Starting and running a food business

How to register your food business


All food establishments in Northern Ireland, including food businesses operating from domestic premises, must be registered with their local council environmental health service.

When do I need to register my food business?

Food establishments must be registered at least 28 days before opening. If you have more than one food establishment then each one must be registered. You should also inform the local council environmental health service if the food business activities change, including:

  • change of food business operator (notification of a change of the operator of a food business establishment should be made by the new food business operator)
  • a change to the activities carried out in relation to food
  • closure of a food business establishment

Why do food premises have to be registered?

Registration enables local authorities to keep an up-to-date list of all food premises in their area. They can visit them when they need to and inspect the establishment to make sure they comply with food safety and food standards legislation.

How to register your food business establishment

Registering a food business is simple and free of charge. You only have to register each food establishment once.

GOV.UK have a food business registration tool where you simply input the postcode location of your food business establishment. Once submitted, details of how you apply to your local council is explained with a link to the application form, whether it be an online or downloadable form. Your local council environmental health service will also be able to help you with any questions you have about registering your food business.