Starting your new food business

When starting up your food business, it is important to get things right from the start, because this will make it much easier to run your business well in the future.

The Food Standards Agency has produced an excellent booklet which summarises the main requirements for operating a food business. This booklet, which is available in English and other languages, is for people setting up a food business, whether you are taking over a business that already exists or starting a new one. The booklet tells you about the main things you need to consider, and is available to download from the Food Standards Agency website.

If you are considering starting a cake or cupcake making business from home, please read our advice leaflet below:

PDF document Advice for cake and cupcake makers (PDF, 24 kb)

Food premises registration

When starting a new food business, you are required by law to register your business with the council at least 28 days before opening - registration is free.

Register a food business

Further guidance on the online application procedure can be found on the EU Services Directive section of our website. Please be advised in order to complete the online application process you will need to use Adobe Reader 8.1 or above. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Alternatively, you can download, print and complete a paper application below and return it to the address on the form:

PDF document Application form for the registration of a food business establishment (PDF, 154 kb)

Food premises include restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses, delivery vehicles, buffet carts on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans.

The Food and Safety Team will check that the application form is properly completed and enter the details on its database. Records of information other than trading name and address will not be publicly available.

Change a food premises registration

Once you have registered with the council you will only need to notify us where there is a change of owner/manager, where the nature of the business changes, or where there is a change of the address at which movable premises are kept. The new owner/manager will have to complete an application form.

Application to change a food premises registration

When should I expect a decision?

Tacit Consent applies to this application. All premises will be registered on receipt of a properly completed application form. Anyone starting a new food business must register with us at least 28 days before doing so.

Failed application redress

Please contact the Food and Safety Team in the first instance. All premises will be registered on receipt of a properly completed application form.

Food premises approval

Certain types of food premises, generally manufacturers of products of animal origin, such as meat, dairy, egg or fish products, need to be approved. This is a requirement of European Community Directive 853/2004.

These types of premises are required by law to be approved by the local authority and generally their products must display a health mark or be accompanied by a health certificate. Each local authority in the country (and places across the EU) has a unique code which ensures that the origin of the food can always be established.

Apply for food premises approval

Further guidance on the online application procedure can be found on the EU Services Directive section of our website. Please be advised in order to complete the online application process you will need to use Adobe Reader 8.1 or above. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader.

Application evaluation process

Once you have submitted an application to the council the Food and Safety Team will check the application form is properly completed and if the premises requires approval. Approval can only be granted following the correct submission of an application form together with other relevant documents. It is necessary for an officer to carry out a detailed inspection of the premises before approval is granted. It may also be necessary for an officer to request further information before approval is granted. There is no fee required for a Food Premises Approval application.

If you require further information or wish to discuss whether your business requires approval contact the Food and Safety Team using the contact details below in order that we can discuss your requirements.

When should I expect a decision?

Tacit consent will not apply to this application as this may compromise public health by allowing premises which do not comply with the hygiene regulations to place food on the market.

Once approved, details of the premises together with information relating to the types of foods produced are forwarded to the Food Standards Agency to be kept on a central EU register.

Please contact the Food and Safety Team using the contact details below if you have not been contacted within 28 days of submitting an application.

Changes to approved premises

Please contact the Food and Safety Team if you wish to carry out any additional activities or wish to change the processes that are carried out in the establishment as you may require further approval.

Failed application redress

Please contact the council in the first instance.

Any food business operator aggrieved by a decision in relation to a granting of approval may appeal to a Magistrates Court within 28 Days of a decision being made.

Contact details

Environmental Health team

If you have an enquiry about environmental health, send a message to the Environmental Health team

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