Register a Food Business

Food businesses do not require a licence, however, those within the district must be registered with the Environmental Health Team no later than 28 days before starting any food operations. Registration is free.

'Food operations' include:

  • Selling food
  • Cooking food
  • Storing or handling food
  • Preparing food
  • Distributing food

Failure to register is an offence and you may be fined, imprisoned for up to two years or both if you run a food business without registering.

How to register

Registration cannot be refused and there is no charge. The registration form can be completed online via the link below. Once completed the registration to the relevant authority by the Food Standards Agency. Applications will not take effect until it has been received.


Registration will allow our food inspectors to keep an up-to-date list of all those premises in the area so they can inspect them when they need to. The frequency of the inspections will depend on the type of business.

The aim of the inspections is to maintain and improve conditions in food premises, promote food hygiene best practice, address issues in relation to foodborne disease, provide advice and to carry out any sampling.

Following your inspection, you will receive your food hygiene rating.


All food businesses in the district, including voluntary organisations, need to register with us and tell us about any premises used for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food.

Food premises include:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels and guest houses
  • Cafes
  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Staff canteens
  • Kitchens in offices
  • Warehouses
  • Delivery vehicles
  • Buffet cars on trains
  • Market and other stalls
  • Mobile catering units

Childminders do not need to register. Food business registration will happen automatically when you register with Ofsted.

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 one or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must tell the authority where they are normally kept.

Register and exemptions

Your details will go onto the Food Premises Register. The register includes details of the types of food businesses and relevant addresses of the food businesses within the district. This register is a public document and members of the public can request to see the register.

Other information provided for the register will not be disclosed outside the Council, local government departments and government agencies. The details will be used for the purpose of registration, enforcement and the protection of public funds.

Once you have registered, you will need to tell us if you have any of the following changes:

  • Change of proprietor
  • Change in the nature of the business
  • Change of the address at which moveable premises are kept

All new proprietors will need to complete a new registration application.


Registration is not required for primary production for private or domestic use or for domestic preparation, handling or storage of food for private domestic consumption.

Businesses producing meat, meat products, eggs, milk, dairy products, fish and/or fish products are exempt from registering as they will need separate approval. If you are unsure if your business might be exempt, please contact us.


  • Planning permission may be required if premises are being converted to be used as food premises for the first time
  • Should you wish to sell alcohol, a licence will be required, please see the licensing web pages
  • All food businesses should carry out a hazard analysis in order to identify may go wrong with the food they produce or sell. This requires looking at each step of food preparation from choosing suppliers to serving or selling food to customers
  • Necessary food safety controls must be identified, documented and implemented to reduce or remove the hazards

If you'd like any further guidance please contact us to help you comply with food safety law. In addition to this, we now have a New Food Business Information Pack available to download to help you get started and answer any queries you may have.

Last updated 2 May 2023
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