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Registration - Food Businesses

If you intend to open a business which sells food directly to the public, you will need to be registered.

 If you intend to set up a business that manufactures or handles products of animal origin for sale to other businesses, your premises may have to be approved instead. If you have any doubt regarding the legal requirements of your business, please contact us for clarification.  See contact details below.

Purpose of registration

The registration of food businesses provides us with information about the food premises in our area so that we can plan our inspections, concentrating on those businesses who are considered to be "high risk". Certain information also has to be made available to the public in the form of a public register. This basically relates to the name and address of the business and a description of its activity. Registration is free of charge. It is not a form of license and does not give approval to trade, it just lets us know that you are there.

Notes for new food businesses & premises.

If you are setting up a new business you will need to ensure that you have the relevant planning permissions and building regulation approvals for your new food premises before applying for registration.

We always encourage anybody setting up a new business to contact us first so that we can give advice on how you can comply with the law before you open up. Please see contact details below.

See also:- Start up advice for new businesses.

Registering your food business.

A fixed premises food business must register with the local authority in whose area it trades.

A mobile food business must register with the local authority in whose area its trailer/vehicle is stored.

You will need to complete and return an Application Form for the Registration of Food Premises,

You can apply for food premises registration online, through the Business Link website, by selecting one of the links below:

Alternatively, you can download an application form (see Related Downloads) which can be printed and returned to us at the address above. There is no fee for this application.

Online applications will be acknowledged by email. Provided your application is correctly made, we will aim to process it within 14 working days. If this is not possible, we will inform you and provide an explanation as to the reason. Tacit consent applies to this application. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not received a response before the end of the target completion period.
Once registered, you will receive confirmation, and your details will be added to our premises database to be included in our inspection programme. You can then expect to receive a visit from a member of the Food and Safety Team who will assess whether you are complying with the law.

If you require any further information, wish to view the public register or have a complaint about this process please contact us.  See contact details below.

For further information see:- Food Safety - Inspections

Types of food businesses that must be registered with their local authority.

If you run a food business 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, cafés, 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, etc.

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 that you have vehicles. You do not need to register each vehicle separately. If you have one or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must tell the authority that covers the area in which they are normally kept, not the authority that covers the area in which you are trading.

Anyone starting a new food business must register with the local authority at least 28 days before doing so. The Food Business Operator is defined as "the natural or legal persons responsible for ensuring that the requirements of food law are met within the food business under their control".

The majority of premises will have to be registered. However, certain premises are exempt from registration, e.g. certain agricultural premises. Please contact us, using the details below, if you think you might be exempt.

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