Opening a food business

Opening a food business - Coffee, paper and pen on a desk.

Find valuable information about opening a food business can be found on the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) website

Apply to register your business

You will need to include the following things with your application:

Other considerations

If you’re thinking of opening a food business, you may need to consult with other Council departments in addition to Environmental health such as:


Contact Council’s Duty Planner to ensure that you can set up a food business in your chosen area. The zoning of some areas exclude commercial activity and you may need to apply for Resource Consent to operate in some areas. The Duty Planner can also tell you if there are any parking or other planning requirements in your area.  


You may require Building Consent if you are building a new premises or making alterations to an existing premises. Council’s Building Control staff will be able to advise you whether the work you intend to do requires a building consent. They will also be able provide advice on public toilet requirements for your premises. Depending on the type and volume of food you are preparing, you may also require a grease trap to comply with Council’s Trade Waste Bylaw. Find more information about the Building Consent on the Building consents page.

Alcohol Licensing  

If you intend to sell liquor on your premises or have patrons bring liquor for consumption on the premises while dining, you will need to apply for the appropriate licence under the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. It is recommended that application for a liquor licence is made as early as possible as issuing licences takes time. Find more information about how to apply for an alcohol licence for your premises on the Alcohol Licensing page