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Registering a food business

Submit a notification about your food business when you start, 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.

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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

Submit a notification of your food business

Notify us of your new food business online, via email, or by mail.

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?

Frequently asked questions

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

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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.

Elintarvikeneuvonta (food advisory service) email: elintarviketurvallisuus@hel.fi

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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 €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.

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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).

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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 .

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.

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

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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).

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