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Starting Up?

Starting Up

Who should you talk to first? The following is a list of people you may need to contact and sources of important information if you are considering setting up a food business.

  • Environmental Health - Food and Safety Team - Always seek advice from us before starting any work. We will be happy to give advice regarding design of catering premises, correct food handling techniques, food hygiene training and food safety management as well as information on health and safety.
  • Food Business Registration - You will also need to register your food business with us 28 days before you open. There is no fee for registration, see Food Business Registration.
  • Guidance - The Food Standards Agency have produced a useful booklet adobe icon Starting Up [522kb] which describes the main considerations to think about - where you work, food safety, food hygiene, the law, menus, paperwork etc.
  • Planning and Building Control - If you are looking at property you should seek advice from the relevant Planning Authority. The property may need "Class A3" planning use to enable it to be used as a food business. If you live within the New Forest National Park you should contact the New Forest National Park Authority  by following the link, or by calling 01590 646600. If you don't live within the National Park, but do live within the New Forest District  you can follow the link to Development Management. You may also need Building Regulation permission if you are intending to make structural alterations to the building. They can be contacted by following the link. Remember, you should always check first to make sure you are not infringing any planning or building regulation requirements.
  • Trading standards can offer assistance on labelling of products including declared weights and product claims.
  • Licensing & Regulation - If you intend to sell alcohol, or provide any form of public entertainment, you may require a licence.
  • You are also advised to contact you local Chamber of Commerce and Business Rates.
  • The Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice - Catering Guide  developed by the British Hospitality Association gives practical advice on legal compliance and best practice.

For more information contact us by email

Updated: 16 May 2018
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