Operating a food business - Frequently asked questions

Do I need a licence to sell food?

Anyone starting a new food business or taking over an existing food business is required to register their food business establishment at least 28 days before beginning to trade.  Registration is a legal requirement it is free and cannot be refused.  Registration applies to all businesses that store, sell, distribute or prepare food or drink. Once you have submitted a signed food business registration form you are can begin to trade.

To sell alcohol you will require an alcohol licence If you are planning to sell food on the street or in a market you will require a street trading licence. To establish the type of business you can operate in a retail or commercial business unit, you will need to check the class of use of the premises with our planning department to ensure it is suitable for your proposed business, before you rent or buy the premises. Depending upon the type of food businesses you plan to start, you will require one of the following classes of use, for example A1, A3, A5.

Find information about a change of use for commercial premises, which are allowed under permitted development rights.

To submit a pre-application for planning advice please use the planning portal

To make a complaint about a planning issue or a change of use to a residential property or commercial premises please contact our planning enforcement team.