Registration of a food business establishment

Who needs to register?

If you run a food business and store, prepare, distribute or sell food from any premises then by law you must register with the local authority.

Food premises include:

  • Warehouses
  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Restaurants, caf├ęs and canteens
  • Pubs and clubs
  • Hotels and guesthouses
  • Mobile caterers and delivery vehicles
  • Schools and colleges
  • Residential homes, nurseries and childminders
  • Buffet cars on trains
  • Market and other stalls

Registration applies to most types of food business, including catering businesses run from home and mobile or temporary premises, such as stalls and vans. If you use two or more premises, you will need to register all of them.

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


If food premises are used by several catering businesses (for example, a village hall or conference centre), the person who allows the premises to be used for this purpose is responsible for registering them.

Street trading 

Milton Keynes Council regulates street trading under powers adopted from the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. Find out more information on Street Trading.


Approved premises

Certain types of business are exempt from registration and instead will need to be approved under Regulation (EC) 853/2004 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL; these are businesses producing:

  • Meat and meat products
  • Egg products
  • Milk and milk products
  • Fish and fish products

If your business fits into one of these categories, you will need to contact the Food and Safety Team who will advise you if your business needs to be approved.

Private / domestic

If you are producing food for private, domestic use only and/or preparing, handling and storing food for private domestic consumption then you do not need to be registered.

One off events

If you are only running a one-off event then you do not need to register.

Why do you need to register with us?

The registration of premises used for a food business (including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures) is required by law, see Article 6, para. 2 of Regulation (EC) No.852/2004 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs.

Registration allows local authorities to keep an up-to-date list of all the food establishments in their area, so they can inspect them when they need to. The frequency of the inspection will depend on the type of business and past record of compliance.

What do the regulations say?

Anyone starting a new food business must register with the local authority at least 28 days before opening for business. This applies whether the business is for profit or not and whether private or public.

You must tick all the boxes which apply to your business, answer all the questions and give all the information requested. Seasonal businesses operating for a certain period each year should give the dates between which they will open in answer to Question 11.

If you have any questions, our team can help you. It is an offence to give information which you know is false.

You can use the following link to register your food business establishment.

Environmental Health contact information

Postal address:, Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ