Starting a Food Truck? What licenses do you need to start one in the UK?

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

More and more wannabe restaurant owners are launching food trucks. Whether it’s to test the market, get your name out there, or as a cheaper alternative to running a full-time business, food trucks are popping up all over the UK.

There are many headaches to starting a food truck, the biggest one being acquiring the truck itself, and kitting it out with the necessary cooking equipment. This can be a huge expense in itself, and you may feel like you are opening a bricks and mortar restaurant not one on four wheels! Fortunately, your entire operation can be fully financed with one of our 35 lenders, this will enable you to open the hatch and start serving your delicacy.

A smaller, but equally important consideration for new food truck owners are getting the necessary licenses to begin trading. Here is a list of the licenses that you need before you can sell food on the street.

1. Registration as a Business with Your Local Council

You cannot sell food until you register as a food business with the government. It usually takes 28 days for the registration to come through before you can begin trade. Registration can be done through the website.

Within 6 months of registering as a food business, you will receive a visit from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to assess the hygiene standard of your premises. You can begin trading before this happens so long as your original registration has gone through

Registration as a business with your council costs nothing.

2. Level 2 or 3 Food Safety & Hygiene

A level 2 food Safety & Hygiene is required if you want to sell food from any premises in the UK. This includes selling from a fixed or mobile location (such as a food truck).

A level 2 Food Safety & Hygiene certificate is sufficient only if you are running your food truck by yourself. If you are managing other staff members on-premises, then you will need a Level 3 certificate. Both courses can be done online here.

The cost of a Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene Certificate is £49.99, and a Level 3 Certificate is £84.99

3. An Approved HACCP Plan

A HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control point) proves that you understand how food needs to be stored, and have adequate storage space and facilities for all the food that you keep on-premises.

The plan itself includes a list of all the ingredients and supplies involved in your food truck business, the type of storage that each ingredient requires, and your plan for storage. It also requires a floor plan of your premises which clearly marks t