Putting our residents first
Top menu
Search our website: Search

Food premises registration

All new food business establishments must register with the Council at least 28 days before starting food operations. Registration is free of charge and cannot be refused. Re-registration is necessary where a change of ownership has taken place.

Oasis Cafe food

What you need to know before applying

You may be considering diversifying your food business to provide food for delivery or takeaway. This guidance will help ensure you trade safely. 

Guidance on food delivery and takeaway [2MB]

Licence laws

Registration applies to most businesses that store, prepare, distribute or sell food on premises, including:

  • restaurants
  • pubs
  • bars
  • cafes
  • hotels
  • shops
  • chemists
  • newsagents
  • canteens
  • market stalls
  • nurseries
  • freight companies
  • catering businesses run from home and mobile or temporary premises, such as stalls and vans
  • takeaway shops 
  • supermarkets and other retailers
  • delivery vans
  • wholesale warehouses
  • workplace or institutional catering operations


The law says that to be considered a food business, there needs to be a certain continuity of activities and a certain degree of organisation. Occasional cake making or cake decorating classes, for example, do not need to be registered. Activities including handling of food at a one-off event, or where food is prepared occasionally for coffee mornings, or charity functions, or other community events, or facilities such as food banks and libraries, do not require registration. 


If you use two or more premises, you will need to register all of them. If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately. If you are a mobile trader, you need only register with the authority where your vehicle is stored overnight.

If food premises are used by several catering businesses (for example, a village hall or conference centre), the person who allows the premises to be used for this purpose is responsible for registering them.

Please note: If you intend on using a food delivery service platform such as Just Eat or Uber Eats, for example, you will first need to be registered as a food business with the Council.

Some establishments require approval, instead of registration. Approval may be required if you produce meat, fish, dairy or eggs products and supply these to other food businesses.

To apply for approval, please visit our approval page.

When filling in the registration form, please refer closely to the guidance notes to ensure that you complete the form fully and correctly. Seasonal businesses operating for a certain period each year should give opening dates in answer to question 12. It is an offence to give information which you know is false.

Duration of the licence

Registration does not need to be renewed unless a change of ownership has occurred, in which case, a new registration will be required.

Changes to your registration

You should notify the council of any changes to the details previously supplied, such as a change of food business operator, or a change to the activities carried out in relation to the food, or the closure of the business.

Fees and charges

There is no charge for registration.

Register your business now

What happens next

Once registered via the GOV.UK website, your food business will be processed and subsequently inspected by an officer from the Council's Food, Health and Safety team.

We will process your registration as quickly as possible and, in any event, aim to process the registration within 28 calendar days. If you have not heard from us within two months of your registering the business, please get in touch with us by contacting the Food, Health and Safety team.

All new registrations will become void if the new business fails to commence trading within 3 months of the registration date and will be removed from our records. After this time, a new registration will be required.

Hillingdon Council will keep a record of the information from the registration. Some information will be available to the public on written request. Information will only be given out about the address and type of food business.

Offences and penalties

It is an offence to give false or incomplete information.

Complaints about registered food premises

If you have a problem with a registered food premises, we recommend you contact the business directly to try to resolve the dispute. If this is not successful then the Food, Health and Safety team may be able to help or contact Citizens Advice consumer service, or the UK European Consumer Centre if you live outside the UK.

Other redress

Should you need to complain about, for example, noise, or should one licence holder have cause to complain about another, please contact the council's contact centre in the first instance.

Is there anything wrong with this page?

* What would you like to report?
Broken link
Out of date information
Missing information
Report a problem with a service

* Please provide further details:

This feedback tool is for improving our pages. To report a problem with a service, please email contact@hillingdon.gov.uk

Your feedback could not be sent - please ensure you have completed all fields.

Thank you for your feedback.

Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 31 Mar 2020 at 16:25