You need to be registered with the Local Authority if you store, prepare, distribute or sell food on premises. Premises include restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops, canteens, market stalls, mobile catering vans and food delivery vans.

Anyone starting a new food business must register with us at least 28 days before doing so.

In addition, some manufacturers handling products of animal origin, such as meat, fish and dairy products, may need to be approved by the local authority. If you are uncertain whether your business needs to be approved contact your local authority.

Who needs to register?

If you run a food business, you must tell (or arrange for someone else to tell) the local authority about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food. Food premises includes 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 etc.

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 each normally kept.

If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.

Anyone starting a new food business must register with the local authority at least 28 day before they start trading.

The majority of premises have to be registered. However, certain premises are exempt from registration e.g. some which are already registered for food law purposes, certain agricultural premises, motor cars, tents, marquees (but not stalls), some domestic premises and some village halls. You should contact your local authority if you think you might be exempt.

These notes are provided for information only and should not be regarded as a complete statement of the law.

How do I register or make changes to my registration?

To register your business simply fill in a form on line. Registration cannot be refused and there is no charge. The registration form must be sent to us at least 28 days before you plan to start trading.

You must tick all the boxes which apply to your business, answer all the questions and give all information requested. Seasonal businesses operating for a certain period each year should give the dates between which they will be open.  If you have any question your local authority will help you. It is an offence to give information which you know is false.

What happens to the information given on the form?

The local authority will enter the details on its Register. A register of the name of the business (if any), the address, telephone number and the type of business carried on at each will be open to inspection by the general public. Records of the other information provided will not be publicly available.

Once you have registered with the Local Authority you only need notify them of a change of food business operator, if the nature of the business changes, or if there is a change of the address at which moveable premises are kept. To notify changes fill in this form. The new proprietor will have to complete an application form.

If the local authority wishes to change the entry in the Register because of information which it receives from someone else you will be given 28 days notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed change.

These notes are provided for information only and should not be regarded as a complete statement of the law.

Register of Food Business Operators

We keep a register for food businesses that holds the following details:

  • Name of the food business
  • Address of the food business establishment
  • Particulars and nature of the food business

The register, which holds in excess of 1,000 businesses, is continually changing and is not available on the website.  It can be examined, by appointment, at one of the Council’s offices.

Should you be interested in food businesses of a particular type then please make this clear in your request. This will help us give you the information that you need.

Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) 852/2004 sets out a requirement for food business operators to register with the local authority.