Starting a new business

Setting up a new food business

Before you begin trading you need to ensure have essential safety and hygiene measures in place.


Starting up

The Food Standards Agency provides advice and guidance booklets on starting a new food business available at: Starting a food business

Food premises registration

New food businesses are required to register: Food premises registration

Food Safety Training courses

We strongly recommend staff who prepare open foods and/or have a supervisory role attend a Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering within 3 months of starting work to demonstrate they have been adequately trained. This should be refreshed every 3 years. For details of courses follow this link: Food Safety Training Courses

Safer Food Better Business (SFBB)

This is a document showing how the food you make is safe to eat. The Food Standards Agency have produced the Safer Food Better Business pack to help small food businesses comply with this requirement.

SFBB is not suitable for all types of food businesses, such as butchers serving both ready-to-eat and raw food, and does not cover processes such as, vacuum-packing, jarring foods, sous-vide cooking or preparation of raw dishes e.g. sushi.  In these cases a more detailed food safety management system based on HACCP principles is required.  For further information see our Food Safety Management System factsheet. 

For small food manufacturers there is the MyHACCP online tool created by the Food Standards Agency.

Structural Requirements

Layout, Design, Construction and size;

  • Make sure the premises permit good hygiene practice and permit easy cleaning, and protect against risk of contamination.

Floors, Walls, Ceilings and Work surfaces

  • Suitable materials for walls include; Washable painted plaster, Epoxy resin and similar coatings; Ceramic tiles; Stainless Steel sheeting, PVC and other proprietary sheeting. Wall surfaces must be smooth.
  • Suitable materials for floors include; Flooring tiles (quarry, ceramic or vinyl), Washable safety flooring; Vinyl safety flooring; cast in situ resin.
  • Suitable materials for work surfaces include; Melamine; Stainless steel, Ceramic, Granite, Food grade plastics.
  • Suitable ceilings include; smooth washable painted plaster, direct fixed ceiling systems and suspended ceilings.

Hand washing facilities and toilets;

  • Hand wash basin preferably at the entrance to the kitchen and separate from the food/equipment sink, supplied hot and cold, hand drying facilities (preferably paper towels) and soap (preferably dispensed anti bacterial soap).
  • Toilets must not lead directly into the kitchen.


  • Two sinks are preferable to allow washing and rinsing.
  • Separate sinks for food and equipment must be provided if the volume of preparation in the kitchen demands it.


  • This will depend upon the type of cooking/ food preparation you are doing in your business. In a large catering business we would expect a ventilation system capable of 30 air changes per hour.

Food labelling

Risk Assessment

  • As an employer, or a self-employed person, you are responsible for workers health and safety and required to manage the risks in your business.
  • A good place to start is the Health and Safety Executive's website - Health & safety made simple - here you will find basic information on how to comply with the law.