Make an announcement of a food business or apply for an approval

When setting up a food business, please contact your location municipality already in the establishment stage. You can find the contact information and websites of your local food control authority (health inspector) through this website’s search engine. You can also send a message directly to the local food control authority in your municipality through the form in the same website. The information is provided in Finnish or Swedish.

A food business means a company whose operations are linked to any of the different stages of the production, processing and distribution of foods. A physical location is generally required for the operation of a food business. In legislation, such a location is called food premises. Food premises are any building or premises or a part of them or some other outdoor or indoor space in which food intended to be sold or otherwise conveyed are manufactured, stored, transported, kept for sale, served or otherwise handled. An online foodstore also constitutes food premises. However, the term food premises does not mean a primary production site.

Register your business by either making an announcement of a food premise or applying for an approval to it

Before starting the business or significant change in the business, in general you have to either register your business to food control authority at the location municipality or apply for an approval of your business from food control authority.

Make a registeration announcement of your business to that municipality’s or city’s food control authority on whose area your food business starts its action. The registration form for food premise is available at the local food control authority’s website.

You can also submit the registration announcement of your food business online. The Ilppa Environmental health care e-notification service has been launched nationally. In the Ilppa web service you can submit an announcement of most food and health protection sector activities when they are launched or there is an essential change in the activities, of if the business is wound down or the business operator changes. More information on the Ilppa service.

If your food premises handle foodstuffs of animal origin before delivering to retail sales, you need to apply for an approval of your food premises from the local food control authority. Along with the application, you need to present a plan of your food business own check to the food control authority.

Is registration required for the operation of not?

In the table in the Finnish Food Authority’s instructions “Food business requiring registration or not?”, examples have been compiled of cases where it has been unclear whether registration is required for the activities or not. Activities that have been clearly defined somewhere else (e.g. in legislation or in the instructions of the Finnish Food Authority) have not been included in the table.

In principle, the table has been drawn up for the inspectors to enable consistent control. The table is also aimed at making it easier for operators to assess when the operation must be registered and what kind of operation is subject to control. 

Because the table does not include all possible operation in the food industry, the operator must always contact the local food control authority when planning the operation as it is ultimately the inspector who assesses whether the planned operation falls within the scope of food control activities and whether a registration announcement for the food industry must be submitted in advance or whether the operation needs to be approved.

You will find the table Does the food business require registration or application for approval? in Appendix 3 to the instructions Food business requiring registration or not?  (in Finnish)

If the food business operator changes or business is interrupted or ended

You need to notify the local food control authority that controls your business without delay if the business operator changes or the business is interrupted or ended.

Page last updated 11/30/2022