Registering a food businessIf you own, or are planning to open, a 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 to do this and you don't have to re-register again each year.
If you have more than one business establishment, you must register each one separately.
To help you get started we've compiled a food business pack containing advice, guidance and information on food safety legislation. This pack will help you through the process of opening a new food business.
- Download a food business pack (PDF - 260KB)
Register a food business
|Register a food business|
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You can also download a registration form and send it by post to:
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
- Download a food business registration form (Word - 40KB)
Why do I have to register?Registration of food businesses is required by law, under the Food Hygiene Northern Ireland Regulations 2006 and other European Commission regulations, including Regulation EC No.852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs Article 6 (2).
You can find out more about these regulations from the Food Standards Agency website
By law, 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 must 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.
All other food businesses operating in the Belfast City Council electoral area must register with us.
Help and advice for food businessesBefore opening your food business, you should consider:
- whether you need planning permission from the
or approval from our building control inspectors.
Changes to the use of your premises, for example, from a retail to a hot food establishment, may also need permission.
- discussing your proposals with a food safety officer who will be happy to review your plans and sketches to help you comply with food safety legislation.
- how you'll manage food safety in your business. We can provide you with a food safety management system which will help you comply with food safety regulations.
- that staff are appropriately trained and managed and supervised to an acceptable level.
- Download list of food safety training providers (Word - 58KB)
More informationFor more information on registering a food business, or to request a food business advice pack, call us on 028 9027 0468.
Setting up your own business? Get useful advice and tips from our business section