Have you registered your food business?

Did you know that if you run a food-based business that cooks, stores, handles, prepares, or distributes food, you must legally register with your local authority? 

You must register your business as a food-based business if you are trading:

  • from a physical customer-facing premises
  • from your home
  • from a mobile unit, or temporary premises
  • online or via social media, website or any other way you sell food without face-to-face contact with customers

And, this includes your business if you:

  • sell food
  • cook food
  • store or handle food
  • prepare food
  • distribute food

Registration applies to all food and drink businesses who sell food directly to consumers, regardless of where they operate from. And, those involved with food distribution, brokerage or food supply that operate from an office also need to register as a food business. This rule applies even if food is not stored on the premises.

If you have more than one location, you must register each location individually with the local authority for that location.

The rules also say that this registration needs to be done at least 28 days before trading starts, but registration is free and can’t be refused, so is easy and quick to do.

There is a wealth of good guidance at the Food Standards Agency website to guide you through setting up and running a food business.