I want to start a home-based catering service. The food will be...

I want to start a home-based catering service. The food will be prepared from my home kitchen. Where should I start in terms of the laws and regulations of operating such a business from my home?

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If you are running a business that sells or supplies meals, take-aways or perishable foodstuff you are required to apply for a licence. You can contact your local municipality’s trade licence department to obtain the relevant documentation and submit your application.

You will be required to pay a once-off application fee and your application will be forwarded to five departments to check that all the requirements are met including:

  • Environmental health
  • Noise and air pollution control
  • Public safety
  • Urban planning
  • Building control

An inspection will then be carried out of the premises by the departments concerned and when the departments return favourable reports and recommend approval, the trade licence will be issued.