Food premises registration

It is your legal responsibility to make sure you produce food safely when starting your food business.

Visit Food Standards Agency for the current guidance.

Registering your food business

If you store, prepare or sell food to the public you must register your business with us free of charge. It is an offence to run a food business without registering with us.

Registration applies to food business like:

  • cafes
  • restaurants
  • takeaways
  • food stalls, food pop ups and food vans
  • hotels
  • running a catering business from home or through social media
  • mobile catering
  • mail order and food delivery

If you handle products of animal origin such as dairy, meat and sell to other businesses you may need approval instead.

You must register at least 28 days before starting any food operations. If you're already trading you must register as soon as possible. If you do not you could be fined or imprisoned for up to 2 years.

Processing your registration

Your business will be added to our food register within 14 days.

Some of the information you've given us will be available to the public including your address, type of business and telephone number.

Childminders or nurseries will be registered using the details provided to Ofsted. You will not have to register with us separately.

After adding you to our register we will carry out a food inspection within 8 weeks. This will be unannounced unless your food business is run from a private address.

You can continue running your food business while waiting for the inspection appointment.

All new applications for registration will become void if the new business does not start within three months. After this time a new application will be required.

All food you sell or supply must meet strict legal standards. You can read the regulations for more information on these legal standards.

Register your food business

Making changes to a registration

You can make any changes to a food business registration by selecting the button below and then following any onscreen instructions.

Report a change to an existing food business

Helping you meet the standards

We can offer extra advice to help you meet the standards. There is a fee for this service.

You’ll need to register on our online portal.

Once registered:

  1. Go to Requests.
  2. Select Submit a request complaint.
  3. In Request Subject choose food hygiene advice/inspections for new businesses and FHRS rated 5.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the application

Request advice on how to get a good rating

Getting approval

If your business involves handling meat, fish, egg or dairy products you must be inspected and you may need approval from us.

Check to see if your business needs approval.

Approval is free of charge.

You must wait for approval before starting any food-related activity.

You’ll also have to register your food business.

There are strict standards of hygiene, structure and procedures that need to be met before approval is given. 

You’ll need to give us the following information:

  • what types of food you intend to produce
  • quantities of food to be produced
  • design, construction and layout of the premises (please include any photos or plans if necessary)
  • arrangements for maintenance
  • pest control procedures
  • arrangements for applying the health mark
  • your staff health monitoring arrangements
  • your food safety control, monitoring systems and record keeping
  • your cleaning arrangements for the premises, equipment, utensils and transport including details of chemicals used
  • your food and water sampling plan
  • which laboratory you will use for carrying out food and water sample analysis
  • waste disposal arrangements
  • staff training arrangements

We may ask for further information and we will need to visit your premises before approval can be granted.

Apply for approval

If you’re already an approved business but want to make a change then please apply below.

Make a change to an approved business

Other things to consider

Street trading

If you run a mobile or temporary food business that you can operate from the roadside, grass verge, pedestrian walkways or public highways, then you may also need a street trading licence. For more information see Street trading.

Mobile traders must register using the address where the unit is kept overnight. This could be different from the registered company or home address.

Late night refreshment

Food businesses that supply hot food after 11pm may need a late-night refreshment licence.

Home food business

To register your food business, you must have suitable training on food safety and hygiene. We recommend Level 2 Food Hygiene training.

You’ll also need a Food Safety Management System.

You should also:

  • check if you need insurance, permission from your mortgage provider or landlord and planning permission
  • make sure children and pets are not near where you prepare food
  • not wash laundry at the same time as making or preparing food
  • have a safe food preparation area with nothing that could fall into food such as plants or noticeboard pins
  • have separate storage of equipment, utensils and ingredients with a separate shelf in your fridge for high risk items, such as meat
  • clean surfaces using anti-bacterial spray before preparing food
  • be aware of allergens and how to store these at home so they do not contaminate any food you prepare
  • transport food hygienically to any venues and store high risk foods in cool boxes or insulated containers
  • not prepare food 48 hours after you have recovered from diarrhoea or vomiting