Starting a New food Business - Get it right from the start!

Starting a Food Business

Starting up a new catering business is an exciting proposition. 

It offers the chance to be your own boss, do something you love, be creative and different and embrace a fast growing market.  It is also easy to get it wrong. 

On that basis,  It is very important to get the boring things right at the very start; getting the legalities right at the beginning it will make it much easier for you to run your business well in the future.


Ensure the premises which you intend operating from have the necessary planning consent. Click here for more information 

If you are carrying out structural works to the premises you may need building regulations approval. Click here for more information

You may need to pay Business rates for your new business premises

Click here for more information

If you are installing extraction to the premises, is it suitable so as not to cause a nuisance to your neighbours?  Contact Environmental Protection team for more information 

Are you operating from a mobile or removable vehicle?  Do you need a licence?  Click here for more information

Wanting to start a food business up at home?   click here for more information 


Registration of a new food business premises 

You must ensure your business is registered with Ashfield District Council 28 days before operating or opening your premises.

Registration is a simple process and there is no charge to register premises. Registration does not need to be renewed periodically and local authorities cannot refuse to register premises. Click here for more information

If you are operating a mobile food business the vehicle must be registered with the Local Authoirty/ Council of the borough where the vehicle is stored overnight.

i.e If you operate in Ashfield but take your mobile vehicle to Mansfield every evening; you must register your mobile vehicle with Mansfield Council. If you take the mobile vehicle to Alfreton every evening, you must register with Amber Valley, take it to Newark, register with Newark etc.

Disposal of commercial waste

If you operate a commercial business, you have a legal responsibilitu under The Environmental Protection Act 1990 and related legislation to safely contain and legally dispose of any waste produced by your business. If you do not, you can be served a fixed penalty notice and fined and/or taken to court for commiting an offence.

Arrangements must be made for your waste to be collected by an authorised waste collector. You should esnure you obtain and keep waste transfer notes fro an officer to witness.

Click here for more information


Food Safety Management System

It has always been a requirement for owners of food businesses to think about what could go wrong in their business and decide what control measures and checks need to be in place to ensure that food is safe. However, since 2006 it has been a legal requirement to actually write down details of what you will do and what records you will keep to make sure your food is safe to eat.

Rather than small independent businesses having to produce this type of documentation themselves, the Food Standards Agency have produced a pack called Safer Food Better Business.

This pack will guide you through how to comply with this requirement as well as provide you with the necessary documentation. You simply work through the pack and tick boxes or write brief notes in various sections so as to indicate what you do to prevent your food from becoming unsafe. Every day the person in charge signs a diary within the pack to indicate that the safe methods were followed, and if necessary, makes a note of anything that went wrong and what was done about it.

The Safer Food Better Business pack and diary sheets can be downloaded and printed from the relevant section of the Food Standards Agency's website.