When you start a new food business or take over an existing business in Somerset, you must legally register your food business with us. You should do this at least 28 days before opening.

There are some exceptions to this which can be found on Food Standards Agency website.

If there are any changes to your food business, such as change of ownership or activity you will need to re-register the business. If your business is closing however, you must update your business details with us by using the general enquiries online form.

Once registered, your business may be inspected by the local authority and given a food hygiene rating under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

Information to help you with starting up your food business

  • Advice on how to run your food business can be found on the Food Standards Agency website.
  • Safer Food, Better Business is a food safety management system developed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that may help your business comply with the law. It can be downloaded free of charge. You can also purchase a copy from Somerset Business Hub, as well as having options to purchase specific business guides and online courses, such as Level 2 Food Hygiene.
  • An Introduction to Health and Safety. This offers information including the law and issues relevant to your business.

In addition, you need to apply for a licence if you are:

  • selling alcohol
  • putting on public entertainment
  • selling hot food and drink late at night
  • selling food on the street.

For more information, please see our Licensing pages.

Last reviewed: January 24, 2024 by Keri

Next review due: July 24, 2024

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