All food businesses need to register with the local authority for the area they operate in by law. This should be done at least 28 days prior to starting your business.


This can also be used to update us of any significant changes to your food business.

Who needs to register?

The majority of premises have to be registered. If your business stores, prepares, distributes, handles or sells food within Hertsmere then you should be registered with us.

This includes restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses, delivery vehicles, buffet cars on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans, etc.

If you have a mobile unit such as a ice cream van or trailer this shoud be registered with the Local Authority with where it is stored overnight.

If you use a vehicle for your food business in connection with a permanent premises such as a shop, or warehouse, you only need to tell us how many vehicles you have and you do not need to register each vehicle separately. If you have one or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must tell us where those vehicles are normally kept.

If you are unsure if you need to be registered you can contact Environmental Health for clarification. 

How much does registration cost?

There are no charges for registration.

How long does a registration last?

There is no expiry date and you are not required to renew the registration. However; if any of the details on your registation needs to be changed including change of ownership or name change you must update your registration.

Do I also need a licence?

If you sell hot food and drink between 11pm and 5am you will also require a Premise Licence for late night refreshment.

Who needs to seek approval?

If you intend to manufacture foods and will use raw products of animal origin amongst the ingredients you will almost certainly require Approval. In these circumstances you will need further information from the Food Team.

What happens next?

When we receive a completed application we will arrange for a full food hygiene inspection to be carried out. This is to ensure that the standards are satisfactory and comply with food hygiene legislation. Unless you are a home caterer this will usually be an unannounced inspection.

If your business is lower-risk, such as a cupcake maker, you will not be inspected as quickly or as frequently as a higher-risk business that is preparing foods, such as a restaurant. Unless exempt, you will be inspected.

Can you refuse my registration?

Your registration cannot be refused unless it is is uncomplete or Approval is needed instead.

Where can I find further information about starting up a new food business?

The Food Standards Agency has a number of useful publications and guidance for new food businesses. This includes information on Allergens, Labelling, Food Safety Management Systems as well as number of industry guides to good food hygiene.