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Starting a new food business

If you are thinking of starting up a new food or catering business, or already have one, find out about the basic requirements you need to meet.

Your first steps to running a catering business

The Food Standards Agency website covers the main things you need to think about when you start a food business, including food hygiene, training and other general requirements. Further advice can be found in the food hygiene guide for businesses section of the Food Standards Agency website.

Registering your food business with us

To store, prepare, distribute or sell food to the public you must register with us.

This includes restaurants, cafés, hotels, shops, canteens, market stalls and mobile catering vans.

Mobile vans, market stalls etc will need to register with the local authority where they normally store food and equipment/vehicles overnight.


Food handlers must receive appropriate supervision and instruction/training in food hygiene in line with their work activity and this should enable them to handle food safely. The person responsible for developing and maintaining the business's food safety management procedures must also have received adequate training to enable them to do this.

Find out about Food safety training courses.

Safer Food, Better Business (SFBB)

Food businesses are legally required to have a documented food safety management system in place. Safer Food, Better Business SFBB online guide is a free, easy to use food safety management pack produced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). It has been produced to help small businesses put in place food safety management procedures and to follow food hygiene regulations.

This online guide is available for both managers and staff in 16 languages. If you have not used the pack before or are thinking about starting a business it is essential to use this guide.

The SFBB packs and diary refills available to download:

Note that these packs are no longer printed and provided free of charge, you will need to print your own copies and provide your own folder to put them in.