Before buying, leasing or renting commercial premises you should contact the Planning Department. All premises have a permitted use. This means they have been given permission for a particular use, such as office, retail shop, hot food takeaway. There may also be restrictions on opening hours, for instance.
The Planning Information Officer will advise you whether the business you want to run will be permitted in the premises you want to use. If not, you may need to apply for planning permission.
If you want to run a food business from your home, a quick call should tell you whether you need planning permission or not. In addition, you should:
- Check with your insurance company in case you need to update your cover
- Talk to your mortgage provider in case there are any conditions that might affect your plans
You can find general advice on obtaining planning permissions and contact details for the Planning Information Officer on our Planning Advice page.
Finally, if you plan to make any structural alterations, install or add sinks, wash basins or toilets, or make changes to mechanical ventilation, you should talk to an architect in case you need Building Regulations approval. You can find out more about this by visiting our Building Control pages.
If you plan to sell hot food or hot drinks to customers between the hours of 11pm and 5am, then you will also need to apply for a Premises Licence for Late Night Refreshment. Hotels and B&Bs are exempt from this requirement and you do not need a licence if you are only serving your own staff. You will also need to apply for a Premises Licence if you intend to sell or supply alcohol. For more information or to apply for a Premises Licence please visit our Premises Licence pages.