Running a food business

Register your food business

Registering your food business

Are you are a food business that makes, prepares or handles meat, fish, egg or dairy products for supply to other businesses? If so, approval may be required in place of registration.

You must register your food business 28 days before you start trading if you:

  • sell food
  • cook food
  • store or handle food
  • prepare food
  • distribute food

Businesses that require registration include:

  • restaurants, cafes and takeaways
  • catering businesses run from home, B&Bs, mobile catering and temporary businesses
  • marquees, food stalls, food pop-ups and food vans
  • nurseries, schools and care homes
  • distance selling, mail order and food delivery including online

Once confirmation of registration has been received:

  • you are then free to trade.
  • all changes must be notified.
  • most should expect to receive an unannounced and programmed food hygiene inspection visit which cannot be expedited
  • you will be assigned a food hygiene rating score following the visit unless exempt
  • others may receive notification of a proposed visit and some may 
  •  be provided with a questionnaire in place of a visit.

More information is available on the food standards agency register a food business page and for further guidance, view the hygiene of foodstuffs regulation.


There will be a £175 charge per visit for any Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) rertating inspection request. No rerating inspection visit will be completed until payment is received in full.

If you set up a business that serves or sells food (a food premises) an environmental health officer will visit regularly to make a hygiene inspection. This ensures cleanliness and good hygiene practice.

You must undertake a hazard analysis for the inspection – this means you need to identify all food safety hazards and made sure that any hazards are controlled.  


If you run a food business you must make sure that any staff who handle food are supervised, instructed and/or trained in food hygiene.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) website provides more information on training and some resources.

Last Modified: 31/05/2022 14:38:18