Advice for new businesses

If you are starting up a new food business or taking over an existing one, you must register with the Food and Safety team at least 28 days before opening.

We suggest that you discuss your plans with the Food and Safety team so that there is an opportunity to get advice and rectify any problems before you start trading.  Officers can give general advice, however, food business operators may need to employ a specialist to give detailed assistance concerning food safety.  See contacts section of this page to get in touch with the team.

See downloads section of this page for more advice from the Food Standards Agency booklets "Starting up - your first steps to running a catering business" and "Food hygiene: a guide for businesses".

The Food Standards Agency provides a suggested food safety management system for small catering businesses called Safer Food Better Business This link will take you to an external website...  (SFBB).  There are a number of SFBB packs available that are designed to meet the specific needs of different food businesses which can be downloaded from the website.  Your relevant pack will help you to comply with food hygiene regulations.

A checklist for starting up would include:-

  • Have you registered your premises?
  • Do the design and construction of your premises meet legal requirement?
  • Are you aware of the main General Food Law Requirements?
  • Do you keep written records of all the suppliers that provide you with food or any food ingredients?
  • Have you put food safety management procedures in place and are you keeping up-to-date records of these?
  • Do you and your staff understand the principles of good food hygiene?
  • Have you considered health and safety and fire safety arrangements?
  • Have you registered as self-employed?
  • Do you need to register for VAT?
  • Are you keeping records of all your business income and expenses?
  • Are you keeping records of your employees' pay and do you know how to pay their tax and National Insurance contributions?
  • Do you describe food and drink accurately?
  • Do you need to apply for a licence to sell alcohol, for entertainment, for selling hot food and drink late at night, or selling food on the street?

Information about food standards for businesses can be found on the Oxfordshire Trading Standards website Oxfordshire County Council This link will take you to an external website... .

Last reviewed: 30 - 06 - 2016

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