Vendors of Success – Set Up a Hawker Stall Business in India
Conquer the street food industry with 3E Accounting’s pocket checklist on how to set up a hawker stall business in India.
India is known as the Land of Spices, but it may just as well be known as the Land of Street Carts. Every street corner is proliferated with hawker stalls or street carts that cater to the billion-strong population. It is a very robust four trillion Rupee industry that is a fixed staple of India’s street life. If you want to venture into the food industry, it’s best to set up a hawker stall business in India.
Feeding the Masses From the Streets
In India, the hawker stall or food cart business is hugely popular. It has all the hallmarks of a small enterprise, including being easy to establish and carrying the shallow risk. It is a high-profit business that requires hard work but a minimal investment.
As it is such a popular business in India, you must have a great product and the right location in order to rise above the competition. Due diligence should be done in ensuring these two factors are well researched. Competition is very high in the food cart business, and you need all the advantage you can get. You may also want to consider the following points:
- Your target market and operational hours
- The vendor selling the cart
- Hygiene and other SOPs
Another critical factor is the financials involved. You will incur costs for:
- Purchase of the food cart (aluminium or customized)
- Acquisition of necessary equipment and raw materials
- Company incorporation and licensing
- Branding and marketing
It is advisable to get your business registered, and this is done by applying to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). You can incorporate one of the following types of companies:
- Private Limited Company (PLC)
- Public Limited Company (PC)
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
- Partnership Firm
- One Person Company (OPC)
For a food cart or hawker stall business in India, an OPC or LLP may be the best option. They have less incorporation and investment costs and procedures. You will need to register for taxes including VAT, GST, PAN (Permanent Account Number) and other applicable tax matters. It is also essential to get business insurance to cover any liabilities that may occur.
While it may be one of the most popular sectors, it is also one of the most regulated due to its direct impact on consumer health. As such, all food businesses fall under the purview of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The FSSAI’s online portal – the Food Licensing and Registration System – can be used for licensing, which consists of:
- FSSAI Registration
- FSSAI State License
- FSSAI Central License
As of 2015, FSSAI requires all street vendors to register with the location-specific Municipal Corporation. The Municipality will then allocate permits as well as specific vending zones to registered street vendors. Some types of permits that you may require, depending on your business activity, include:
- Health & Trade License
- Liquor License
- Infrastructure License (especially for customized carts)
Start on the Right Note
Venturing into the food industry can be the start of a very lucrative business. To get rolling successfully, it’s best to engage professionals such as 3E Accounting. This will minimize errors and delays as 3E Accounting has the necessary expertise to handle all business incorporation matters successfully.