Increased Licensing Options for Food Businesses in Shared Workspaces

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has announced a new provision for Food Business Operators (FBOs) operating from shared workspaces. This move caters to the growing trend of businesses utilizing co-working spaces. The advisory was dated April 12, 2024.

Previously, FBOs typically required a dedicated lease agreement for licensing. Now, FSSAI will accept valid legal agreements between the FBO and the shared workspace provider as proof of premises.

Key Points of the Advisory:

Acceptable Agreements

  • FSSAI will consider lease agreements, rental contracts, or any legally binding agreements with the workspace provider.

Permanent Address

  • The authorized signatory for the FBO must provide a permanent address within India.

Additional Documents

  • GST, PAN/TAN, or CIN (whichever is applicable) must be furnished if already possessed by the FBO.

Additionally, FSSAI has currenly restricted this facility to specific Kind of Businesses (KoBs) that do not involve food storage. These KoBs include:

  • Re-labellers
  • E-commerce businesses
  • Importers (with Import Export code issued at the same location)
  • Trader/Merchant Exporters (with Import Export code issued at the same location)
  • Food Vending Agencies
  • Transportation businesses
  • Head Offices/Registered Offices

However, licensing authorities will scrutinize applications and may request clarification if they suspect food storage at the shared workspace.

Ultimately, FBOs remain responsible for obtaining necessary permissions/ NOCs from other government bodies. This will be acknowledged through a self-declaration during the licensing process.

This change by FSSAI allows for greater flexibility for FBOs operating in shared workspaces, promoting a more adaptable business environment.

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