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Please note that some of our council tax services will not be available today and over the weekend. You will be unable to report a move, set up a Direct Debit or view your online account. Normal service should resume on Monday.  

Food Premises Registration

How to register your food premises


  • Do I need a Food Premises Registration?
  • How much does it cost to apply?
  • How long will my application take?
  • How do I make a consumer complaint about a food trader, premises or business?

Do I need to register my food premises?

Yes - if you want to store, prepare, distribute or sell food on your premises you will need to register. 

The term 'premises' includes restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops, canteens, market stalls, mobile catering vans and food delivery vans.

You will need to complete the registration forms at least 28 days before you open for business.

If your premises produces foods containing products of animal origin for sale to other businesses, then you may also need to be approved by us or the Food Standards Agency, rather than just registered. 

If you are not sure whether any aspect of your food operations would require approval, please contact us on 01206 282581 or via email:

Do I need any additional licenses for my food premises? 

If you would like to provide late night refreshment, i.e. the sale of hot food and/or hot drinks between 11pm and 5am, you will need a Premises License. 

Find out more about Premises Licenses

How much does it cost to register?

There is no fee for registering.

How do I register my food premises?

Complete our online form to register your food business.

Register online

What happens after I submit my application?

Within 28 working days of you registering a new food premises, we will inspect your premises.

Your details will be entered on our Food Premises Register which can be inspected by members of the public. The register will show your address and type of business but nothing else relating to your application and we will always protect your data securely in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

How long will my application take?

We aim to complete your application within 28 days but we are often quicker than that.

What can I do if my application is unsuccessful?

Please contact us in the first instance on 01206 282581 or via email:

Which international laws and regulations apply to this licence?

Read the regulations here

Will Tacit Consent apply?

No. This application is a registration, not an authorisation from us, which means Tacit Consent doesn’t apply.

Can I see all the food premises that are registered?

Yes, you can view our Register of Food Premises.

(The register is held under the Food Premises (Registration) Regulations 1991 Reg. 5)

How do I make a consumer complaint about a food trader, premises or business?

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, you can check Consumer rights - GOV.UK for advice. For those outside the UK, you can contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Contact the Food and Safety Team

Opening Hours Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm (excluding public holidays). Please Note: Colchester Borough Council is committed to Customer Excellence and may record your call.



The Food Safety Team
Colchester Borough Council
Rowan House
33 Sheepen Road

Phone: 01206 282581

Need to register your business?

Register online now

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