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Food Business Registration

Food premises do not currently need a licence to trade, but most will need to be registered with us.

Registration of food business premises (including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other movable structures) is required by law. Registration allows us to keep an up-to-date list of all premises operating in the borough.

Who needs to register?

If you run a food business you must tell us about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food. Food premises include restaurants, hotels, cafes, shops, supermarkets, staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, guest houses, delivery vehicles, buffet cars on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans.

If you use vehicles for your food business in connection with permanent premises – such as a shop, or warehouse – you only need to tell us how many vehicles you have. You do not need to register each vehicle separately. If you have one or more vehicles but no permanent premises, you must tell the authority where they are normally kept.

Anyone starting a new food business must register with us at least 28 days before trading.

How to register

Before registering please note that:

  • If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.
  • Registration is free of charge.
  • You do not need to wait for a food inspector to contact you before you start your business.
  • If you wish to trade on the street you need permission from us before you start operating.  Please visit our Street Trading page for more details.

Changes in circumstance

Once you have registered, you must notify us of any changes to the activity stated on the form within 28 days of the changes happening. For example:

  • Change of proprietor (the new proprietor will have to register with us);
  • If the nature of the business changes;
  • If there is a change of the address at which movable premises are kept.

Further information

Visit our Food Safety page, or the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website, which is designed to help make sure you start your new business safely.

Privacy notice

Data Protection – Ashford Borough Council is the data controller for any personal information collected in this registration. Your information will be used to administrate your registration, and processing is being conducted relying upon a public task legal basis. Your registration details will be shared with Trading Standards and details of the registration will be retained on our Food Premises Register, which is available for public inspection. We may share or receive your details with the Food Standards Agency in order to maintain an accurate Register of Food Business and report on such. Your data may additionally be shared with other departments within the council for the purpose of improving services, keeping records up-to-date and for the protection of the public fund.

Details of your business will be published on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme website. For those premises that are private houses, only partial address details will be published, e.g. “Business Name, Private address: registered with Ashford local authority, TN23”. Your information will be retained as long as your business operates + 12 years. For more information about your data protection rights please see our Information Rights page or contact the Data Protection Officer by post: Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL or email FOI@ashford.gov.uk.

Contact us

If you have any further questions please email us. It would be helpful if could provide us with full details of your enquiry, including the address of the premises concerned