Most food businesses need to be registered with the Council.
Food registration is an easy process; there’s no charge and you just need to complete a simple form in writing or online. If you would like to complete your food registration in writing then please download our Food Registration Form (pdf) and return it to us at the address or email below. If you would like to complete you food registration online then please visit gov.uk to Register your food business online (external link)
Registering your food business is important because it lets us know you are trading and that we need to come and inspect you. After your new business inspection you will be given your first Food Hygiene Rating, if eligible. If you do not register, you will not get your rating.
You are required by law to register as a food business 28 days before you start trading. Please do not register until you are certain you are going to trade, you won’t be inspected any sooner and you might be disappointed with your Food Hygiene Rating. Please make sure you have read all the information in our Starting a Food Business pages before you register to help get your business off to the best possible start.
Once you have sent us your registration you can legally trade while you wait for your New food business inspection to take place.
Exemptions from registering
You are not considered a food business if you do some occasional catering for events such as catering for your own private party, a street party or taking your turn to provide a cricket tea for example. If you are hiring a professional caterer for an event, you do not need to register as the caterer should already be registered.
Childminders may not need to register with us if you are already registered with Ofsted. For more information about becoming a childminder please visit Registering as a childminder (external link)
Charities and voluntary bodies
You are considered a food business if you are regularly supplying food to other people regardless of payment. This means that if you are providing food for a charity or on a voluntary basis, you are still classed as a food business. Giving food away on a regular basis also makes you a food business and means you need to register.
What happens to the information given on the form?
We will enter the details on a Public Register. This contains the name of the food business, food business operator, business address and the type of food business being run. The register is open to inspection by the general public. The other information provided will not be publicly available. A copy of the registration will be forwarded to the Trading Standards department.
Keeping details up to date
Once you have registered, you must notify us of any change of food business operator, if the nature of the food business changes or if the business closes. The new food business operator will have to register the new business.
To notify us of such a change in writing please download our Food Registration Form (pdf) and return your updated form to the address below, or you can notify us online by visiting gov.uk to Notify us of a change to your food business online (external link). If you are closing your business then you can simply call or email us using the contact details below.
If your business is involved in the production of meat or dairy products, then you may need to apply to become an Approved Food Business.