Register a food business

Anyone starting a new food business must register with Ealing Council at least 28 days before opening. Registration is free of charge and cannot be refused. Re-registration is also necessary where a change of ownership has taken place.

If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.

If you are a mobile trader, you should only register with the authority where your vehicle is stored overnight.

Some establishments need approval instead of registration. If your food business makes, prepares, or handles Products of Animal Origin and supplies these products to other businesses, you may require approval.

The following types of business will not require approval, as long as the food is not sold on to other businesses: restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops, supermarkets and other retailers, mobile food units, delivery vans, wholesale warehouses, and workplace or institutional catering operations. If your food business supplies Products of Animal Origin direct to the final consumer only, with no business-to-business sales, approval will not be required. Only registration is required for these businesses.

Further advice and guidance about approvals.

If you think your business may be subject to approval, contact the food safety team for advice:

How to register your food business

Please fill in and submit the online registration form.

When filling in the registration form, please refer closely to the guidance notes to ensure that you complete the form fully and correctly.

It is an offence to give information which you know to be false.

The council will enter the details you provide into its register. A register of the name of the business (if any), the address, telephone number and the type of business carried out at each premises will be available for inspection by the public. Records of the other information provided will not be publicly available, however, please be aware that some of these may need to be released in response to a Freedom of Information request.

Further information on food business registration is available on the Food Standards Agency website.


Once you are registered, you must then notify us if you stop trading, if there is a change of proprietor, if you relocate, if the nature of the business changes, or if there is a change of address at which moveable premises are kept. Any new proprietor will then have to submit their own registration form.

It is an offence to fail to register a food business.

Tacit consent applies for registrations, so you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you do not hear from the council by 28 days after the registration was submitted.

Where approval (rather than registration is required), tacit consent does not apply, and approval must be granted before a business places food on the market. Further advice and guidance regarding approvals

Food brokers

A food broker is a business that purchases, ‘takes title to’ or has legal ownership of food for resale to other businesses such as manufacturers, retailers, caterers etc.

Often the difference between food brokers and other Food Business Operators (FBOs) is that they take legal ownership of the food and not physical possession.

Food brokers are classed an FBO because you are supplying food to other businesses, even if you may never take physical possession of food. As an FBO, you must register your business with your local authority 28 days before you intend to trade.

Further information about food brokers and registration.