May elections

You must register to vote in the upcoming May elections before Wednesday 17 April. If you cannot attend the elections, you can apply for a postal vote before 5pm on Wednesday 17 April. Find all the key dates on our election news page.


Register a food business

You can look at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website for information about starting a food business and your food safety responsibilities


You will need to register your food business with Harlow Council if you plan to:

  • sell food
  • cook food
  • store or handle food
  • prepare food
  • distribute food

You need to register with us at least 28 days before starting your business.

To register your business, you need to complete the online application form.

You do not need to pay to register your business and we cannot refuse to register you.

You need to register every premises where you carry out food operations. This includes:

  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • hotels
  • shops
  • canteens
  • market stalls
  • home caterers
  • catering vans
  • food delivery vans

Registration allows us to keep an up-to-date list of all food premises in Harlow, so we can inspect and provide food hygiene ratings to premises that are within the scope of the scheme.

Once you have registered, you will need to let us know of any changes to the:

  • Food Business Operator
  • nature of the business
  • address where the moveable premises are kept

You need to let us know within 28 days of the change happening.


Some types of food businesses need to be approved rather than registered.

Examples of the types of premises that need to be approved by us are standalone:

  • meat processing establishments
  • meat preparations establishments
  • minced meat processing operations and mechanically separated meat processing plants
  • cold stores

We only approve standalone premises. If your premises is attached to a slaughterhouse, cutting plant or game handling establishment, you need to contact FSA for approval.

We will decide if you are granted approval or need to register. If you are approved you do not need to register as well.

Contact Environmental Health to discuss and apply for approval

Contact information

Environmental Health
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
College Square
Harlow CM20 1WG