Food business registration

Food business registration is not a licence for your food business, it is a registration of your business with the Council. Registering for other council services does not automatically register your business in terms of food trade. Food businesses are required by law to register and you may be fined, imprisoned for up to two years or both if you run a food business without registering.

Registration is required for any premises, vehicle or storage units used for a food business.

Who needs to register?

All food businesses (however big or small), must register with the Council. If you run a food business you must tell us about the premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food. 

Food businesses include:

  • restaurants, hotels and cafes
  • shops, butchers, supermarkets, markets and other food stalls 
  • staff canteens
  • warehouses
  • guest houses
  • voluntary luncheon clubs, day centres and care homes
  • delivery vehicles
  • hot dog and ice cream vans
  • home caterers

If you are using a mobile van or unit, you will need to tell us where you park it overnight and register it with us if it is parked in the Swindon Borough Council area.

If there are two or more food business establishments under the control of the same food business operator, they must ensure that each establishment under their control is registered separately. Food business operators should therefore complete a registration form for each separate establishment.

If there are two or more food business establishments at the same premises under the control of different food business operators for example, a coffee shop in a supermarket or a school breakfast club that is separate to the lunch time contract caterer, each business must be registered in its own right by its operator.

Anyone starting a new food business and planning changes to business ownership or business details, must complete registration at least 28 days before doing so.

On the basis of the activities carried out, certain food business are required to be approved rather than registered. Please see the Food Standards Agency website.

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