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Register a food business

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What you need to know

Anyone starting a new food business, or taking over a food business, should register their premises at least 28 days before opening.

Registration is free of charge and generally only needs to be done once, unless there are any changes of details or circumstances (such as change of food business operator - person running the business, business name or in the type of food handled or prepared), or closure of the business.

Registration will apply to all types of food businesses that serve customers directly, including:

  • restaurants, cafes, and takeaways
  • catering businesses run from home, B&Bs, mobile catering and temporary businesses
  • marquees, food stalls, food pop ups and mobile food vans  
  • nurseries, schools, and care homes
  • distance selling, mail order and food delivery including online
  • charity and volunteer organisations

Registration is still required if food is provided on a regular and organised basis whether or not payment is taken, or the activity is conducted on a not-for-profit basis (e.g. a food bank).

Further information and guidance


In some cases your food business may be exempt. This may be for: 

  • community volunteers, and charity organisations 
  • childminders registered with Ofsted
  • some manufacturers of products of animals, including dairy, meat cutting or meat or fish products may need to be approved by us or the Food Standards Agency in certain circumstances

Register a food business

Before you register your food business you can find some useful information here:

Guidance for registering a food business

Food hygiene rating scheme

You can register your food business online free of charge at GOV.UK.

Register your food business

What happens next?

We will acknowledge receipt of your application. A copy of your food registration details will also be forwarded on to Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards. An officer from our food and safety team will undertake an inspection of your premises, but you don't need to wait for a visit from us before you begin trading.

Some details of your food business registration, including business name, type of business and address will be held on a public register.