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Food business registration

Completion of registration form downloaded from the website

You can print two versions of our form:
Once printed, you will need to complete fully, sign and date the form and then return to the address indicated on the form or alternatively use our online registration facility External link.

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It is a requirement under 6(2) of regulation (EC) No 852/2004 for food premises to register with their local authority (for exemption see below). We maintain a public register for food premises available on this website.

The registration will then be followed up by the establishment of an inspection programme for each premises, to ensure that food safety legislation and guidance is adhered to and public health is protected.

Food registration is not a 'one-off' process for each premises. A new form must also be completed on other occasions - see notes on registration.

Please ensure that you read and fully understand the notes on registration of food premises before completion of the form (see exemptions below).

Food business definition

A food business is defined as ‘any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any of the activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food’.

This definition implies a certain continuity of activities and a certain degree of organisation.


Exemptions from the requirement for food business operators to register their food business establishments include:-
  • establishments subject to approval under Regulation 853/2004.
  • establishments which fall outside the scope of 852/2004, namely those undertaking the following activities:-

    1. Primary production for private domestic use.

    2. The domestic preparation, handling or storage of food for private domestic consumption.

    3. The direct supply, by the producer, of small quantities of primary products to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer.

    4. Collection centres and tanneries which fall within the definition of food business only because they handle raw material for the production of gelatine or collagen.

Registration of food premises

What is registration?

Registration of premises used for a food business (including market stalls, delivery vehicles and other moveable structures) is required by law. Registration will allow local authorities to keep an up-to-date list of all those premises in their area, so they can visit them when they need to. The frequency of the visits will depend on the type of business.

Who needs to register?

If you run a food business you must tell (or arrange for someone else to tell) the local authority about any premises you use for storing, selling, distributing or preparing food. Food premises includes 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, etc.

If you use vehicles for your food business in connection with permanent premises such as a shop, or warehouse, you only need to tell the local authority 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 the local authority at least 28 days before doing so.

The majority of premises will have to be registered. However, certain premises are exempt from registration, e.g. some which are already registered for food law purposes, certain agricultural premises, motor cars, tents and marquees (but not stalls), some domestic premises and some village halls. You should contact your local authority if you think you might be exempt.

How do I register?

By filling in an application form. - the registration cannot be refused. The registration form must be sent to the contact details listed below. The address can also be found on the downloaded North Devon form or in the telephone directory etc. for other authorities. If the form is sent to the wrong address, your application will not take effect until it is received at the proper place. If you use premises in more than one local authority area, you must register with each authority separately.

You must tick all the boxes which apply to your business, answer all the questions and give all the information requested. Seasonal businesses operating for a certain period each year should give the dates between which they will be open in answer to question 12. If you have any questions, your local authority will help you. It is an offence to give information which you know is false.

Following correct receipt of the registration form, your registration will be acknowledged by email or letter. You can check the details of your registration by searching for your premises on the public register.

If you have not heard from the Council after 28 consecutive days following receipt of the application, your registration is complete and confirmation is available via the public register. If you can not find your premises on the register, please contact us as detailed below.

What happens to the information given on the form?

The local authority will enter the details on its register as above. A register of addresses and the type of business carried on at each will be open to inspection by the general public. Records of the other information provided will not be publicly available.


Once you have registered, you only need notify us of a change of proprietor, if the nature (for example, becomes a limited company) or name of the business changes, or if there is a change of the address at which moveable premises are kept.

If relevant, a new proprietor will have to complete an application form.

If we wish to change the entry in the register because of information we have received from another party, you will be given 28 days’ notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed change.

If you have an enquiry about changes, you can use our online web enquiry form.

These notes are provided for information only and should not be regarded as a complete statement of the law.


There is no fee for food premises registration.

Contact details

Applications should be sent to:

The Health, Food and Safety Team
Environmental Health and Housing
North Devon Council
Civic Centre
North Walk
EX31 1EA

Applications can also be handed to the Customer Service Centre or at the Ilfracombe Centre and the Amory Centre, South Molton.

In case of query, please telephone the Customer Service Centre on 01271 388870 and ask for the Health, Food and Safety Team.

Please also see further contact details towards the bottom of this page.


See food premises register.


If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please telephone the Customer Service Centre. The food team will endeavour in the first instance to resolve any concerns you may have.

The council also has a formal complaints procedure.

Contact information

To contact the Customer Service Centre:

Telephone: 01271 388870
For Typetalk: precede with 18001
Text: 07624 804042
Fax: 01271 388451
Web form: report an incident
Web form: request a service

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Our office hours are Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.