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Help setting up a food business

  • Help setting up a food business

When setting up a food business it is important to contact us at a very early stage as there are a number of legal requirements to be met and we can give you free advice on the law and kitchen design. A very useful booklet called “Starting Up” is available, free of charge from the Food Standards Agency in several languages.

We have also put together a guide to setting up a food business which you may find useful.

Other permissions

Remember, you may also need permission from other Council departments. For example, the use of a building for catering or for a food takeaway may require planning permission, and building work may need building control permission.


All food businesses must register with us at least 28 days before starting to trade.  This is free of charge and tells us where you are and how we can contact you.

Food Law

All food businesses must comply with the Food Hygiene Regulations. The regulations set standards for the construction and repair of food premises and equipment, the handling and storage of food, the training and conduct of food handlers and a requirement for documented food safety systems. Full details can be found on the Food Standards Agency website. 


All food handlers must be trained in keeping with their work duties. Many organisations provide courses in food hygiene.

Food Safety Management Systems

All businesses must carry out a food safety risk assessment and set up a documented system that identifies food safety hazards, safety controls and systems to record and monitor those systems. One way to do this is to use Safer Food Better Business a food safety management system available to download from the Food Standards Agency.

Street Trading

Many parts of Thanet are covered by local byelaws that prohibit street trading. This includes town centre, seafront and shopping precinct areas and most main roads. This means traders cannot stop at the side of the road, or in a lay-by to sell food.

Please contact the licensing section for a full list of prohibited streets.