When you start a new food business or take over an existing business, you must register with your local authority.
It’s free to register, and your registration cannot be refused.
You should register at least 28 days before opening. If you’re already trading and have not registered, you need to do this as soon as possible.
Registration must be made using the Online Form
Who needs to register
A food business is anyone preparing, cooking, storing, handling, distributing, supplying or selling food.
Registration applies to food business like:
- Restaurants, cafes and take-aways
- Catering businesses run from home, mobile catering and temporary businesses
- Food stalls, food pop ups and food vans
- Distance selling, mail order and food delivery
- Companies involved with food distribution or supply that operate from an office should register - even if no food is kept at the premises
If you operate more than one premises, you need to register each premises with the local authority where it’s located.
You may be fined, imprisoned for up to 2 years or both if you run a food business without registering.
If you’re a childminder or run a nursery
If you’re a childminder or run a nursery and provide food for the children you look after, the details you provide to Ofsted will be used to register you as a food business. Your details will be available to your local authority and you will not have to register separately.
Food hygiene rating scheme
Once registered, your business will be inspected by your local authority inspectors.
Preparing thoroughly for inspection means your business has the best chance of getting a top rating (5) in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. When you enter your registration details you will be given links to tailored advice depending on the type of business you are running.
Some premises may need to be approved by your local council instead of simply being registered. If you make, prepare or handle food that comes from animals for supply to other businesses check the requirements in the Food Premises Approval (England) section.
Registration of farms and other food producers
Farmers producing food for human consumption need to register their premises using the on line food premises registration form.
Inspections of primary production of food are carried out by the Unitary or County Council rather than the District Council.
More information on feed premises registration and a specific application form can be found on the Nottinghamshire County Council website.