Food business registration

Licence name
Food business registration

​Registration of premises used for a food business (including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures) is required by law. You must register a new food business with us at least 28 days before starting trading.

Registration allows us to keep an up-to-date list of all food premises in the area so we can visit them when required. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of business.

Related regulations and laws

Regulation summary

If you run a food business for 5 or more days in any 5 consecutive weeks, you must tell (or arrange for someone else to tell) 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
  • Delivery vehicles
  • Buffet cars on trains
  • Market and other stalls
  • Hot dog and ice cream vans

If you use vehicles for your food business in connection with permanent premises such as a shop, or warehouse, you only need to tell us how many vehicles you have. You do not need to register each vehicle separately. If you have 1 or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must tell us where they are normally kept.

The majority of premises have to be registered. However, certain premises are exempt from registration, such as those which are already registered for food law purposes, certain agricultural premises, motor cars, tents and marquees (but not stalls), some domestic premises and some village halls. You should contact us if you think you might be exempt.

​If you make or handle food of animal origin

If you run or intend to start up a business that makes or handles food of animal origin (for example meat, fish or dairy) and you supply another establishment rather than sell your food to the final consumer, which means the person who is actually going to consume the food, you may need approval.

Approval is not the same as registration. If you think you handle these sorts of foods and supply other establishments, please contact us using the link below.

Apply for food safety approval

How to register

Complete the online application form to apply for registration of a food business. 

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

You must tick all the boxes which apply to your business, answer all the questions and give all the information requested. Seasonal businesses operating for a certain period each year should give the dates between which they will be open.

Once you have registered with us, you only need to notify us of a change of proprietor, if the nature of the business changes, or if there is a change of the address at which moveable premises are kept. The new proprietor will have to complete an application form. If we wish to change the entry in the Register because of information which we receive from someone else, you will be given 28 days' notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed change.

You will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us by the end of the target completion date.

Contact us