Starting up a new food business

A new business is an exciting challenge. Detailed guidance on starting up a food business is available on the Food Standards Agency website but some key areas to consider are:

  • Check with the planning department to ensure you have appropriate planning permission for your intended business
  • Food premises must register or apply for approval 28 days before you start trading (including existing premises under new ownership)
  • Contact the licensing team if you plan to operate a mobile food business which trades on any street within the district, intend to sell alcohol or offer food after 11pm as you will require a specific licence
  • Be satisfied that necessary facilities and good food hygiene practices are in place
  • Make sure appropriate food safety management systems are in place
  • Ensure staff have appropriate food hygiene knowledge
  • Liaise with Trading Standards regarding any labelling and composition requirements and allergen rules
  • Make appropriate arrangements for storage and disposal of waste including any waste cooking oil
  • Review responsibilities for health and safety and fire safety

Once trading, your premises will be inspected by a food safety officer. Most premises are given a rating to show their compliance with food safety requirements.

We are happy to provide advice and guidance to help you meet legal requirements and ensure you can gain the best possible rating from the start - email

Our Economic Growth team can provide additional business support and advice and can be contacted by email:

See also running a business government advice