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Before you start a new food business, or take over an existing business, you must register with your local authority. You should do this at least 28 days before you start trading.

If you are already trading and have not registered yet, you need to register as soon as possible as this is a legal requirement.

Scan to register

Other ways to register

You can also register your food business at GOV.UK.

Please note that it is an offence not to be registered. You may be fined, imprisoned for up to 2 years, or both, if you run a food business without registering.

Types of food business that need to register

Registration is required for all types of food and drink businesses that sell, cook, store, handle, prepare or distribute food.

Businesses involved with brokerage, food distribution or food supply that operate from an office also need to register, even if food is not kept at the premises.

Below are examples of types of operations that require registration, please note that this list is not exhaustive.

  • restaurants, cafes and takeaways
  • making food and selling from your home
  • 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 food supplied online or through social media channels or marketplaces

If you operate more than one premises, you will need to register each premises.

Mobile food establishments should register with the Local Authority within which the establishment is ordinarily kept or returns to between trading, e.g. the private residence house of the owner of the mobile food establishment.


If you provide food with your childminding business, the details you provide to Ofsted or your childminder agency will also be used to register you as a food business, you do not have to register separately.


Your premises may need to be approved, as opposed to registered, if you make, prepare or handle food that comes from animals for supply to other businesses.

Guidance regarding Food Premises Approval can be found at Food Premises Approval (England).

Closing your business or changing your operations

You must make sure that we hold up to date information about your food business. If you change your registerable food activities, you must inform the Food Team. This includes changes that may introduce additional risks into your food production processes.

You should let us know if:

  • you decide not to start trading
  • you plan to make substantial alterations to your business model
  • your close your food business

The Food Standards Agency have guidance on changing your business model.

If you are unsure as to whether you need to register or require further advice about registration, please contact the Food Team at