Why and How to Register A Food Business in The UK?

Food Business

Anyone who prepares, cooks, stores, handles, distributes, supplies, or sells food might be considered to be operating a food business.

The following types of food businesses are required to register food business in the UK:

  • places to eat, including restaurants, cafes, and takeout
  • enterprises that provide catering that is conducted out of homes, mobile catering businesses, and temporary businesses
  • food carts, food stands, and food trucks, as well as mail order, online ordering, and delivery services for food

Even if no food is ever stored on the premises, businesses that deal with food distribution or supply and have an office location must register. This includes nurseries.

If you run more than one establishment, you are required to register each establishment separately with the local government in charge of the area where it is situated.

Registration of food businesses

To operate a food business in the UK, you may be required to get a license and permission for your premises. This article will walk you through the steps to registering a food business with your local council while providing information on avoiding fines or other penalties.

Registration of food businesses is required to take place with the authorization of the local government. Contact the local municipal authority closest to you to register a food business.

Registration is required to carry out the various forms of “food operations,” which might include the following:

  • Preparing meals via cooking
  • Providing access to food
  • Handling or storing food
  • Food preparation and retailing

All your sites must be registered if you utilize more than one location to carry out food business activities. This regulation applies to your permanent residence and any mobile or temporary buildings (e.g., stalls, vans).

To register a food business with the council, you must fill out a form. They would require certain fundamental information on the food operations and a registered address for the food business. It is also applicable to anybody who operates a website that coordinates the delivery of meals.

Why do you need to register

You must register a food business with the local authorities, whether starting a brand-new business or purchasing an existing one. At the very least, you should have this done a month and a half before you begin trading.

Registration is necessary regardless of the location of a company’s operations inside the United Kingdom. This covers food enterprises that trade from actual customer-facing premises, from home, a mobile unit or temporary premises such as a stand or van, and via internet or distance marketing.

Your food business will register for free, and there is no way to be denied registration. To comply with the law, you must register your business as soon as possible if you have already begun doing business but have not done so.

How to register your food business?

If you want to register your food business in writing, please download the Application Form for Registration of a Food Premises (pdf) from rother.gov.uk and send it to the official address or email below.

It is critical that you register food business since doing so notifies you that you are in business and prompts you to schedule an inspection appointment. Following the completion of the inspection of your new company, you will get your first Food Hygiene Rating if you are qualified for one.

To comply with the legislation, you must register food business at least 28 days before you begin doing business. You won’t be inspected any sooner if you register, and you could be dissatisfied with your Food Hygiene Rating if you do.

What happens after you register

After you have completed the process to register a food business, you need to be aware of the following:

  • A food inspection will be performed, and the results of this inspection will serve as the basis for your first food hygiene grade;
  • There are fourteen different allergies that your consumers will need to be informed about;
  • The avoidance of foodborne illness will be of critical significance to your company; and
  • You are required to inform our Business Rates service about this matter.

Hygiene rating scheme

Following a food hygiene inspection, firms that deal with food are given a grade on a scale from 0 to 5 under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The Food Standards Agency works in conjunction with local councils, who are responsible for conducting the inspections, to manage the system.

The ratings provide a snapshot of the food hygiene standards discovered in the establishment at the time of the inspection. These standards address the following:

  • dealing with food and drink
  • the manner in which the food is kept and cooked.
  • the tidiness of the accommodations
  • how control over food safety is maintained

Locations that provide, sell, or consume food frequently get ratings, including but not limited to the following categories:

  • restaurants, pubs, and cafes
  • take-out restaurants, mobile food vendors, and stationary food booths
  • hotels and canteens
  • grocery stores and various types of retail food establishments
  • more establishments where customers may either dine or purchase food
  • Customers in Northern Ireland must be informed of the hygiene grade assigned to each establishment they visit.

What food do Businesses need to register?

It is necessary for all sorts of food and drink enterprises that sell food directly to members of the public to register with the appropriate municipal authorities.

Registration is necessary regardless of where a firm operates inside the UK. This covers food enterprises that trade from customer-facing physical premises, from the comfort of their homes, from a mobile unit or temporary premises such as a stall or van, or via internet or distance marketing.

Even if no edible items are stored on the premises, businesses that deal in the distribution, brokerage, or supply of food and operate from an office must register as food businesses.

You’ll likely need to register as a food company with the appropriate authorities. If you engage in the following activities: selling, cooking, storing, handling, preparing, or distributing food for the general public.

You must register each of your premises with the relevant local authorities if you do business in more than one place. Here are some examples of the activities that call for registration: This list does not include everything.

  • Places to eat, including cafés and takeout establishments
  • Producing and selling culinary items from the comfort of your own home.
  • Home-based catering companies, hotels and bed and breakfasts, mobile catering, and temporary enterprises.
  • Places of education and residential care, respectively
  • Distance selling, mail order, and food delivery, including food supply through the internet, social media channels, or online marketplaces, are all examples of distance retailing.


How can I legally sell food UK?

Before legally selling food UK, you must register your food company on the government website. This is a must. You will not be charged for this, but you must complete it within the first 28 days after deciding to sell food.

How much does a food license cost in the UK?

Registration is free, and registration cannot be denied. You must register at least 28 days before the opening date. If you are already trading but have not yet registered, you must do so immediately.

What certificates do I need to sell food UK?

A Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene for Catering qualification is required if you make and distribute your food. To sell prepackaged food, you still need to complete Level 2 Food Hygiene training.

Can I sell food from home?

You need to register a food business if you are going to be selling food items from home online. When food is sold via the internet in the United Kingdom, the product is subject to the laws governing food in that country. This addresses concerns about safety, the maintenance of records, the withdrawal of products, the recall of products, standards for proper hygiene, and labeling regulations.

How do I get a food safety certificate in the UK?

You can earn a certificate in food hygiene by paying for and completing the level of training necessary for your job. Upon completing the training, you can download a digital copy of the certificate immediately after the course and receive a professionally printed copy in the mail.


If you have a strong work ethic, like interacting with people, and have a passion for food, opening a restaurant or other food-related business could be the perfect option. To begin your food company in the United Kingdom, you must register on the government’s website. To discover more regarding the “Why and How to register food business in the UK?” please read all the above information.

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