Advice for Starting a Food Business

If you are thinking of starting up a food business, you may wish to check out the Food Standards Agency's starting a food business advice. Or advice for charity food providers.

You may also find the following information helpful:


Before you start you need to establish if you need certain permissions or licences:

  • If you are changing the use of a building you may require Planning Permission
  • If you are selling alcohol or providing food late at night you will require a Licence
  • If you wish to trade on any of Ely’s markets then you will need to speak to Ely Markets


If your business is based within East Cambridgeshire you will need to register at least 28 days before you start trading. 

Approval is needed for a small number of premises/practices/food. Please email East Cambs Customer Services if you think this applies to you before completing the form.

To register, please complete our online form:

Hygiene Training

Food handlers need to be adequately trained in food hygiene (Level Two Award in Food Safety in Catering is recommended). This can be done via online courses.

Written Food Safety Management System 

A food business needs a documented food safety management system. You can comply with this requirement if you complete and put in place the Food Standards Agency, Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) Catering pack


Your premises must be in good repair and condition and meet minimum standards, including adequate hand-washing facilities; hygienic work surfaces and storage facilities.

Allergen information 

You need to provide allergen information for all of the foods you produce. For more information please see: Allergen Resources.

Further sources of information