Advice for starting a food business

If you are thinking of starting up a food business, it is important that you register your premises (external link), consider all food hygiene legislation and abide by current food law requirements. Starting right can create the basis for a successful future for your business. You may wish to check out the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) starting a food business advice (external link).

Food supplied, sold, or provided at charity or community events, such as street parties, school fetes or fundraisers, must comply with food law and be safe to eat. If you handle, prepare, store and serve food occasionally and on a small scale, you do not need to register. The FSA has published advice for charity food providers (external link).

You may also find the following information helpful:


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


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

To register, please complete our online form:


Approval is needed for a small number of premises, practices or food. These are premises that manufacture or make food that is purchased predominantly by other businesses. Please speak to a member of the food team if you believe you require approval.

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 (external link)


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 (external link).

Further sources of information