Register a domestic (home) kitchen

If you're planning on operating a commercial food business from your home, you have legal responsibilities under the Food Act 2014.


If you're setting up a new food businesses you should speak to the following teams at Council for advice:

Resource Consents - business location

There may be District Plan requirements like operating hours or car parking provisions. Contact our Resource Consents team to ensure you're allowed to run your business from your home.

Building Consents - structural or plumbing changes

There may be building requirements you need to meet depending on the type of food you're preparing. If you're making structural or plumbing changes to your domestic kitchen you might need a building consent. Contact our Building Consents team for advice.

Trade Waste - grease traps

Premises have varying trade waste requirements. Contact our Trade Waste team to find out if your business needs a grease trap.

Environmental Health

Contact our Environmental Health team for information on the legal requirements of buildings and food.

If you're making or selling food you need to be operating under either a template Food Control Plan (FCP) or National Programme (NP).

You can use The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) My food rules tool to find out what you need to do.

The operator must ensure that the design, construction and location of the food business keeps food safe and suitable by:

  • identifying and managing risks posed to the safety or suitability of food.
  • providing adequate space for:
    • producing, handling and processing food
    • fixtures, fittings and equipment.
  • ensuring that the design of the premises enables staff and visitors to move, and food to flow in a way that prevents and manages risk.
  • providing easy access for cleaning and maintenance.
  • ensuring the design, construction and location of the premises:
    • excludes dirt, dust, fumes, smoke and other contaminants
    • stops pests entering and staying.
  • making sure materials used in the construction of the premises aren't capable of contaminating food.

You need to ensure that the design, construction and location of your facilities, equipment and essential services enable food to be safe and suitable. This includes:

  • ensuring facilities, equipment, and essential services aren't operated beyond their capacity or capability.
  • water used for producing, processing, handling food, and for personal hygiene and cleaning:
    • is suitable for purpose
    • doesn't adversely affect the safety and suitability of food
    • and that there's an adequate supply for your food business.

It's good practice for at least one person (preferably the manager) to have completed a basic food safety course.

If you're operating under a template FCP, the day-to-day operator or manager of the food business needs to understand and implement all FCP procedures relating to the food business. They need to complete a staff training record for themselves as well as any staff members.

Every home kitchen is different. It's important that you give us as much information on what you're planning to do so we can give you appropriate advice.

Once you've talked to the right Council teams, and before applying, you must send us the following information:

  • a site plan detailing the physical boundaries of the shared commercial place and any other areas that will be used for “food for sale”
  • a written proposal covering the following topics:
    • reason for the business
    • the types of food you will produce
    • how much food you will produce weekly/monthly
    • whether you'll transport or label any food
    • where the food will be sold
    • who you will employ (staff) and their training, qualifications and experience
    • how you'll separate goods between domestic and commercial use, including during preparation and storage
    • your businesses work patterns and how you'll keep them separate from household activities
    • how the business will operate when there are sick family members at home
    • how you'll control access to the kitchen for children, pets or visitors
    • completed Home Kitchen - Commercial Food checklist
    • a photo of your kitchen - either attached with the above information or sent online.

These requirements are also covered in our guidance document.

We'll process your application once you've contacted the relevant teams, and you've sent us:

  • your food registration application
  • the site plan
  • proposal
  • completed checklist
  • photo of your kitchen.