Register a food business

If you store, prepare, distribute or sell food on premises, it is a legal requirement that you register your business with us online by completing a food business registration form or alternatively you can request a form to be sent out from the Council Food Safety Team at least 28 days before opening. This includes catering businesses run from home and mobile or temporary premises such as stalls and burger vans.

This scheme allows us to keep an up-to-date list of all food businesses in our area so we can visit them when we need to. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of food business.

You may be fined, imprisoned for up to two years or both if you run a food business without registering.

Mobile traders

If you run a mobile catering van, food delivery van or market stall, you must be registered with the council where:

  • your business is based (where you pay your council tax)
  • you keep your mobile stall
  • you store your food overnight

* Please note that you may also need to register for VAT, apply for planning permission and pay Business Rates.

Who needs to register?

Food premises includes restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses, delivery vehicles, buffet cars on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans and so on.

Food organisations that donate food such as charities and homeless shelters and people who produce food in their home for members of the public; jam making, cake baking and so on. will also need to be registered.


Certain types of food activity do not need to register, for example;

  • infrequent activities, ie one-off events
  • if you make food for your friends and family
  • village halls with kitchens only let out for use by members of the public
  • places where the main activity is not to do with food, for example, hairdressers providing tea and biscuits
  • places where food is only sold through vending machines

What information will I need to register?

  • name and contact details of the Food Business Operator
  • name of your Primary or Home Authority, if you have one
  • details about the nature of your business. It is very important that you provide as much information as possible so we can understand your business
  • date you plan to start trading
  • type of water supply you have, if you have a spring, well or borehole and so on
  • planned opening time (commercial premises only)

Mobile food traders will need to provide details about where and how they plan to trade

How do I register?

You can register using the food business registration form available on the website or alternatively you can complete this form and return via post or email to is no fee chargeable. If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.

Seasonal businesses operating for a certain period each year should give the dates between which they will be open.

Registration cannot be refused.

What happens to the information given on the form?

The information will be entered on our public register. A register of the name, address, telephone number and the type of business carried on at each can be viewed by the general public. The other information provided will not be publicly available.


Once you have registered with us you only need notify us of a change of owner or if the nature of the business changes. The new owner will have to complete a new form. Notes are provided for information only and should not be regarded as a complete statement of the law.

Once the food registration form is received you will be subjected to a food inspection.


If you intend to make, prepare or handle food of animal origin (for example meat, fish or dairy) for supply to other businesses, then the food business and its activities in most circumstances will require what is known as approval.

Premises that need to be approved

All food premises producing, preparing or handling food products of animal origin are required to be approved unless they are exempted. If your food business supplies food of animal origin to the final consumer, ie the person who eats the food product, then they are exempt from approval.

In addition, there may be an exemption available depending on the extent to which the business wishes to supply food of animal origin to other businesses.

Exemptions are detailed in the Food Law Practice Guidance (England) and are based on the premises being retail or supplying other retailers on a marginal, localised and restricted basis. A detailed HACCP Plan to ensure the food business operator is controlling risks at identified critical control points is included.

What to do if I think my business requires approval?

If you think your food business may need approval please contact Wakefield Council Food Safety Team. They will fully consider and discuss with you the need for approval and how the business can best comply with the requirements of the regulations. For example there may need to be a planned programme of works in order to achieve approval and you and/or your employees may need to gain further training proportionate to the size and nature of your business.

What does being approved require me to do?

Premises that are approved under these regulations must meet additional requirements over and above the general requirements that apply to ordinary food businesses, as they usually involve more high risk operations.

Approved premises must be able to demonstrate that procedures are in place to manage food safety, and that these procedures are based upon Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.

Although these requirements may sound onerous, the food safety management system can be tailored to fit the business and should be simple and appropriate to the scale and type of production intended to be carried out. If you have any doubts contact the Food Safety Team using the details below.

You are also required to have received adequate training in the application of HACCP principles and for you and your staff to have been instructed or trained in food hygiene matters to a level appropriate to your jobs.

Prior to implementing your documented system a prerequisite programme should be in place which provides a sound foundation for your HACCP. Examples of prerequisites to consider would be

  • Infrastructure and equipment requirements
  • Safe handling of food (including packaging and transport)
  • Requirements for raw materials
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Training
  • Pest control procedures
  • The health of staff
  • Personal hygiene
  • Preventative maintenance procedures
  • Incident/Recall management systems

Once you have put these prerequisites in place a process work flow for each of your products is advised. This requires you to think about where the raw materials are going to be stored and managed, stock control and rotation, how to avoid the raw materials coming into contact with the processed product, and where the finished product will be stored after production. An effective work flow diagram will also identify the process steps and help you with your HACCP programme.

How to apply

If you wish to apply for approval under the above regulations you need to complete an Application for Approval of Premises form which can be requested from You will need to provide details of your HACCP plan, a scale layout plan and a description of the proposed arrangements of your business.

Determination of the application will require a site visit and an officer will contact you within 14 days of receipt of the completed application in order to arrange this.

Food businesses must not commence any business activity which requires approval, unless they have received conditional or full approval for the proposed activity from the council. To commence business without approval is an offence for which the business may be prosecuted.

You will be advised in writing within 28 days following the determination of your application for approval.

Refusal of approval

In the event of your application being refused you will be notified of the reasons in writing and the matters necessary to satisfy approval requirements. You will also be advised of your right of appeal to the Magistrates Court.

What happens when my business is approved?

Once your business is approved the Council will issue your business with a unique approval number which makes up part of the standard identification mark - this mark must be applied to your products and documentation. This is in the form of an oval mark containing a unique approval number which ensures that the products are traceable back to your company. You will then be added to the Food Standard Agency's list of approved establishments in the UK.

If you have any further questions about approved premises, the approval process or feel that your business may require approval please contact the food team.

Guide to Starting a food business

Contact us

The Food Safety Team

Environmental Health Services
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street

0345 8 506 506