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Food registration and approval

The law requires either the registration or approval of all food businesses.

You must register as a food business at least 28 days before opening a food business if you plan to:

  • store food
  • prepare food
  • distribute food
  • sell food

It is an offence to fail to register a food business.

Find out how to register as a food business

Your food business may need premises approval instead of registration if you:

  • produce products of animal origin (meat, fish, dairy or eggs)
  • supply these to other food business establishments

Such premises must not operate until approval has been granted.

Find out about premises approvals

If you are uncertain whether your business needs to be approved, please contact us for advice.

Ask for advice

Register a food business

The main purpose of the registration process is to let us know:

  • where premises are
  • what type of business you are operating

We ensure that every premise is inspected and resources can be allocated in the appropriate areas.

Food premise registration is free of charge and cannot be refused. You can continue with your business as soon as you have submitted your registration form.  We  recommend you contact us as soon as possible. We will advise you how to meet the required standards.

Apply to register food premisesPublic Register

Please note that some details of food premises registrations are held on a Public Register which is available at council offices. For further information please contact the Public Protection Service.

Further information

Remember if you are running a food business on a commercial basis you are required to comply with the Food Hygiene Regulations. This also applies to businesses which are not for profit making.

More information on food safety issues is available from the Food Standards Agency.

Food Standards Agency website

Support to help your business succeed

The Business Regulatory Support team offer a range of support services to help your food business get off to the best possible start, such as;

For advice on how to give your business the best possible start, contact our friendly hub team:

You can also find out more about the support available by following the button below.

View our business support services

Food premises approval

Certain types of food premises are subject to product specific regulations. These are generally manufacturers of products of animal origin, such as:

  • dairies,
  • meat product manufacturers
  • or fish processors

The application process is free of charge.

We advise you to contact us for advice before starting the application process.

Apply for food premises approval

You can also download and complete the application for the food premises approval form.

Download the food premises approval form as a PDF

Following receipt of an application a member of the Public Protection Service will:

  • assess the application
  • normally visit the premise to validate the information provided 
  • make a decision as to whether approval can be granted. 


Consent must be given in writing before you can operate a business which requires approval. The Public Protection Team must process and approve your application before you can operate. It is an offence to operate a business which is subject to approval under Regulation (EC) 853/2004.

Right of appeal

Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of the Council to refuse to grant an approval, may appeal against that decision to a Magistrates Court. The time limit for lodging an appeal is one month from the date on which this notice was served on you. You may wish to consult a legal adviser about the implications of this notice and your right of appeal against this Food Authority’s decision on your application.

Complaints procedure

If you have any concerns about the service you have received please contact us on 0300 1234 212.

Ask to speak to an officer from the Public Protection team who deal with food hygiene enquires.

Or email your concerns to

Public Register

Once approved, details of the premise together with information relating to types of foods produced are forwarded to the Food Standards Agency to be kept on a central EU register.

Further information

Visit the Food standards Agency website for advice on food safety issues including Approval.

Food standards Agency website

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