Food premises registration

Who needs to register?

When you start a new food business or take over an existing business, you must register with your local authority.

You should register at least 28 days before opening. If you’re already trading and have not registered, you must do this as soon as possible.

A food business is anyone preparing, cooking, storing, handling, distributing, supplying or selling food.

Registration applies to food business like:

  • restaurants, cafes and takeaways
  • catering businesses run from home, mobile catering and temporary businesses
  • food stalls, food pop ups and food vans
  • distance selling, mail order and food delivery
  • nurseries
  • companies involved with food distribution or supply that operate from an office should register - even if no food is kept at the premises

If you operate more than one premises, you need to register each premises with the local authority where it’s located.

Some manufactures handling products of animal origin may need to be approved rather than registered if you make, prepare or handle food that comes from animals for supply to other businesses. If you are uncertain whether your business needs to be approved or registered, please contact the Public Protection Team.

If you’re a childminder

If you’re a childminder and provide food for the children you look after, the details you provide to Ofsted or a childminder agency will be used to register you as a food business. Your details will be available to your local authority and you will not have to register separately.

Regulation summary

EC Regulation 852/2004 (Food Premises)

Who can run a food business?

Anyone can register as a food business operator provided they have not been prohibited by a court from doing so.

What happens once I register?

An officer from the Public Protection Team will inspect your premises, usually within 28 days of receiving your registration form.

How do I complain about a food business?

If you think you have been made ill by food you have eaten, or you find something in the food that shouldn’t be there, contact a member of the Public Protection Team.

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Consumer complaint

We advise that, in the event of a complaint, you should make contact with the trader - preferably in the form a letter with proof of delivery. If unsuccessful, Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline will advise you on what to do next. From outside the UK, contact the UK International Consumer Centre (UKICC).

button | Apply to register a food business establishment