Registering a food business

Find out how to register your food business, and how to renew your existing food registration.

Whether you're opening a new business or taking on an existing one, you need to make sure your business meets the relevant requirements.

This means you may need to meet with these people at Council:

  • resource Consents Planner about compatibility with Council’s district plan
  • building Consent for Building Act requirements and structural changes
  • trade Waste for grease trap requirements
  • environmental Health Officer for suitability of the Building and Food Act requirements

Check if your premises is consented

Contact our Resource Consents team to make sure the business you are proposing is permitted in the location. There may be District Plan requirements such as set operating hours or car parking provisions.

Request to see a Hutt City Environmental Health Officer

Check if your planned structural or plumbing changes require consent

If you're building a new food premises or making any structural or plumbing changes to an existing food business, you may need a building consent. Contact our Building Consent team for more information.

Check if your business needs a grease trap

Premises have varying and specific trade waste requirements. Contact our Trade Waste team to find out more about food waste and how to dispose of it safely.

Food Act requirements

The operator must ensure that the design, construction and location of the food business enables food to be safe and suitable. This includes:

  • identifying and managing risks posed to the safety or suitability of food
  • providing enough space for producing, handling and processing food
  • providing enough space for fixtures, fittings and equipment
  • ensuring that the design of the premises enables staff, visitors and food to move safely, and to flow in a way that prevents and manages risk
  • designing the premises to provide easy access for cleaning and maintenance
  • ensuring the premises are designed, constructed and located to exclude dirt, dust, fumes, smoke and other contaminants. Ensure the premises prevent pests from entering and remaining
  • ensuring construction materials that are used aren't capable of contaminating food

The operator must also ensure that the facilities, equipment and essential services are designed, constructed, and located in a way that enables 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 of food and for personal hygiene and cleaning is suitable for purpose. It must not adversely affect the safety and suitability of food
  • the capacity of the water supply should be adequate for the food business

Training requirements

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

Under the Food Act 2014 managers are responsible for training their staff. For example if you are operating under a template Food Control Plan, the day-to-day manager must be familiar with and understand all FCP procedures before training staff. The manager would then need to complete and sign a staff training record for each person who works in their business.

Getting an alcohol licence

If you're planning to sell and supply alcohol and/or if you're interested in operating as a BYO, you'll need to apply for an alcohol licence.

1. work out which plan applies to you

Depending on what food you make you will need to either operate under a Template Food Control Plan (FCP) or National Programme (NP).

Use the Ministry for Primary Industries My food rules tool to work out which one suits your food activity or business.

2. make sure you have everything you need

For NP applications, if your business nominates a third party verifier you'll need to include a letter from your verifier.

3. apply online

If you operate multiple food businesses within Lower Hutt you can register all your premises using the same application. To register multiple businesses under FCPs, they must all be under the same risk based measure.

Request to see a Hutt City Environmental Health Officer

Apply online

How long does it takes to process

Application process times vary and depend on the circumstances and requirements.

Your registration will generally be issued within 20 working days if it is complete and correct, and you've paid any relevant fees.

Note: You're  not allowed to start trading until you have all relevant clearances like a resource consent, Certificate of Public Use, or Code of Compliance Certificate.

How much it costs

Fees vary depending on the type of food being made

Fees and charges

Verification of your food business

Your food business must be verified within 6 weeks of getting a food registration certificate, and regularly after that.

Terms & Conditions for verification.

If you are already registered with another authority you can choose to make Hutt City Council your verifier. Find out how to choose Hutt City Council as your verifier separately below.

Businesses operating a registered Food Control Plan or National Programme must give written notice to their registration authority (Hutt City Council) of changes to your business.

Possible changes

Changes to your business can include:

  • change in information that the applicant provided in their initial application for the Food Control Plan or National Programme registration. This could include the owner's name, trading name, business address, and changes in the types of food being made (scope of the business).
  • changes made to the procedures set out in the Food Control Plan that directly relate to achieving safe and suitable food (such as control of hazards)
  • anything that impacts the Food Control plan, such as an operator not being able to comply with the Food Control Plan and requirements of the Act
  • major alterations to facilities or equipment or change in location of your business

How to give written notice

  1. complete and save the changes to your food business form (PDF 294KB)
  2. email it to

Businesses must give written notice to Council about any changes to your business before they occur.

If it isn't practical to notify Council before the change occurs, it must be done as soon as possible after. This must be no later than 10 working days after the change occurs.

Transfer of an existing food business

Under the new Food Act, Notices of Registration are non-transferable. If you want to take over an existing food business you'll need to complete an application for registration

How to Surrender or Suspend your registration

If you want to suspend operating your business for a period between 3 to 12 months, or if you want to close your business, please fill out the Surrender or Voluntary Suspension form and submit this to

Your Notice of Registration needs to be renewed if you plan to continue running your food business.

Your Notice of Registration will need to be renewed before (or by) the day your notice of registration is due to expire.

To help you renew your existing registration, we'll send you a renewal reminder letter and invoice at least two months before your registration expires.

Request to see a Hutt City Environmental Health Officer

What happens if you don't renew your registration

If your Notice of Registration expires, you might get fined. You'll have to apply for a Notice of Registration as if you were a new food business, starting the registration process from the beginning.

How long does it takes to process

How long it takes to process your application cab vary depending on your situation and requirements.

How much it costs

Costs vary between different types of registrations.

Fees and charges

If your business is located in Lower Hutt and you are already registered with a different authority (not Hutt City Council), you can choose Hutt City Council as your verifier.

Your food business must be verified within 6 weeks of getting a food registration certificate, and regularly after that.

How to apply

What happens next

  • An environmental health officer will vet your application - part of the vetting process is to make sure we have the technical knowledge and capacity to be your verifier
  • We will let you know our decision

How much it costs

View our Fees and charges