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Starting and registering a food business

When you start a new food business or take over an existing business, you must register with us at least 28 days before starting to trade.

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  • All food premises must be registered by law.
  • Registration is required even if your business only sells pre-packed food or drinks.
  • It is free to register and you can register online. Register a food business (opens in new tab)
  • Certain types of food premises, generally manufacturers of products of animal origin, such as dairies, meat product manufacturers or fish processors are subject to product specific regulations and need to apply for approval  Approved Food Premises
  • For advice on setting up a food business and what facilities you need please visit this link Register a food business | Food Standards Agency

Mobile Premises

If your business will be operating from mobile equipment, such as a van, you will need to register with the  local authority  where the equipment or van is usually kept overnight, such as your home. 

Home Caterers

If you are running your business from home you will still need to register your food business. 

  • If you are using part of your home for a business, have you checked whether you will be required to pay business rates?
  • Have you informed your Home Insurance Provider to make sure you are covered for business use?
  • Do you need public liability insurance?

Check with Planning 

Before you open your business make sure the premises has the correct planning permission, contact planning for advice. If building works are needed you may also need to contact building control to ensure the works comply with the legal and safety requirements.

Check with Business Rates

Usually the person or company that occupies a commercial company has to pay the business rates bill business rates.

Disposing of waste from your business

  • As a commercial business you may need a trade waste collection (also known as commercial waste).
  • Businesses have a legal responsibility called a 'Duty of Care' to ensure that their waste is securely stored and disposed of legally. The safest way to do this is by using a registered waste carrier.

Food safety management system

It is a legal requirement to put in place an appropriate documented food safety management system to demonstrate that the food you produce is safe to eat. Safer Food Better Business SFBB  is a food safety management system developed by the Food Standards Agency and commonly used by food business operators but this is not suitable for all business types. 

Certain businesses, such as food manufacturer, will be required to develop their own food safety management system based on the principles of hazard analysis critical control point procedures (HACCP). HACCP Guidance

Food hygiene training

All food handlers must be appropriately trained for the type of work they do and business operators may also need training to implement a food safety management system. 

The usual way is to be trained in Level 2 food hygiene training for food handlers and Level 3 for supervisors and managers.  

What happens next?

Your business will be added to the public register that lists the address and type of premises registered. Your business will then be subject to an initial inspection, which may be unannounced. You do not need to wait for the inspection before you can start trading, however you must ensure the food you are selling is safe and that you are fully complying with food law


You must notify any changes within 28 days, such as:

  • Change in the nature of the business, including change of name
  • Change of address 
  • Change of Food Business Operator

Contact Details for Food & Safety Team


tel:       01237 428809




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