Starting a Food Business
Registering your Food Business
If you supply food regularly you must register your business with our department at least 28 days before opening – registration is free.
Registration applies to most types of food business and includes catering businesses run from your home address, food provided on a not-for-profit basis, mobile catering and temporary event catering. Registration must be renewed after each change of ownership.
If you are unsure whether your business needs to be registered, or would like some advice about setting up a food business, please contact us by using our online 'Send a message to this service' form .
Starting a Food Business
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) website provides guidance for new businesses, including what you need to know about starting up a food business, as well as food safety and labelling law.
The law requires you to identify food safety hazards in your business, and to put in place procedures to ensure the food you provide to your customers is safe. These procedures do not need to be complex but they must be effective. You will need to provide documentation and evidence to show how you have identified and monitored the controls which are critical to making sure food is safe. Procedures and monitoring records must be available for inspection during opening hours.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has produced the ‘Safer Food, Better Business’ pack to help small businesses comply with the requirement to have documented food safety procedures. View/ download the ‘Safer Food, Better Business’ pack from the FSA website. Separate packs have been produced for caterers, retailers, childminders and care homes, as well as for Chinese and Indian cuisine, these can also be found on the FSA website.
The Safer Food, Better Business pack covers the majority of practices found in food businesses. If you use this pack as a means of meeting the requirement to have documented food safety procedures, it is essential that you work through and adopt the safe methods described in this pack and tailor the controls so that the pack is specific for the hazards and practices associated with your business. Employees must be properly trained and aware of the controls they need to undertake.
Please note that this is an important legal requirement and it is essential that you fully understand what you have to do.
If you would like any further information advice, please contact us by using our online 'Send a message to this service' form .