Registering a food business


All food businesses must legally register with the local authority where they trade (or in the case of a mobile business where the business is kept overnight). Registration must take place at least 28 days before the business is due to open and is free of charge.

What is a Food Business?

A food business is any business or organisation, which distributes, sells or prepares food for customers or other businesses on an ongoing basis. Food doesn't need to be sold for an organisation to be considered a food business, so you may need to register as a food business even if you give out food for free. Food businesses can include cafes, mobile food vehicles, manufacturers, food banks, schools and food brokers. More information can be found here (external) on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website. 

How to Register

The food business registration form can be completed quickly and free of charge at the following link:

Register a food business (external link)

Once registered, businesses will be added onto our food business database and the business will receive a food safety inspection. You need to let us know if the nature or the scale of the business changes, if the business ownership or address changes of if the business closes.

Data protection is important to us. Information on how we handle and protect your data including our Corporate Privacy Policy can be found here.

Advice on Starting a New Food Business

Information on how to start a new business safely can be found on FSA website here (external) and we would recommend that you research the requirements carefully before you start trading. 

All food businesses require a documented food safety management system and the Safer Food Better Business pack fulfills this requirement for many businesses. The pack is an excellent source of information and is available to download for free here (external).

If you would like further advice, please contact a member of the Food and Safety Team on 01695 577177 or email