Food business registration

Business: Food

    You must register with the council to run a food business – fines, penalties

    Contact the council to register your business if you want to carry out any ‘food operations’.

    Food operations include:

    • selling food
    • cooking food
    • storing or handling food
    • preparing food
    • distributing food


    You must register every premises where you carry out food operations, including your home, and mobile or temporary premises such as stalls and vans.

    If you make, prepare or handle food that comes from animals, for example meat or dairy products, other than for direct sale to the consumer, your premises may need to be approved by the council before you can undertake the activity.

    If you are approved you don’t need to register as well.

    How to apply

    Contact the council to register your premises.

    You must register at least 28 days before you start any food operations.

    It doesn’t cost anything to register and your registration can’t be refused.

    Fines and penalties

    You may be fined, imprisoned for up to 2 years or both if you run a food business without registering.

    Further helpful information on starting up a new food business is available from the Food Standards Agency website

    Food business registration if carrying out 'food operations' in a food business.

    England, Scotland, Wales, NI