10 legal requirements of starting a catering business

The regulations in place for catering businesses are formulated to protect the employer, the business and the employees, as well as the customers. The following guidelines are worth your attention!

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1. Register with the local authority

Wherever your business is going to be based, it is absolutely essential to register your catering premises with the environmental health service department at your local authority 28 days before you open for business.

2. Get a licence!

If you intend to sell or supply alcohol, sell hot food and drinks between 11pm and 5am, or provide some form of entertainment you will need to obtain a specific licence from the relevant authorities.

3. Comply with local regulations

Your self-catering business premises must be suitable for your business, and allow you to prepare food safely. Catering equipment suppliers such as https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk/ provide products that are easily kept clean and in good condition.

4. Fire risk assessment

You must carry out a fire risk assessment and carry out recommended precautions that vary dependent upon the size of your premises and the catering equipment that you use.

5. Health and Safety policy

If you employ five of more people you must ensure that you have a written health and safety policy.

6. Food safety management procedures

Food safety management procedures will ensure that up to date procedures are in place with regard to the production of food in your work place.

7. Contact HMRC

Whether you are going to become self-employed or wish to take on staff, it would be prudent to contact HMRC for advice regarding tax and payroll issues.

8. Label food allergens

Since December 2014 it has been a requirement for caterers to label pre-packaged food and supply information regarding potential allergens in a legible format and obvious place.

9. Make a VAT decision

If you have a turnover above a certain threshold you will need to be registered for VAT, which means that on certain items you must add VAT to your prices.

10. Comply with employment laws

If you hire employees you must ensure that any relevant employment laws are complied with. Such requirements range from ensuring that your wages comply with the national minimum wage to demonstrating that you are aware of equality laws.