Registering a food business

Submit a notification of your food business when you start your restaurant or store business, substantially change, suspend, or cease activities. You must also submit a notification if there is a change of operator. Please submit the notification four weeks prior to starting your operations.

On this page

Who needs to register a food business?
- Grocery stores
- Kiosks
- Restaurants
- Pubs and bars
- Cafés
- Bakeries
- Catering services
- Warehouses of food
- Businesses with regular outdoor food sales, e.g. farmer's markets and food handling premises
- Businesses distributing, importing, preparing, etc. food products
- Businesses selling, distributing, importing, etc. food supplements

Who needs to register a food business?

  • Grocery stores
  • Kiosks
  • Restaurants
  • Pubs and bars
  • Cafés
  • Bakeries
  • Catering services
  • Warehouses
  • Businesses with regular outdoor food sales, e.g. farmer’s markets and food handling premises
  • Businesses distributing, importing, preparing, etc. food products
  • Businesses selling, distributing, importing, etc. food supplements

Who needs to be approved for food business?

If your food premises handle food of animal origin before retail sales, you must apply for approval for your premises or facility from the city's food control unit. You can find more information about approvals at the Finnish Food Safety Authority’s website . You can use the forms below to apply for approval:

Application for the approval of facility operations (WORD, in Finnish)

Application for the approval of facility operations (PDF, in Finnish)

How do I submit a notification?

  1. Make sure that you have the proper attachments and other supporting material

    In order for us to process your notification, you must have the following items ready:

    • Suomi.fi authorisation for the company for which you are submitting a notification.
    • Information about the location, nature, and scope of your operations.
    • Depending on the nature of your business, you may also be required to submit other attachments.

    See detailed instructions for logging in to Suomi.fi on the Finnish Food Safety Authority’s page (in Finnish).(Link leads to external service)

    See additional information about the attachments that you will need (in Finnish).(Link leads to external service)

  2. Submit a notification of your food business

    Submit your notification electronically on the ilppa.fi website.

    • If you are unable to submit your notification on Ilppa.fi, you can fill in the Word or PDF form.
    • Attach the floor plan for a food handling premises.

    WORD form

    PDF form

  3. Wait for the notification to be processed

    The Food Safety Unit will process your notification. They will check the information you have provided and, if necessary, ask you for more information.

    • We try to process your notification within seven days.
    • We will ask you for additional information, if necessary.
    • After your application is processed, you can use Ilppa to view the information you provided about your premises and any changes that were made.
    • We will send you a certificate once the notification is processed.

    Read more about inspections and fees (PDF).

  4. Perform own-checking

    You have an own-checking obligation, which applies to all operators, from the food processing industry to kiosk operators. Self-monitoring means the systematic and continuous monitoring of your operations that you conduct yourself. This ensures that food is safe and complies with food laws.

    Read more about own-check on the Finnish Food Safety Authority’s website(Link leads to external service) 

    Own-check templates:
    Restaurant (WORD.)
    Grocery store (WORD.)
    Outdoor sales (WORD, in Finnish)
    Pub or other restaurant that only serves drinks (WORD, Finnish)

Frequently asked questions

You should submit a notification well ahead of time, at least four weeks before starting your operations.

Ensure that the premises are suitable for your planned activity (you can find this in the building permit or its attachments).

 In addition to the Ilppa notification, you often need other permits as well, such as an alcohol licence, and Hygiene Passports for staff.

The Finnish Food Safety Authority's website and the city's food advisory service provide additional information.

The Finnish Food Safety Authority's website.(Link leads to external service)

Elintarvikeneuvonta (food advisory service) email: elintarviketurvallisuus@hel.fi(Link opens default mail program)

It is possible to prepare food professionally at home if the activity can be organised hygienically and the residential setting does not pose a risk to the food being handled. However, your home can never be a facility that produces food of animal origin, such as a sausage factory or fish smokehouse.

A pop-up kitchen, or preparing food for sale up to 12 times a year, does not require registering as a food handling premises. Similarly, preparing buns or other less perishable bakery products at home by heating, and selling them, e.g. at a market or summer café, does not require notification when sales total less than EUR 15,000 per year.

Take care of hygiene, refrigeration, self-monitoring and packaging labels

The residential setting must not pose a risk to the food prepared in the home. Your own food should be kept separate from the food for sale. Pets are not allowed in the kitchen. Your operations must also ensure that possible illnesses in family members do not pose a food hygiene risk.

If your product range includes products that require cold storage, you must provide sufficient refrigerated space for them. You must follow good hygiene practices in the manufacturing process. Before starting operations, you must prepare a self-monitoring plan to assess the risks of your activities.

You must ensure that the products you sell have package labelling that meets legal requirements. You can find information about package labelling on the Finnish Food Safety Authority’s website.(Link leads to external service)

If the activity is professional and regular, the premises must be registered as a food handling premises. Notification processing is subject to a fee. You must submit your notification to the Food Safety Unit at least four (4) weeks before you start operations. Food handling premises in residential settings are monitored like any other premises, and inspections regularly take place based on risk assessment.

When planning to register a home as a food handling premises, the resident must ensure that the property owner or their representative will not object (building manager, board president, landlord). Activities in the home must not be a nuisance (noise, smell, etc.) to neighbours.

For more information, see the instructions for operating at home (PDF).

A mobile food handling premises is a mobile or temporary (can be assembled and disassembled and moved from one place to another) place or equipment for selling, serving or handling food, such as a vending truck, tent, bicycle, or stand. For a mobile food business, you must submit a registration notification of the start of operations on ilppa.fi in the same way as for permanent food handling premises (see the instructions at the beginning of this page).

Mobile food handling premises are also subject to food control inspections in the same way as permanent food handling premises. Private persons can operate a food business as a pop-up restaurant for 12 days during a calendar year without having to notify the supervisory authority. See the Finnish Food Safety Authority’s website for more information about pop-up restaurants .(Link leads to external service)

Notification of sales from mobile food handling premises

You must notify the Food Safety Unit about selling and serving food at markets, fairs and large public events at least four working days before the sales event. Submit the sales event notification through the online service.(Link leads to external service)

Individuals and organisations do not have to report low-risk food sales, for example, at school bake sales or church or sports club events. However, you must follow good hygiene practices and proper food storage temperatures at such events.

Inspectors from the Food Safety Unit carry out inspections at premises that sell and serve food in accordance with the control plan.

You can send any questions about mobile food handling premises and outdoor sales to ulkomyynti@hel.fi(Link opens default mail program)

You can also use PDF or Word forms to submit your notification, which are available on this page in the ‘How do I submit a notification?’ section (section 2).

Customers are allowed to bring pets to the serving area of the food premises with your permission. You must indicate your permission at the entrance to the serving area.

Guide dogs for the visually impaired, assistance dogs for the physically impaired and hearing dogs for the hearing impaired are always allowed to enter the serving areas of the food premises.

Occasionally, birds may enter your food premises. The threshold for removing birds and their nests from the premises is very high, as you need to apply for a permit for the removal measures from either the Uusimaa ELY Centre (protected birds) or the Finnish Wildlife Agency (unprotected birds).

The owner of the property or the person carrying out the removal is responsible for obtaining the permit. If you need a statement on the necessity of the procedure in order to apply for the permit, you can request the statement from a food inspector. Each case is handled separately in the permit application.