conducting business where any kind of food or drink is supplied for consumption legally. To obtain this license, you will need approval from the State Police Commissioner. The license is required at the time of opening of the food business in India along with other licenses. This is more relevant when the business also provides a seating space for consumption of food offered.

Documents required to start a food business at home

  1. ID Proof of the applicant
  2. Address proof of the applicant
  3. Proof of address of the business location
  4. NOC from the owner, in case it is rented
  5. NOC from the Fire/Safety/Society
  6. Bank account statements
  7. TAN
  8. PAN card and Aadhar card
  9. GST certificate
  10. Passport size photos
  11. Site plan and layout of the premises
  12. Water quality report
  13. Food category list

How to start a food business from home

Once you have taken the required licenses for starting your business, you can undertake the following activities to help with your business venture:

  1. Conduct thorough market research to identify your target market, understand their needs and locate critical areas for delivery. If you can’t carry out comprehensive market research, you can use the people you know and your friends in testing the food recipes. Every single feedback that you get from these people can be of great help. It will help you to learn more about how to start a food delivery business from home.
  2. Depending on the location, decide on a menu. For instance, if you live in a university town, you might want to add more fast-food items on the list. In case you live in an area with a lot of offices, focus more on healthy and filling lunch items to attract customers. It can also depend on the local population requirements like Gujrati food, Punjabi food, etc.
  3. Next, select a memorable and catchy name for the business to establish some branding for your business. This element goes a long way in building your home-based food brand. Even if you are preparing the food in one room and your kids are handling their homework in the next room, you should give your entity a polished and established look. Make sure your brand has a professional-looking website, business cards, and brochures. All the packaging for your products should be professional and reflect the image of your company. 
  4. Pricing Can Differentiate Success and Failure You should spend some time to research comparable products and determine your cost before you set the price. For a start, most people price their food products depending on the cost of the ingredients but forget to include their time in the pricing. With time, you will realize that not all cooking jobs are the same. 
  5. Stock up on all the items you will require and ensure you have all the utensils necessary to cook large batches of food.
  6. Stock up on all the items you will require and ensure you have all the utensils necessary to cook large batches of food.
  7. Next, you will need to go about obtaining all the required licenses as listed above.
  8. Once you have acquired a customer base, you must collect their feedback. No matter how many customers you have, always ensure their safety and satisfaction. If they have expressed any problem with your food items, ingredients or delivery- you should address them immediately. If there is any criticism of your work, you should be able to handle it positively. Good feedback should also be accepted humbly. You must understand that everything is part of the experience. As a good business, you should always aspire to upgrade your work and fulfil your loyal customers’ demands.


About AuthorAbhishek Giri

Team MeraProfit