Starting a food business

When starting a new food business it is important to get things right at the outset because this will make it much easier to run your business well in the future.  The information contained on these pages and the links to other agencies websites is aimed at helping to ensure your new food business is compliant with food safety law.

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 food business registration form you can begin to trade.

Help to get started

To help you get started in your new role as a food business operator please use the information provided in the following pages to ensure that your food business complies with food safety and hygiene law.

Safer food better business (SFBB) for new business 

Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) is a food safety management procedure developed for small caterers and retailers to help them manage food safety in their business. SFBB is designed to help small businesses to comply with food safety regulations.

You can find out more about safer food better business and download the manual including page inserts for specialist areas and replacement diary refill sheets.

Safer food, better business for caterers and retailers

Other food safety management systems 

Further information about other documented food safety management systems / Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) -based procedures developed for caterers, butchers, manufacturers and retailers.

We are unable to provide the following support

  • We do not provide personal advice by telephone or site visits to proposed food businesses
  • We are not able to provide detailed comments on the content of food labels, or shelf- life determination, you may need to seek advice from a food analyst.
  • For new food products, you may need to seek advice from a food analyst. 
  • We are no longer able to provide Safer Food Better business packs to new food businesses, you can download and print from Safer food, better business for caterers and retailers.

Public analyst and testing laboratories

If you need to find a public analyst or testing laboratory to provide services such as shelf life testing or microbiological testing of food, please visit The Association of Public Analysts or UKAS Testing Laboratories.

Is your food business registered?

It is a legal requirement that all food businesses operating within the London Borough of Bromley register their business with the council at least 28 days before you start to trade.  Please only register if you definitely intend to start trading. Please visit our food business registration page to find out how to register your food business.  Once you have submitted a food business registration form you  can begin to trade. 

Further information 

Food Business registration
Low risk food businesses
Food  premises approval 
Street trading and market licences
WRAP – Food waste reduction
BHA - Industry guide to good hygiene practice

Useful contacts