How to get approved to sell food

There are two types of approval for making and selling food under the Food Act 2014 food control plans and national programmes

To work out what food approval your business should operate under, use the My food rules tool on the Ministry of Primary Industries website. For additional guidance resources use the Food Safety toolkit. For translations see Forms and templates.

Getting checked or 'verified'

Find out more about being checked here:

Most food control plan businesses are required to be verified by the local council. National programme food businesses are verified by a verifier appointed by the business. Southland District Council does not verify national programmes currently. For new business, the first verification will be carried within six weeks of registration.

Registering a food business

To find out whether you need to register with Council or MPI refer to the register a business under the food act page on the MPI website.

To apply for food registration you will need:

  • your completed application form, including the scope of operations form - see below for a downloadable form
  • put together your National Programme or Template Food Control Plan
  • a copy of your site plan showing the physical boundaries and layout of your business for a new business
  • a copy of the confirmation letter from your verification agency, if we are not your verification agency

Please contact our Environmental Health team if you need assistance with this process on 0800 732 732. We will return your application if it is not complete.

Other Council approvals may be required

Depending on business activities you may need a resource consent or a building consent. If you are planning to serve alcohol please refer to the Selling alcohol page on this website. If you are thinking about trading in a public place please refer to the activities in public places page on this site.

Fees and charges that are required for registration

  • registration
  • getting checked once a year
  • renewing the registration
  • enforcement work undertaken by food safety officers

 Follow the link below to the fees and charges page on our website.

Making changes to an existing business

Use the relevant form below for any of the following changes:

  • surrender or suspension of registration
  • any changes relating to:
    • the operator, contact person, or day-to-day manager
    • verification agency
    • scope of operations
    • multiple address details
    • any other changes
    • Significant amendments to the food control plan or national programme

Change to Food Control Plan under Food Act 2014. Change to registration information of a business subject to a national programme under Food Act 2014. 

Food premises design

The design and construction of the facilities used in the food business must meet the requirements of the Food Regulations 2015 and meet requirements of the New Zealand Building Code. Food Standards Australia New Zealand have produced a comprehensive Guide to the Food Safety Standards.

The section entitled “Food Premises and Equipment”, pages 99-144, provides useful information on designing your food business. For home-based food businesses, see Appendix 10 of the guidelines.

20 November 2022

Information on designing your food business

Taking over an existing food business

Food control plans and national programmes are non-transferable. If you take over an existing food business, you will need to apply for a new food control plan or a new national programme.

Running a home-based food business

Food businesses may be operated from homes. If you are renting the property, do you have the landlord's permission to operate a business from the site?

Contact us

Before opening a new food business, call us on 0800 732 732 and ask for our Environmental Health team so we can walk you through the process.

We've included some essential reading and resources below. Visit The food advisor hub for more information. It will take you through setting up a business in a simple step-by-step guide. Read detailed information about food safety laws. Download an application form to register your food business. If you are applying for multi-site registration, you also need to complete the multiple site food business details form.