What does the law require?

In most circumstances you need to register with West Dunbartonshire Council to store, prepare, distribute or sell food on premises. Premises include restaurants, cafes, hotels, shops, canteens, market stalls, mobile catering vans and food delivery vans.

Some manufacturers using products of animal origin may need to be approved by the local authority or the Meat Hygiene Service, rather than registered.

If you are uncertain whether your business needs to be approved or registered, please contact us.

Regulation summary

Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006, and EC Regulation 852/2004; Article 6 (Official controls, registration and approval).

Eligibility criteria

All food businesses that are not subject to approval require to be registered.

Food business operators must not be subject to a court order under Regulation 7(4) of the Food Hygiene Scotland Regulations 2006 - Hygiene Prohibition Orders.

How to apply

You must register your premises with Environmental Health at least 28 days before opening.  If you have more than one premises, you will need to register all of them. 

To register:

For approvals, food business operators should complete the food business approval application and submit it to Environmental Health before commencing operations that require approval.


Please note that there is no charge for registration.

When will a decision be made?

For registrations, you will be placed on the register as soon as you apply, provided you are not subject to a court order which prevents you from being registered.

For approvals, applications will be assessed in line with the procedure for approved premises. Premises will need to meet the prescribed hygiene standards before approval will be granted.  View the approval process flowchart. The approval will be determined within six months of application. The Approval process will end with either approval or refusal of the application.

What happens if you don't make a decision within the target time?

'Tacit authorisation' does not apply to approvals because there is an overriding reason relating to the public interest, namely the need to protect public health. Therefore if you have still not received a decision after the target time has expired, your authorisation is not granted automatically. In such a situation, we will get in touch with you to let you know what happens next.

Please note that you must not carry on the activity for which you have applied for approval unless or until you have been granted approval.

What can I do if I'm not satisfied?

If you are unhappy with the way we have processed your application please contact us.