Food Registration Guidance

Registration of a premises used for a food business is required by law. Registration will allow local authorities to keep an up to date list of all those premises in their area so they can visit them when they need to. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of premises, the risk that they pose and how well they comply with food hygiene legislation.

  • Who needs to register?

    If you run a food business, you must tell (or arrange for someone else to tell) the local authority about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food. Food premises includes restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses, delivery vehicles, lunch clubs, buffet cars on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans etc.

    If you use vehicles for your business in connection with permanent premises such as a shop or a 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 authority where they are normally kept.

    Anyone starting a new food business must register with the local authority at least 28 days before doing so.

  • How do I register?

    You can register online or by downloading a form to complete and return to the Health Protection Team at Winchester City Council. Links to the online form and a downloadable form can be found at the bottom of this page. Registration cannot be refused and there is no charge. If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.

    Alternatively you can apply on line using the Governments Business Link website. By clicking on the links at the bottom of the page you will be directed to their site.

    You must tick all the boxes which apply to your business, answer all the questions and give all the information requested. Please ensure that whatever form you complete to register your business, you include a contact number so we can get in touch with you.

    After you have submitted the form Winchester City Council will enter the details on its register. A register of addresses and the type of business carried on at each will be open to inspection by the general public. Records of the other information provided will not be publicly available.

  • Changes

    Once you have registered you need to notify the city council where there has been a change of proprietor, where the nature of the business changes, if the business moves address, or where there is a change of the address at which movable premises are kept. To notify us of a change you should complete a new application form. 

    If the Local Authority wishes to change the entry in the register because of information which it receives from someone else you will be given 28 days notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes.

  • Approval

    If you intend to make, prepare or handle food of animal origin (e.g. meat, fish or dairy) for supply to other businesses, then the food business and its activities in most circumstances will require what is known as approval. Further information on the approved premises process can be found on our approved premises guidance page.