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Register a food business

If you own, or are planning to open a restaurant, takeaway or any business which prepares, sells or handles food, you must register it with us at least 28 days before it's due to open. 

There is no charge and you don't have to re-register again each year.

If you have more than one food business, you must register each one separately.

To help you get started we’ve compiled guidance to assist in the design of a hygienic premises.

Register a food business online

Please read the terms and conditions for online services and our privacy statement.

Register a food business by post

You can also download a registration form and send it by post to:

Food Safety
Cecil Ward Building 
4-10 Linenhall Street 

Why do I have to register?

Registration of food businesses is required by law. You can find out more about these regulations from the Food Standards Agency website. 

We must keep a public list of all registered food businesses, containing the name, address and nature of the food business. You can access this list by calling us on 028 9027 0468.

Who needs to register?

All food business operators must register with us. This is the person who is legally responsible for making sure the business meets food safety requirements.

A food business is one which:

  • carries out activities at any stage during the production, processing or distribution of food
  • is involved in the preparation, handling, selling, serving or distribution of food, drink or any other substance used in processing or as a food ingredient
  • is either a profit or not-for-profit, public or private venture
  • may be in the form of market stalls, delivery vehicles or any other moveable structures.

When should I register?

You must register your food business at least 28 days before it's due to open. You must also register any changes you make to your business at any later stage, such as:

  • change of owner
  • change of trading name
  • change in the type of business
  • change of address at which any moveable premises are kept.

Are there any exemptions?

Establishments which need approval under European Commission Regulation 853/2004 are exempt from registration. These businesses must apply instead for approval from us.

Occasional or one-off events don't need to register. But you must still make sure that the food you produce meets food safety requirements.

All other food businesses operating in the Belfast City Council electoral area must register with us.

Contact us
Environmental health
028 9027 0468
Food Safety
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street