Find Hygiene Rating Score Meaning Register your business FAQ's

Food Hygiene Rating Business Registration

Registering your business

Before you start a business, or before you take over an existing business, it is a requirement to  register your food business with the local authority.

Your business should do this no less than 28 days before you open. Registering your business is free and is NOT optional. This means if your business is trading and have not registered, you must do this immediately.


For any food businesses that make, prepare or handle meat, fish, egg or dairy products for supply to other businesses could require approval by their local authority and not necessarily registration. To check if your food business needs approval, visit the Food Standards Agencies  Applying for approval of a food establishment guidance or contact your  local authority.

Who needs to register

For all food business that directly serves customers, Registration will apply. This includes:

  • restaurants, cafes and takeaways
  • catering businesses run from home, B&Bs, mobile catering and temporary businesses
  • marquees, food stalls, food pop ups and food vans
  • nurseries, schools and care homes
  • distance selling, mail order and food delivery including online

You will need to register your food business if you:

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

However, regardless of whether you have food on the premesis, businesses which are involved directly with food distribution or food supply, even if they work from an office should also register as a food business.

Registering as a childminder


If you provide food with your childminding business in England, the details you provide to Ofsted will also be used to register you as a food business with your local authority. You will not have to register separately.


Contact your local council to apply for registration as a childminder if you provide food with your childminding business in Wales.

Northern Ireland

Contact your local council to apply for registration as a childminder if you provide food with your childminding business in Northern Ireland.

Volunteers and charity organisations

If you handle, prepare, store and serve food occasionally and on a small scale, you do not need to register.

However, you may need to register with your local authority if you serve or provide food on a regular or organised basis. Food business registration will apply if you handle food regularly, even if you are a not-for-profit organisation such as a food bank. For more information visit guidance on providing food in a village hall or other community setting.

The Food hygiene rating scheme

Once your food business is registered, you may be inspected by your local authority. Registering your business early and getting advice and guidance will helps you prepare for inspections. If your business preprares throroughly for your inspection, you stand a much higher chance of getting a top 5 rating under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

In fact food businesses say that by displaying a high rating from the FSA has helped them win and gain more custom!

When Updating your business details

You must:

  • make sure your local authority always has up-to-date information about your premises
  • tell your local authority if you are planning to make any significant changes to your business, including closure

If your business operates more than one premises, you will be required to register each of them with the local authority where they are located.

If you want to make changes to your premises, you should tell your local authority as: