Starting or Relocating a Food Business

Food Safety

When starting up a new food business it is very important to get things right at the start because it will make it much easier for you to run your business well in the future.

Before opening a food business you must consider the following matters:


Ensure the premises from which you intend to operate has the necessary planning consent. More information is available on our Planning & Building pages.

If you intend to carry out structural works to the premises you may need Building Regulations approval. More information is available on our Building Control page.


Arrangements will need to be made for the collection of your trade waste. More information is available on our Commercial & Trade Waste page.


You must ensure your premises are registered with the District Council 28 days before opening.

If you are operating a mobile food business the vehicle must be registered with the council where it is stored/garaged overnight.

If you are operating a mobile food business you should contact our Licensing Department who will advise on which streets street trading is prohibited.

Do I Need To Register?

The vast majority of food businesses will simply require registration. However, if you are operating a business producing and/or supplying products of animal origin to other food businesses, you may be required to apply for approval to use your establishment for that purpose.

Products of animal origin include meat products, fishery products, minced meat, meat preparations etc. (for example, a meat pie is a meat product):

  • If you cook meat pies in your premises and sell them to members of the public, you would not require approval, as you are not supplying other food businesses.
  • However, if you cook meat pies and only sell them to other businesses such as restaurants, shops etc, then you would require approval.
  • If you cook meat pies and supply members of the public and food businesses, you may require approval depending on the circumstances.

If approval is required, this will place additional requirements on you as a food business operator with regard to structure, layout, health marking etc. Clearly, this is a very complicated area of food law and each case needs to be looked at individually.

Information may also be obtained from the Food Standards Agency.

IMPORTANT: You must also complete a Food Registration form if you are relocating your business to a new address.


Food handlers must be adequately trained in accordance with the food handling duties undertaken. Food Hygiene courses are available from a variety of providers.

Statutory Nuisance

You must ensure your premises are not the cause of a statutory nuisance to neighbouring properties from emitting smoke, fumes, gases, dusts, steam, odour, noise, or having accumulations or deposits that are prejudicial to health or a nuisance.

Public Sanitary Accommodation

An adequate number of toilets need to be provided for members of the public eating or drinking food in restaurants and cafes. However, if the business is predominately a takeaway where seating is limited to eight or less, you will not be expected to provide toilets for customers.

Food Premises Structure

The food premises must be kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition, to enable adequate cleaning and disinfection.