Register a food business

Find out how to register or get approval for your food business.

It is your legal responsibility to make sure you produce food safely when starting your food business. Find advice on how to do this at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website.

If you sell food to the public

If you store, prepare or sell food to the public you need to register your business with us free of charge. This includes:

  • cafes
  • restaurants
  • takeaways
  • food stalls
  • hotels
  • if you sell food from home or through social media
You must register at least 28 days before starting any food operations. If you're already trading, you need to register as soon as possible or you could be prosecuted.
Register your food business

Some of the information you've given will be available to the public including address, type of business and telephone number once you are registered.

Processing your registration

We will let know by email when we have received your request. Your business will be added to our food register within 30 days.

A food inspection will then take place. You can continue running your food business while waiting for the inspection appointment.

All food you sell or supply must meet strict legal standards. Find more about the legal standards External link.

Tell us about any changes such as name, address, ownership or closure of business. Choose the 'how to change' option on the registration form External link.

If you sell animal products to businesses

You will need approval from us before you make, sell, prepare or handle food made from animal origin to sell to other businesses. This includes meat, dairy, egg, shellfish or other animal products. Check to see if your business needs approval External link.

Approval is free of charge and you will not need to register as well.

There are strict standards of hygiene, structure and procedures that you need to meet before you can get approval.

If you need approval, contact us to talk about how you can meet the standards by emailing​. 

If you operate a food business without approval, you could get a fine or even go to prison.

Other licences you might need

  • Click to expand Planning permission
  • Click to expand Street and mobile traders
  • Click to expand Selling hot food after 11pm
  • Click to expand Home food business

Contact us


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