Food businesses

If you run a food business for more than five days in any five consecutive weeks, you must tell us about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food. Food premises include restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses, delivery vehicles, buffet cars on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans.

Once you have registered, you only need to tell us:

  • if the owner changes
  • if the nature of the business changes
  • if there is a change of the address at which moveable premises are kept

The new owner will then have to complete an application form.

If you use vehicles for your food business in connection with permanent premises such as a shop or warehouse, you only need to tell the local authority 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.

Anyone starting a new food business which does not require approval, must register with the local authority at least 28 days before doing so. Failure to register is an offence which could lead to prosecution.

Exempt premises

Certain premises do not have to register. For example, some which are already registered for food law purposes, certain agricultural premises, motor cars, tents and marquees (but not stalls), some domestic premises and some village halls. Contact us if you think you might be exempt.

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