Opening a food business

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

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

Apply to register your business

You'll need to include the following with your application:

  • The relevant registration fee - you'll find this information on our Environmental Health - Fees and Charges page
  • A letter from your verification agency if this is not Council
  • A copy of the site plan for each site that will be registered
  • A copy of your certificate of incorporation if your business is a registered company
  • A completed Scope of Operations Template form (available below)
  • A completed Application for Registration of Food Business form (available below).


Scope of Operations Template form(PDF, 570KB)
Application for Registration of Food Business form(PDF, 223KB)

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.


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 Consents Team 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.

You can view more information about Building Consents on our Building Consents & Information section.

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 our Alcohol Licensing page.