Search our website
You are here: Home Page  >  Your services  >  Legal and Public Health Protection  >  Food Safety  >  Advice for new food businesses



Guidance on starting a new Food Business 


starting up1The Food Standards Agency has produced a very useful guide called ‘Starting Up’ on starting a food business.


You can find the information at the following link:


Food Standards Agency - Starting a food business




When starting a new food business there are 4 questions we would ask you:

1. Is the Food Business Registered? – All food businesses are required to register their food business at least 28 days before opening.  Registration will apply to most types of food business, including catering businesses run from home and mobile or temporary businesses, such as stalls and vans. Click here to register.

2. Is Planning Permission required?  - The local authority will be able to help if there are any issues with regard to planning permission or change of use. Click here for Planning or if you wish to trade from home click here for further planning information.

3. Is Food Hygiene Training up to date? – Food businesses should make sure that food handlers in a food business are trained and or supervised/instructed in food matters in line with their work activities. Further information on training can be found at Link to training. Click here for Food Hygiene Training.

4. Do you have a Food Safety Management System? - All food businesses are required to have written systems in order to show how they make sure the food they provide is safe to eat. Businesses can produce their own systems based on HACCP principles or use a "Safer Food Better Business" information pack.




New Business Checklist


  • Have you registered your business with us?
  • Do the design, layout and construction of your premises meet the legal requirements?
  • Do you and your staff understand the principles of good food hygiene?
  • Have you and your staff had food hygiene training?
  • Have you considered what food safety problems there could be at each stage of your business?
  • Have you put the necessary food safety procedures in place and are you making regular checks to make sure they are working?
  • Do you have a pest control contract?
  • Do you have a refuse collection service?
  • Have you considered Health and Safety and Fire Regulations?
  • Have you registered as self-employed?
  • Do you need to register for VAT?
  • Do you describe food and drink accurately?
  • Do you need to apply for a licence to sell alcohol?


Advice for caterers and retailers


If you would like specific information for your type of business, this is available at:


External link: Food Standards Agency - Catering and retail



Advice for childminders


If you are considering setting up as a childminder, information on the Food Standards Agency website will be of help. It also includes advice for registered child carers on domestic premises operating as food businesses and Safer Food, Better Business information specifically for childminders: 


External Link: Food Standards Agency - Childminders


Advice for commerical catering from home


Are you looking to run a food business from home?


It is becoming increasingly popular to start and run a business from your own home. When food is involved this can present a whole range of new problems that need to be considered properly before starting out.


The laws on food safety apply just the same to a business run from home as to any other commercial premises. See the guidance in setting up a new food business above.


Guidance for businesses catering from home is available below:


Link: Starting up a catering or cake baking business from home



Advice for mobile food businesses


We will often receive calls from traders hoping to set up in business trading from a mobile food van in the area. The laws on food safety apply just the same to a mobile food business as to any other commercial premises. See the guidance in setting up a new food business above.


Link: Advice for mobile food businesses

Link:CIEH National Guidance for Outdoor and Mobile Caterers


Street Trading


A Street Trading Policy is currently going through the council’s adoption procedure and is likely to be in place in the next few months.

Once it is adopted, if you plan to trade within the South Staffordshire area you may require a street trading licence. This will mean that street trading on any public parts of any of the designated streets will need to apply for consent to trade.  Further information will be available in due course




National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (Rate my Place)


Once you have registered with your Local Authority your business will be programmed for a food safety inspection. As part of the inspection your business will be given a rating as part of the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. In Staffordshire the rating and inspection report is published on the Rate my Place website, linked to the national scheme.


The scoring criteria is explained further under the rating scheme at:  Food Hygiene Rating Scheme


Useful Links


Link: Business Support

Link: Healthy Options Awards

Link: Nutrition Training


External link: Food Hygiene Guide

External link: E.coli O157 Guidance

External link: Food Law Inspections



If you need any further information, advice or guidance which is not provided on the website, please contact the Food & Safety Team:




Food & Safety Team

Telephone: 01902 696220



Rate this pageRate this page - 1 / 5Rate this page - 2 / 5Rate this page - 3 / 5Rate this page - 4 / 5Rate this page - 5 / 5
Browse services
A-Z of services
accreditations | South Staffordshire Council 2012 | Privacy policy and Cookies
South Staffordshire Goodlife Website MyPlaceMySay Website Staffordshire Prepared website i54 information website DirectGov