Register Your Food Business Right Now to Avoid Penalties!

Business Registration

If you are planning to start a new business or acquire an existing one, it is mandatory to register your food business with the local authority. This registration should be done at least 28 days prior to the opening of your business, and failure to register can lead to legal complications. The process of registration is free and can be completed online.

Special Cases

Certain food businesses that handle meat, fish, eggs or dairy products might need to acquire approvals from their respective local authority instead of registration. You can check the approval requirements for your business by consulting the "Applying for approval of a food establishment" guide by the Food Standards Agency or contacting your local authority directly.

Who Needs to Register?

Registration is mandatory for all food businesses that directly supply food to customers. This includes a wide range of businesses that make, sell or distribute food, such as restaurants, cafes, food stalls, catering businesses, nurseries, schools, online food ordering, and delivery services.

Moreover, even businesses involved in food distribution or supply, regardless of whether they store food or not, must register themselves as food businesses.

Registration as a Childminder


If you serve food with your childminding business in England, you are automatically registered as a food business with your local authority when you register with Ofsted.

Wales and Northern Ireland

For childminding businesses providing food in Wales or Northern Ireland, you must contact your respective local council to apply for registration.

Volunteers and Charitable Organizations

If you handle, prepare, store or serve food on a small scale and occasionally, you do not need to register. However, for regular or organized food supply or provision, even as a not-for-profit organization like a food bank, it is mandatory to register with your local authority. For further information, consult the "Guidance on providing food in a village hall or other community setting" on the Food Standards Agency website.

Discover the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, an essential aspect of your food business registration process. Once registered, your local authority may inspect your business for compliance. Early registration and expert advice can bolster your confidence and readiness for these crucial inspections. Preparing thoroughly will dramatically improve your chances of achieving a top 5 rating under the scheme, allowing you to showcase your adherence to food hygiene standards and attract more customers.

Furthermore, boasting a high rating from the FSA has proved beneficial for food businesses in terms of customer acquisition and retention.

If you wish to update your food business details, ensure your local authority is always informed of any changes relevant to your premises. If your business operates multiple locations, each one must be registered with the respective local authority. Take advantage of the opportunity to update your details via the provided hyperlink so your business remains compliant and up-to-date.

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