Starting a food business

Everyone serving or selling food to the general public has a responsibility to ensure that the food is safe to eat. Before starting your business you need to register at your local authority.

As a food business operator, you are responsible for the food that you manufacture, transport, store, or sell. You must follow all of the applicable rules concerning safety and labelling.

Contact your local authority

Whether your business needs to be registered or not depends on its size and how consistent its activities are. Selling on an occasional basis, such as at a market, might be a business that does not need to be registered. You should contact your local authority to find out whether your business needs to be registered or not. Even if registration is not needed, it is still your responsibility to make sure that the food you sell is safe.

Registration of a food business

If you are planning on opening a café, restaurant, or food shop or on importing pre-packed food, for example, you should register with your local authority at least 14 days before opening.  If you are already trading and have not registered, you need to do so as soon as possible.

Approval in advance

Food businesses that make, prepare, or handle meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products for supply to other businesses might require approval by The Swedish Food Agency. 

Applying for approval should be done well in advance of opening your business. You cannot start your business before your facility is checked and approved by The Swedish Food Agency.

Fees

The local authority as well as The Swedish Food Agency charges a fee for registration, approval and inspections. Your inspecition fee depends on how great the need is to inspect your business. 

What happens if you are not registered or approved as a food business?

Failing to register or to get your food business approved before starting might lead to sanctions.

If the authorities discover a food business that is neither registered nor approved, the authorities will encourage the food business operator to register or apply for approval as soon as possible, as well as discontinue the business immediately until the registration or approval procedure is finalised. The authority might also impose a penalty fee for failing to register before starting your business. 

If the food business operator continues its business without proper registration or approval, the authorities will prohibit the business from operating.

Opening a café or importing pre-packed food

EU Services Directive

In the menu you find The EU Services Directive. It defines the rules and conditions that apply to entrepreneurs wishing to establish a business or perform temporary services on the EU internal market.

Guidelines

Reviewed 2020-04-01