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Starting up a food business

Advice on starting up and registering a food business.

I've set up a new food business. Where do I start?

Once you have selected a suitable premises you should check with the Planning Officer that the building has planning permission for the type of food premises you intend to open.

If it doesn't have planning permission, you will need to submit a planning application for change of use of the premises.

If you need to carry out any construction work or alterations check with the Building Control Officer to find out whether you need building regulation consent.

You may also need to contact Trading Standards.

Further advice on starting up a food business is available from the Food Standards Agency.

Registering your food business

Registration of a food business is required by law. Registration allows us to keep an up-to-date list of all those premises in our area so we can visit them when we need to. This applies to most types of food business, including catering businesses run from home, and mobile temporary premises such as stalls and vans. If you use two or more premises, you will need to register all of them.

If food premises are used by several catering businesses (for example, a village hall or conference centre), the person who allows the premises to be used for this purpose is responsible for registering them.

When do I register?

Anyone starting a new food business must register with the local authority at least 28 days before doing so.

How do I register?

Complete the  icon application form [62.21KB] and send it to Guildford Borough Council, marked for the attention of the Environmental Health Department. If you have any questions your local authority will help you. If you also have a premises in another local authority area you must register with them separately.

What will happen after I am registered?

When you apply for registration, an Environmental Health Officer will usually contact you in order to arrange for an inspection of your premises and to discuss details with you.