Register with your local authority
Before you jump straight into whipping up bao buns and brisket, you must first make sure to register your business.
This is a legal requirement and we recommend you register at least 28 days before you plan to start trading.
Mobile traders need to register with the authority where their stall or unit is kept overnight.
Get the right licences to trade
If you trade on public streets or roadsides, you will require a Street Trading Licence. This is not required however, if you operate solely on private land at at street food market or at events or festivals, provided the organiser is in possession of a valid licence.
Register as a business
Getting the right Legal & Tax Structure for you and your business.
When setting up your new catering business, you will need to elect a business structure which best suits the needs of your business.
Limited Liability Partnership
Make certain that you opt for the best structure for your business by visiting the Central Government website and considering both the advantages and pitfalls of each structure. Once you have decided on the option most relevant, you must also register with HMRC and set up a Book Keeping System. Find out more here.
Risk Assessment / HACCP
All food businesses in the European Union must have a Food Safety Risk Assessment based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) principles.
NCASS members have access to a comprehensive online risk assessment tool in their members hub that allows them to create Food Safety, Health & Safety, COSSH, and Fire Safety risk assessments. This not only helps you to understand and assess the risks associated with running your business, but also ensures that you have plans in place which are designed to minimise risk and liability in any eventuality.
Food hygiene / Food Safety training
All staff members within your catering business must receive training pertaining to their position.
This ensures that each staff member is operating safely, legally and effectively. If you’re unsure as to whether you or your staff require further training you can read more on training requirements at our training website.
Get the right insurance
All food businesses must have Liability Insurance, in catering this should cover Public, Product & Employers Liability. These products usually come combined into one package.
If you do not consider yourself an ’employer’ you can remove this cover, however, we would not recommend it as anyone helping you out for the day or delivering goods or services to you may fall under this category.
Gas Safety Certificate
All gas equipment which is used for catering purposes must be installed, inspected and tested annually by a gas safe engineer. This is a legal requirement and applies to ALL caterers including Street Food Traders.
Engineers need to be qualified in Mobile Catering & LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas / bottled Gas). They will inspect your equipment and issue you with a certificate if your equipment is safe and legal to use in line with the most up to date Code of Practice.
New trailers and equipment should come with safety certification, however, if you are working on a gazebo or market stall, you will also need to ensure that your gas ‘rig’ is tested.
Particular care must be taken in the choice of piping and regulators following COP24 guidance – if in doubt consult a GasSafe Engineer.
Operate a Food Safety Management System / Due Diligence System
All food businesses have a responsibility, by law, to ensure that the food that they prepare and sell is safe to eat. We have put everything you need to know into our Food Safety Management System (we call this our Due Diligence system)
A Due Diligence System is a vital tool for all caterers. Having a Due Diligence system in place ensures that you have a record of the policies and procedures to which you must adhere in order to keep your staff and customers safe at all times.
As a caterer, a Due Diligence System is likely your only line of defence in the unfortunate event of prosecution, so it is essential that your Due Diligence System is relevant to your business.
The NCASS Due Diligence System has been approved by a government body as part of our Primary Authority Partnership. This means that it’s Assured Advice and Guidance.
Hand washing facilities
By law, all food business must have separate hand and pot washing facilities.
People failing to wash their hands regularly is a key cause of cross contamination and food poisoning. It is a legal requirement for all catering units to have appropriate hand washing facilities. Anti Bacterial Gel is not accepted by Environmental Health Officers as an appropriate method of cleaning hands.
If you need a mobile hand-washing solution for your business or would like to discuss your requirements you can visit our dedicated equipment website or give us a call – we’ll make sure you get what you need.
Start up survey
Thinking of starting a business?
Answer a few questions that will help us support you and others in your position going forwards.