Registering a new business

When you start a new food business or take over an existing business, you must register with your local authority. You should do this at least 28 days before trading or before food operations start. You can do this online at

What is a food business?

Food law defines what is a food business and who is a food business operator ( FBO) and places responsibilities both to register the food business with your local authority and to ensure that any food that you sell or give away, whether for profit or charity is safe for people to eat.

Regulation 178/2002 defines what is a food business and the exceptions that exist for certain low risk activities involving a small amount of organisation and continuity of the activity. The vast majority of businesses will need to register with the council.

Those who do not need to register and are exempt are places such as charities, village halls, churches and clubs etc. that only occasionally prepare and sell food. However all food businesses must ensure the food is safe and maybe liable if the food makes someone ill.

Regulation 178/2002 also defines who the food business operator is.

Regulation 852/2004 requires the FBO to register the food business with their local authority. This should be done 28 days before the business opens. 

Food businesses include restaurants, cafes, hotels and guest houses, supermarkets and shops, staff canteens, home caterers, food warehouses and delivery vehicles, mobile food sellers such as burger vans, ice cream sellers and market stalls. It also includes those who prepare and/or sell food a certain venues such as weddings, parties and special events whether this is from your own home or through a business.

If you are unsure if you are a food business or not, contact the Amber Valley food safety team.

Food business approval

If your food business makes, prepares or handles meat, dairy, egg, fish, shellfish or animal produce for supply to other businesses, it may require approval. It is advised you contact the regulation team if you think you may need approval.

If you require approval you need to complete an approval application form not the registration form.

Contact the regulation team on or 01773 841335 for further information.

See also information on approval at

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email