If you want to sell food you need to make sure you are correctly registered. This includes selling your food online, through your cafe, restaurant, shop, at a market or from a food truck.

Apply for Notice of Registration

Alternatively, you can download a printable application form [PDF, 68KB](external link).

A scope of operations must be attached to the application. 

You are also required to pay a non-refundable fee to complete your application.

Plan your food business

Set up a food truck or home-based businesses

Both home-based and mobile businesses are treated the same way as food businesses such as cafes and restaurants. They all follow the same setup and registration journey.

Home-based businesses must also comply with the city planning rules. Before you apply for a notice of registration you need to contact our duty planner on 03 9418999 or dutyplanner@ccc.govt.nz.

Mobile food trucks/stalls must be suitable for food preparation, food handling, food sales, and must be self-contained.

As all food businesses are different, there is no one size fits all guide to setting up a food truck.

Apply for a Council consent, licence or permit

Ensure you meet the requirements with these teams:

Check if you need to register

You may not need to register if your business if you are:

  • Fundraising and will sell food fewer than 20 times a year such as a sausage sizzle and charity events.
  • An ECE provider who provides food for 10 or fewer children in your care.
  • An accommodation provider which only provides breakfast or snacks.
  • A club, organisation or society which sometimes sells food at member events.

Check the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) guidelines(external link) to see if your business needs to register and complete the My Food Rules tool(external link) to confirm your business registration needs.

If you don’t need to register, you still need to ensure the food you sell is safe. Follow the MPI guidelines(external link) on providing safe food.

If you are buying a food business

Food registration is granted to the owner of a business, not the business itself.

If you are buying or leasing a food business, you need to apply for a new registration before you start trading.

Submit your application

Prepare your application

Work out which plan or programme applies to you using the My Food Rules tool(external link).

  • Custom food control plans:  If you need to be on a custom food control plan you will register with MPI(external link).
  • Template food control plans: A food control plan sets out the steps you need to take to prepare food safely. After completing the My Food Rules tool, download the sections of the food control plan that it identifies as relevant to your business, and tailor the plan to your needs. Train your staff to the plan.
  • National Programme 1, 2 and 3: National Programmes(external link) do not use plans, but you must keep records to demonstrate that the food you make is safe.

These have been created by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to help you make sure the food you sell is safe.

It's best to work out how you will put the plan or programme into practice before you apply for registration, so you’ll be ready to go when a verification officer comes to see you.

Include supporting documents

Your application processing times will be increased if any documents are missing.

You will need a:

  • Scope of operations(external link).
  • Copy of your certificate of incorporation if your business is a limited liability company.
  • For a Template Food Control Plan, you may also need a Template Food Control Plan verifier if you will operate outside of Christchurch, or if you don’t want to be verified by a council officer.
  • For a National Programme, you will also need a confirmation letter from your National Programme verifier.

To find a Christchurch based Template Food Control Plan or National Programme verifier on the NZ food safety website:

  1. Visit the NZ food safety website(external link)
  2. Select Food Act 2014 from the 'Act' options.
  3. Enter Christchurch for the 'Location'.
  4. Select the 'Search Agency' button.   
  5. A list of Christchurch based verifiers will appear.
  6. Select 'Recognised ID’ to view the email address for the verifier.

Submit your application

Apply online(external link).

Alternatively, you can download a printable application form [PDF, 68KB](external link) and return it by:

Pay your application fees

An invoice will be emailed to you. Payment is due within 30 days.

Type Fee
New registration $430
Adding a new site to your registration  $97
Verification fee (up to 1.5 hour – Food Control Plan only) $525

Complete a verification inspection

Get checked

The initial inspection is done within six weeks of your registration being issued.

You may apply to delay your initial inspection by emailing healthlicencing@ccc.govt.nz and explaining why you need more time.

At your inspection, the verifier will check that you are following good food safety practices. They'll look at things like:

  • record-keeping
  • temperature monitoring
  • long-term maintenance plans
  • cleaning schedules
  • staff training

The verifier needs to understand how you run your business throughout the year and what systems you have in place to address food safety risks.

Arrange a visit

If you operate under a Template Food Control Plan, you will usually be verified by one of our verification officers.

You will be contacted around two weeks before the visit to arrange a time.

If you are registered under a National Programme or have a Third Party Verifier, they should contact you before your verification is due, to arrange a visit.

Prepare for ongoing verifications

How often you get inspected will depend on how well you follow your Food Control Plan and the Food Act.

Inspection frequency varies and could be as often as every three months up to every 18 months or longer. The frequency will be set at the end of your last verification.

Maintain your licence

Renew your registration

This is separate to verification and usually happens at a different time.

How often you need to renew your registration depends on the type of registration you have:

  • Food Control Plan: every year
  • National Programme: every two years

The registration expiry date is on your certificate. A renewal invoice will be posted to you about a month before the expiry date. It is your responsibility to keep your contact details up to date.

You can pay online, in-person(external link) or by calling 03 941 8999.

When we receive your payment we will post and email your new registration certificate to you.

Change or sell your business

To let us know you’ve sold your business please email healthadmin@ccc.govt.nz with the settlement date and we will end your registration on that day.

To change your contact details or any other changes email healthadmin@ccc.govt.nz

Add another location to your registration

Complete a full application for the new site, ensuring the application lists all locations and all registration numbers.

Buy a business

Food registration is granted to the owner of a business, not the business itself.

If you're buying or leasing a food business, you need new registration before you start trading.

Make a food complaint

Report food poisoning

To report illness after eating food, lodge a complaint with the Communicable Disease Team at community and public health(external link).

Report an issue with cleanliness, hygiene or foreign objects

Report the problem(external link) and one of our Health Officers will investigate the issue.

Get help and support

The Food Safety team is here to help you, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 5pm.