Who needs to register?
All food businesses have to register unless exempt, you must tell (or arrange for someone else to tell) the Local Authority about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food. Food premises include restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses, delivery vehicles, buffet cars on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans, etc.
If you use vehicles for your food business in connection with a permanent premises such as a shop, or warehouse you only need to tell the Local Authority how many vehicles you have. You do not need to register each vehicle separately. If you have one or more vehicles, but no permanent premises, you must tell the Authority where they are normally kept.
The majority of premises will have to be registered. However, certain premises are exempt from registration, e.g. some which are already registered for food law purposes, certain agricultural premises, motor cars, tents and marquees (but not stalls), some domestic premises and some village halls. You should contact your Local Authority if you think you might be exempt.
When do I register?
Anyone starting a new food business must register with their Local Authority at least 28 days before opening.
It involves completing a form giving details of the name, address, type of food business, the foods handled, the name of the proprietor, address of head office or registered office, number of people engaged in the food business and whether or not it is a seasonal business.
It is an offence to give false or incomplete information.
The purpose of the registration is to provide information for the Local Authority, which is responsible for enforcing food law, about the food businesses within its area so that it can target inspection and education programmes effectively.
The obligation to register and notify changes to the Local Authority lies with the proprietor of the food business. The form which businesses use to register their premises is part of the Regulations and can be found as an attachment at the bottom of this page. The form can be used for all Local Authority areas as it is standard throughout the country.