Registering a food business

All local authorities are legally required to keep a register of all food businesses in their area.

Anyone starting a new food business must register with the local authority at least 28 days before opening for business. Registering your business is a free and simple process.

If you run a local food business, you must inform us about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food.

Food premises include:

  • restaurants
  • hotels
  • cafes
  • shops
  • supermarkets
  • staff canteens
  • kitchens in offices
  • warehouses
  • guest houses
  • home caterers including childminders
  • delivery vehicles
  • buffet cars on trains
  • market and other stalls (hot dog, ice cream vans, etc)

You'll need to inform us of any business vehicles used at permanent premises such as shops or warehouses. You don't need to register each vehicle separately. If you have one or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must tell the authority where they're normally kept.

Registering with more than one local authority

If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.

Exempt food premises

There are certain premises that are exempt from registration, for example:

  • if you're already registered for food law purposes
  • certain agricultural premises
  • motor cars
  • tents and marquees (but not stalls)
  • some domestic premises and some village halls

If you think your premise is exempt, contact us.

Page last updated: 05 May 2017

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