Food business registration

If you store, prepare, distribute or sell food on premises, it is a legal requirement that you register with us. You may be fined or imprisoned for up to two years or both if you run a food business without registering. It is an offence to give information which you know is false.

Registration allows us to maintain an up-to-date list of food premises in the borough and visit when we need to. The frequency of visits will depend on the type of business.

Who needs to register?

Food premises include restaurants, hotels, guest houses, cafes, shops, supermarkets staff canteens, kitchens in offices, warehouses, delivery vehicles, buffet cars on trains, market and other stalls, hot dog and ice cream vans etc.

The majority of premises will have to be registered. However, certain premises are exempt from registration e.g. some are already registered for food law purposes; such as tents and marquees (but not stalls), some domestic premises and some village halls.  You should contact us if you think you might be exempt.

If you use vehicles for your food business in connection with permanent premises such as a shop or warehouse you should 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 us where they are normally kept.

Registration of mobile traders

If you run a mobile catering van, food delivery van or market stall, you must register with the Council where you keep your mobile stall or where you return to between trading. Contact us if you require further information.

How to register your food business

You must register 28 days before you open your food business but you should not register more than two months in advance of commencing trade. If you are registering a new business you should provide the date that you intend to open. If that date is delayed you should inform us by email to

If you use premises in more than one local authority area, these need to be registered separately. We can only register the premises that are in Wandsworth.

As long as you fully complete the form, your registration will be automatic. Your application is granted if you have not heard from us.

Apply to register a food business (GOV.UK website)

Alternatively, you can download and complete the food premises registration form. The completed form should be emailed to or posted to:
Food & Safety Team
Regulatory Services Partnership
Merton Civic Centre
London Road 

Change of circumstances

Once registered you should notify us by email if:

  • There is a change of proprietor,
  • The nature of the business changes, or
  • There is a change of address at which moveable premises e.g. vehicles, are kept

Email us at

Handling meat or products of animal origin

Food manufacturers, food processors and catering butchers handling products of animal origin may need to be approved rather than registered.

Premises which need this approval must not operate before it has been approved.

See food premises approval for more information.

What happens to the information provided?

We will enter the details on our database and the Food Premises Register. The following details from the Register are available upon request; business name and address and nature of the food business. The Register is open to inspection by the general public by appointment only. An appointment can be requested by email to