These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your Trips or Experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with your city or an attorney.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the law has not changed recently.*
What are some of the basic principles?
Your guest’s health and safety should always come first. Take your guests to and serve them food from reputable restaurants, food trucks or licensed caterers who keep clean facilities, use fresh ingredients, and have a good food safety track record. Ask your guests in advance if they have food allergies or religious or philosophical codes that may impact what kind of food they can enjoy during their trip. If your Experience involves you cooking or selling food (for example, serving traditional food to guests at home or chocolate making), be sure you use fresh ingredients, and cook and serve food in hygienic conditions. It’s also a good idea to let your guests know of the food they are going to eat and ask if they have any specific issue (could be allergies, religious or philosophical beliefs), so you can prepare / serve food accordingly. These simple do’s will make the Experience more enjoyable for your guests!
My Experience will involve serving food to guests (outside of a traditional restaurant, cafe, or food business). Are there any specific rules I need to follow?
Food Business Operator: If you are serving food to guests for a fee, you could be considered a “food business operator” and may need to comply with the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSS Act). A food business operator is generally someone involved in food services, catering services, or the sale of food and ingredients. The FSS Act regulates almost every activity of a food business operator including packaging and storage of food. More information on the requirements applicable to the packaging and storage of food can be found below.
Registration / License: To run a food business, you may need to obtain a registration or a license as per the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business) Regulations, 2011 (Food Licensing Regulations). If you are a small scale operator, it is likely that you may qualify as a Petty Food Manufacturer (which includes petty retailers, itinerant vendor or temporary stall holder) and would have to obtain a registration.
You can apply for a registration as a Petty Food Business Operator using Form A under Schedule 2 of the Food Licensing Regulations. You will usually hear back from the authorities within 7 days of your application, but it may take up to 30 days or more in certain cases. If you do not hear back within 30 days, you may start your food business, but you may have to comply with improvements suggested by the registering authority. Once a licence is issued or registration granted, you will need to display it at a prominent place within the premises or vehicle or cart or any other place from where you sell / manufacture food.
You may face consequences (for instance financial or criminal penalties) if you do not obtain relevant registrations / licenses or are non-compliant with these laws. Examples of non-compliance include failure to maintain hygienic and sanitary conditions while manufacturing or processing food for human consumption, manufacturing, selling or distributing unsafe food, etc.
Could you give me an example of how this might apply?
If you offer an Experience involving a small cooking class at your home where you teach cooking to guests, or host a food Experience where you serve food to guests, you may be required to comply with the following:
- You may be considered a food business operator and require a license or registration under the Food Licensing Regulations, as explained above.
- If you are using your home utilities (such as gas, electricity, water, etc.) for commercial purposes you may require separate permissions from the public utilities board for such commercial use and may need to pay additional tariffs for such utilities.
- The premise where you serve food may be considered an ‘eating house’ (which could include any place where food or drink is served) and you may need to register with the Delhi Police under the Delhi Police Act, 1978.
- The Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957 also has a licensing requirement for any place where food or drink is consumed or where food is sold or prepared for sale.
We encourage you to consult a local lawyer to understand which laws will apply to you.
My Experience involves selling packaged food products to guests – what should I keep in mind?
If you have sweets, chocolates, pickles or other packaged food products that you have prepared yourself and would like to sell to your guests, you may be considered a manufacturer (a person who is involved in manufacturing of food products for sale or who gets food articles from another person and packs / labels it for sale) of food products, and may need to obtain a license/registration as a manufacturer under the FSS Act. If you are buying food products and then selling them to your guests, you would not be considered a manufacturer, but may need to register or obtain a license as a retailer under the FSS Act. There are laws which set out requirements for labelling and packaging of food products:
- the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011; and
- the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011.
You may not be allowed to sell food products for which a food standard has not been prescribed under law. Doing so may be considered an offence under the FSS Act, making you liable to pay a penalty. Please refer to the Food Safety and Standards (Food product standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 for more information regarding food products for which standards have been laid down.
We encourage you to consult with a local lawyer for advice before you offer food products to guests for sale.
What if my Experience involves serving food to guests inside a traditional restaurant, cafe, or food business? Are there any specific rules I need to follow?
Food laws may not apply to you since they will be taken care of by the restaurant or café owner. However, your experience may still be considered to be a business, and there may be other laws that apply. We recommend that you read our page on business licensing in New Delhi for reference, and consult a local lawyer for advice.
Is there anything else I should think about?
If your Experience will involve combining food with another activity (for example, serving alcohol or a guided tour of the city), please take a look at our other information sections to understand what other laws may apply to you.
* Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).