Food business registration
Registration of premises used for a food business – including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures – is required under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
Registration enables local authorities to keep an up-to-date list of all food catering premises within their area so they can monitor them for public safety. The frequency of the inspections will depend on the type of business. There is no cost for registering.
Who needs to register?
Anyone starting a new food business must register with the local authority at least 28 days before doing so.
Any individuals or organisation who handles, prepares, stores or serves food occasionally and on a small scale, such as a church, school or village fair or organised charities comprising of individual volunteers where the food is prepared occasionally, may be exempt. Please contact us for further details.
What type of premises needs to be registered?
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 – also 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.
However, if you have one or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must tell the authority where they are normally kept.
Types of premises exempt from registration
Most premises have to be registered, but certain premises are exempt from registration. These include premises already registered for food law purposes, certain agricultural premises, motor cars, tents and marquees – but not stalls – some domestic premises and some village halls.
You should contact your local authority if you think you might be exempt.
Seasonal food business
Seasonal businesses operating for a certain period each year should specify the dates between which they will be open.
What happens to the information given on the form?
The local authority will enter the details on its Register. A register of addresses and the type of business carried on at these will be open to inspection by the general public.
Records of the other information provided will not be publicly available and will not be disclosed outside of the council, local government departments and government agencies. The details will be used for the purpose of registration, enforcement and the protection of public funds.
What happens when there are business changes?
Once you have registered with the local authority, you only need to notify them of a change of proprietor, if the nature of the business changes, or if there is a change of the address at which moveable premises are kept. 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.
How to register
The registration form must be sent to the Environmental Health Commercial Team. If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.
- Tick all the boxes which apply to your business
- Answer all the questions
- Give all the information requested.
Registration cannot be refused and there is no charge.
You will be contacted in writing on receipt of the application form.
Copies of the Food Safety Act 1990 and Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 can be obtained from the Office of Public Sector Information., or a copy can be inspected at the Council offices, where you may also obtain an application form and further help or advice.
Alternatively, download an application form
Environmental Health Commercial Team – Food
5 Clove Crescent
London E14 2BG
Opening hours are: 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
Tel: 020 7364 5008
Fax: 020 7364 6901