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Registering your food business

If you're starting a food business you need to register it with us, even if you have bought an existing business. If your business is already trading and is not registered, you must register it as soon as possible.

How to register your food business

You'll need to:

  • complete the online food business registration form - there’s no fee for this
  • register 28 days before the changeover or opening
  • make sure you have the correct planning authorisation for your type of food operation.

Register your food business online.

Businesses that need to register

You should apply apply if you’re a:

  • commercial premises
  • mobile business
  • food businesses run from domestic premises
  • internet business
  • food broker
  • community organisation that supplies food regularly.

Businesses that need approval

If your business supplies products of animal origin on a wholesale basis, like dairy, meat and/or fish, it may need approval rather than registration. Where this applies, approval must be obtained before the business can start operating.

Please see the approval guidance on the Food Standards Agency website. If you think approval may apply to your business, please email for more specific advice.

You must let us know if your business changes significantly after registration or approval.

There is further help and advice about starting a food business on the Food Standards Agency website.

Imported and exported food

If you plan to import food directly, you may need to be registered with us. Detailed information on the rules for importing food is on the Food Standards Agency website.

Apply for a food export certificate 

Email for information about what you will need to provide and how much the fee will be.

Contact us

If you need more advice, please email