How To Start Your Food Business in The UK

Street food business in the UK is undoubtedly becoming big and there could never be a better time to enter this trade. The ever growing business is enticing new traders year after year with new opportunities. But your cooking skills do not count for the success of your overall business alone. There is a lot of planning and strategising that goes into the execution of whole food business idea. You must know if there is a market for your product or not and how to reach maximum number of people who could be a potential customer. Having an idea of how sustaining and profitable your business could be is equally crucial. And after you have premeditated all these significant aspects, here is a list of all other things that are supposed to be taken care of.

food van business in London

If you planning for a catering van business, you should do some research

Planning in terms of location for your business:

The clear idea for premises can be made out after thoroughly researching your local market and demographic. You must find out what will attract more customers and food-lovers to your place. However, the success of any food business depends entirely upon the quality and taste of sold food, an appealing location can also play a significant role. It is the first thing to decide whether you want a food truck, supper club or a café. You must find out what people like the most and which brings more profit.

Food Business Registration:

Registering for every premise where you start your food operations is essential. Preparing and selling of any food including derivatives from  animals like dairy products or meat is included in your business then you must get it approved by the council. Whether you are starting a new business or taking over an existing one, you must register it with the Food and Safety Team at your local Council at least 28 days before. From restaurants to café and stalls to mobile food vehicles, approval is required for all of them. Application for registering can be made online. If you plan do prepare your food at home or start a supper club you should equally register your food business with your local council.

Food Hygiene Certificate:

It is compulsory for the food business in the UK to hold a food hygiene certificate.  The certificated are easily obtained by attending a course organised by many licensed providers around the country.  It is also  the best way to learn  hygiene essential skills that are fundamental for a catering business. Caterer should also keep in mind that a food business comes with a lot of bureaucracy requirements and rules in order to provide safe food. If do not respect them you risk penalties and you might have your business closed down. For more information visit the Food standard agency website.

Self-Employment or LTD Company:

This is one of the most important decisions to make. Registering as self-employed can be the easiest option especially when you are just starting out. This would save you from the hassles of maintaining company’s law, paying corporation tax or filling annual accounts. You only have to file for self-assessment tax return and pay tax by 31 January every year (if done online). And to further make the tax filing easier, there are several tools to help you out form the government website and it is quite straightforward . You will get a lot of time to focus on the growth of your business this way.

There are other important things to do as well like maintaining records safely. All the documents related to invoices, expenses and receipts should be properly kept as it is a legal requirement to do so.

Once you have started turning over a decent amount of profit say after a few years, you can take few steps ahead and register under a limited company. This will need more management and appointment of a professional accountant.

Having said that an LTD company has other advantages such as being a separate entity from  you, losses and debts cannot be generally claimed against your personal wealth , also you will be able to pay yourself a salary and file it as a cost for the company. This reduces the tax liability for the company, it is something you will not be able to do if you are self employed.

Creating Logo and branding your business:

Marketing has become an important aspect in the overall success of any business. Food industry is also not unaffected by branding and requires a lot of promotions and marketing strategies. When you have an appealing logo and catchy taglines for your food products, you are more likely to get popular among masses. There are numerous platforms for promoting your business. One of the most popular methods currently is digital marketing. You can take help of all these platforms and make a good name for your business.

So, if you are newly entering the food market, a pre-planned and well-executed business plan will surely prove helpful.

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