Food premises registration

Who needs to register, failure to register, exemptions, meat premises and slaughterhouses, vehicle registration.

Who needs to register

You will need to register your food premises with us if you:

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

This enables us to keep an up-to-date list of all food premises operating locally, so that we can visit them when we need to.

Food businesses are subject to inspections by officers from our commercial environmental health team. The frequency of the visits will depend on the food activity undertaken by the business and the level of compliance.

Food business operators are required to register their new food business 28 days before opening. Do not register the business until you have a business start date.

Multiple food businesses

If you operate multiple food businesses in more than one local authority area, you must register the businesses with each council separately.


There is no charge for registration, it is free.

Failure to register

It is a criminal offence not to register a food business, unless exempt. Any person failing to register a food business may face prosecution.


Certain premises are exempt from registration.

These include but are not limited to:

  • infrequent activities, such as events that happen once or twice a year
  • preparing food for your friends and family
  • places where the main activity is not food-related (for example, a barber providing coffee)
  • places where food is only sold through vending machines
  • certain agricultural premises, motor cars, tents and marquees (but not stalls)
  • some domestic premises
  • some village halls

You should contact us if you think you might be exempt.

Slaughterhouses and manufacturers cutting or processing meat

Some establishments processing meat need to apply for approval from the Food Standard Agency. Premises requiring approval must not operate until approval is granted.

Contact us if you want to discuss whether your business requires approval.

Vehicle registration

If you use vehicles for your food business in connection with permanent premises such as a shop or warehouse, you only need to tell us how many vehicles you have. You do not need to register each vehicle separately.

If you have one or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must register the vehicles at the premises where the vehicles are normally kept overnight.

Contact commercial environmental health