Registration - food businesses


Registration as a food business

If you are planning to start a new food business, or take over an existing food business, you must register your premises with us at least 28 days before opening. Registration is free and can be achieved by completing a Food business registration form and sending it to us, either by post or electronically.

Do all businesses have to register?

Most businesses have to register, but some premises will be exempt. If you are holding a one-off event, or if there is only a limited amount of food preparation, you might not need to register.  If you are unsure, you can contact us for details.

Special ‘approval’ arrangements exist for businesses manufacturing, cutting and supplying products based on meat, fish, eggs, and milk to other businesses. Approval will not be given unless the food business meets the required standards. To apply for approval you should contact us and complete an Application for approval form.

Will I receive a certificate or licence when I register?

There is no certificate issued but you may need a licence if you:

  • plan to sell alcohol at any time
  • provide hot food or hot drink between the hours of 11pm and 5am or
  • place street café furniture on the highway outside your property. 

For further information, follow this licensing link.

What happens to the information I supply?

All the details you provide will be entered onto a register. Part of this register is open to the public but not the personal details you provide, which are kept confidential.  The register is used by Authorised Officers to help plan inspections.

Changes to your business

Once you are registered you must tell us about any major change to your business or the products you sell. You must also tell us if you intend to close your business.

What else do I need to do?

The Food Standards Agency produces a booklet, Starting Up: Your First Steps to Running a Catering Business, which gives an outline of all the main things someone starting up a food business needs to know about.

Before starting a food business you need to consider the following:

  • Does the food business have appropriate planning permission?
  • Will building regulations approval be needed for any structural alterations?
  • Will toilets need to be provided for customers?
  • How are the hazards associated with food going to be controlled?
  • Do you need a premises licence?
  • Are the premises suitable for your planned activities?

What are the ‘structural’ (buildings and equipment) requirements in a food business?

You should provide hard, durable, non-absorbent finishes to walls, floors and ceilings and equipment in food rooms, which can be easily moved for cleaning. You should buy commercial grade equipment as this will need replacing less often and perform more reliably.

What are the water and washing facilities requirements?

Toilets and kitchens should have wash hand basins. Businesses need to have adequate facilities for washing food and equipment.  Sinks should be big enough to fully submerge the largest piece of equipment to be washed. All washing points should have hot and cold water provided.

How do I dispose of my waste?

Your bins must be big enough for your waste, and have lids.  Waste must be taken away by licensed contractors.

How can I keep out pests?

The premises must be secure against pests.  Make sure there are no holes in external walls and tight fitting doors and windows.   If natural ventilation is used, fly screens and grilles on doors and windows may be needed.

What are my food safety responsibilities?

The owner of the business or an appointed manager must have:

  • considered what can go wrong regarding food safety and the products sold
  • taken reasonable steps to make sure these ‘hazards’ are controlled at all times.

Food safety management (HACCP)

New food safety legislation came into force on the 1st January 2006. Under Article 5 of Regulation (EC) 852/2004, “food businesses must put in place, implement and maintain a food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles to ensure the food produced from their premises is safe to eat.”

The extent and complexity of this system will depend on the nature and size of the business. It is also a legal requirement in most businesses to write your “controls” down and keep monitoring records, to help you train your staff and demonstrate you are operating your business safely.

What training must I give my staff?

The law requires that food handlers are supervised and instructed and/or trained to a level which is appropriate to their duties, so a supervisor will need a higher level of training than the people they supervise.

The law does not mean food handlers must have received formal training. However, a certificate saying they have passed a recognised course is one way of showing they have complied with the law.

The following courses are a guide to the level of food hygiene training considered appropriate …

  • Food handlers - level 2 food safety award - formerly basic or foundation.
  • Supervisors - level 3 food safety award - formerly intermediate.
  • Managers and proprietors - level 4 food safety award - formerly advanced.

Where can I find a course?

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health can provide details of accredited training courses and all the levels of food hygiene training available in your area.

If you are unsure, please contact us for advice.


Contact details

Post address:
Food and Safety Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 640779
Minicom: 01332 640666
Fax: 01332 643299
Food and Safety Team
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street