Register a food business

How to set up and register a food business in Surrey Heath.

Setting up a food business

If you are starting a new food business, there are several things to consider. You will need to register as a food business, your premises must comply with food safety standards, and will be inspected by an Environmental Health Officer. If you are using your home as your business premises, then this will have to comply with the same food safety regulations.

Remember, you may need to obtain planning permission.

For further information about food safety and running a food business, please visit the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website (external link).

Registering your food business

All food businesses must be registered with the Council at least 28 days before they open for business. Registration cannot be refused and there is no charge. If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each separately. This enables Council officers to inspect and give advice to food business operators. 

If you handle products of animal origin and sell to other businesses please contact us as you may need approval.

How to register

Register your business on the website (external link).

If you are considering selling alcohol or selling hot food or drink after 11pm please visit the Premises Licensing page for more information.

Our Economic Development team provide support and sign-posting to partner organisations. To contact them or sign up for their business newsletter, please email (link sends email).

Staff training

By law, food business operators must ensure that food handlers receive the appropriate supervision and training in food hygiene, which is in-line with the area they work in and will enable them to handle food in the safest way. 

For example, people who prepare open 'high risk' foods or who have a supervisory role, should receive training equivalent to Level 2 in food safety in catering. 

The Council does not provide food hygiene training. However, training is available on the CIEH website (external link).

The Food Standards Agency also provide free, online e-learning courses to help you and your business comply with food hygiene standards

If the activities of your food business change

After registering, you must let us know if there are any changes to your business. For example, if there is a change of proprietor, if the nature of the business changes or you decide to close.

Food safety management system

It is a legal requirement for food businesses to have a documented food safety management system in place. The Safer Food, Better Business website (external link) is a free, easy to use food safety management pack produced by the Food Standard Agency to help businesses comply with this requirement.

To achieve your highest food hygiene rating score, you must ensure you have implemented a documented food safety management system.

Food safety news and alerts

View food safety news and alerts on the website (external link). The website provides up to date food and allergy alerts, information. You can also find out about the Food Standards Agency's latest news and consultations.