If you are opening a food business there are a number of legal requirements to fulfill.

Register a food business

If you own or have taken over a food business in Oxford, it is a legal requirement to register your business with us at least 28 days before opening or taking ownership. 

Registration is free of charge.  The details will be entered onto our register and certain details, such as type of business, address and telephone number, will be available for public inspection. Other information provided will not be publicly available.

Once you have registered, you will need to notify us if there is a change of ownership or change in the nature of the business.

Register a food business

Get food safety, hygiene and allergen training

Food Business Operators must ensure that food handlers in the food business are supervised, instructed and trained in food hygiene matters which correspond with their work activities. 

See Food safety, hygiene and allergen training.

Set up and use a food safety management system

You will need a written food safety management system, based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles, and have to ensure it is implemented and maintained.

A simple way this can be achieved is by using the Food Standard Agency's Safer Food Better Business Pack. This has been developed to help small catering and retail businesses such as restaurants, cafés, takeaways and shops comply with food safety regulations. 

See Safer Food, Better Business.

Comply with Food Safety legislation

There are a number of free Food Standard Agency (FSA) publications that you might find helpful. Find these at Guidance for food businesses on the Food Standards Agency website.

Other licences

Some food businesses also require other licenses, e.g. for late night refreshment or the sale of alcohol. Visit our licensing pages for more information.