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You must register your food business with us at least 28 days before opening.

Registration is required for most types of food business, whether trading for profit or not, including:

  • restaurants and cafes

  • hotels and pubs

  • shops and supermarkets

  • takeaways

  • mobile and temporary premises such as stalls and vans

  • staff canteens

  • catering businesses, including those run from home.

Registration allows us to keep an up-to-date list of all premises in the district so we can visit them when needed. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of business and how well it complies with food hygiene requirements.

If you use vehicles for your food business and have permanent premises, such as a shop or warehouse, you only need to register the fixed premises but you must also 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 need to tell us where they are normally kept.

If you are going to be producing foods containing meat, poultry, fish, dairy and/or egg products to be sold to other caterers or retail shops, you may need to obtain food premises approval before you start trading.

If there are any changes to your food business you do not need to renew your registration, but please let us know what changes you have made.

If there is a change of ownership of existing premises, the new food business operator must register the business even if the business name has not changed.

What happens if I don't register?

You may be fined and/or imprisoned for up to two years if you run a food business without registering.


You do not need to register if you:

  • produce or prepare food for private domestic consumption only

  • are a primary producer, for example, you grow fruit or vegetables or

  • operate a “product-specific” food business which requires approval under Regulation 853/2004 – eg you produce meat, poultry, fish, dairy and/or egg products.

How do I register?

Register Your Food Business Online


There is no charge to register your food business.

Does tacit consent apply?

Yes. As long as you have provided all the information requested, your details will be added to the food premises register. No certificate of registration is issued.

What happens after I register?

An officer will visit your premises to carry your first food hygiene inspection. The officer will carry out a visual inspection of the premises, discuss and observe your food handling practices, look at your food safety management system (such as a completed Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB) pack) and any other records you hold such as monitoring, training, traceability and pest control.

See the Food Standard Agency's (FSA) website Preparing for your first food hygiene inspection for further information on how to prepare for your first food hygiene inspection.

After the inspection, you be given an inspection report and if eligible you will be awarded a score as part of the food hygiene rating scheme. Your rating may not be given at the time of the inspection and, depending on the conditions seen during the inspection and any further action required, may be sent by letter within 10 working days of the inspection.

Food hygiene inspections are generally carried out unannounced when your business is operating. However, if you are running your food business from your home, we may contact you to make an appointment to visit.

Appeals and complaints

Please contact us.

Consumer complaint

The Food Safety team investigates food complaints and customer complaints about food safety issues relating to food premises. Please see our leaflet [PDF, 32Kb] [PDF, 32KB]on food complaints for further information.