Five steps to starting a food business
- Be unique
In a crowded market, what will make your business unique? Are you able to provide a food that is not available locally, or offer it in a way that is not available locally?
- Get practicing
Perfect your dishes as much as possible. You can seek the opinion of family and friends before moving into the local marketplace.
- Register your business
You must register your business at least 28 days before trading, Do not register too far in advance of your planned opening date. Depending on your food business, you may need approval.
- Contact authorities
If you are packaging goods, then you may wish to contact Trading Standards for labelling and legal advice. If you wish to trade on the roadside, you will require a licence. Each authority has its own rules on street trading, so speak to the council that covers the area in which you wish to trade.
- Get food hygiene savvy
Food safety is crucial to your new business as well as being a legal requirement. You should consider food hygiene training to help you and your team get up-to-date with the latest food laws and regulations to ensure you remain compliant. You should also develop a food safety management plan, such as Safer Food is Better Business.
Do not be afraid to start small. Many businesses want to come to the market with a range of dishes to cater for a wide range of customers. However, some find that they are over-ambitious and adding a lot of complexity which then needs to be scaled back.
There is a lot of information published online. Below is some information that may be useful:
- Better business for all Cambridgeshire (external link)
- Brexit food hub (UK food industry and partner organisation) (external link)
- Brexit - government advice (external link)
- Brexit: prepare your business for the UK leaving the EU (external link)
- Business waste collection
- Cambridgeshire growth hub - signpost to grow (external link)
- Ely markets (external link)
- Enterprise East Cambridgeshire
- Licensing at East Cambridgeshire District Council
- Planning applications at East Cambridgeshire District Council
- Trading Standards business companion (external link)
- Advice for charity food providers (external link)
- Catering industry guide to good hygiene practice - UK Hospitality (external link)