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Registering as a food business

Last updated 21 February 2014

Businesses that store, or prepare, or distribute or sell food or drink need to be registered with the local authority.

Registration of a food business establishment is required by law (Reg (EC) No.852/2004 Art 6(2)

Registration is free.

Who needs to register?

Anyone starting a food business or taking over an existing food business must register with the Food and Safety Team at Waltham Forest Council at least 28 days before opening a new food business or taking over an existing food business. This applies whether the business is for profit or not and whether it is public or private.

Examples of food businesses that need to register are:

  • Restaurants, cafes, hotels, guest houses, luncheon clubs, home caterers, caterers for outside events
  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Warehouses distributing food or drink
  • Market stalls and mobile food units/vehicles

Food businesses that need approval

Certain types of businesses will need to be approved before they begin operating, e.g. those producing meat products and meat preparations, egg products, milk and milk products, fish and fish products. You should contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the Food Safety Team or fill in the Request food business advice online form if you think your business may need approval.

When can I begin trading?

You can begin trading when your application to register has been received by the Food and Safety Team. For businesses that need approval you cannot trade until the business has been approved.

How do I register?

You can register online by completing and submitting the online form:

What happens to the information given on the form?

The local authority will enter the details on its public register. The register contains the name of the food business operator; the name of the business, the address of the business and the type of food business. Records of the other information provided in the application will not be publicly available, subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Act 1998. View also our privacy statement.

Changes in circumstances

Once you have registered you only need to notify us if:

  • If you cease to be the owner of the business
  • There is a change of ownership of the business. The new owner will be required to register
  • The nature of the business changes and new food activities are carried on by the business
  • There is a change of the address at which a mobile food unit/vehicle is kept

You should contact Waltham Forest Direct and ask for the Food Safety Team to notify us of changes in circumstances.

If the local authority wishes to change the entry in the register because of information that it receives from someone else, you will be given 28 days’ notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed change.

Register of food premises within Waltham Forest

The register is updated every six months.

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See also

Contact details

  • Food Safety

    Environmental Health & Trading Standards,
    Sycamore House,
    Forest Road
    Walthamstow
    E17 4SU
    Phone: 020 8496 3000
    Email: wfdirect@walthamforest.gov.uk