Hello! I thought I'd share my expereince of starting my own business from home and what the registration and inspection process is like.
Registration was really easy - I phoned my borough council, told them I was starting a baking business from home and they booked me in for an Environmental Health visit. They also suggested I contact the council's planning department, in case I needed planning permission. I didn't need planning permission as my business is very low-key (not loads of visitors, deliveries etc to hassle the neighbours).
I roped my Mum in to helping give my kitchen and bathroom a deep clean, but it really wasn't that necessary. The EHO didn't look in the fridge or oven. Shedid a visual check to see that the kitchen was well maintained and in good order, asked questions about storage of ingredients and about how I go about cleaning and the preparation of food. I filled in the registration documents for her there and then, and she took me throught the Safer Food, Better Business document which is the recommended paperwork to document your cleaning routine etc.
I was worried I would be penalised for not having a seperate handwashing basin but, because cake making is low-risk food safety wise, the one and a half sink unit is sufficient as long as the half bowl is used for handwashing and the whole bowl for washing up. There seems to be quite a bit of common sense leeway applied to domestic kitchen being used for commercial purposes.
Hope this helps some of you - please ask me any questions, or post your own experiences!
This is a really interesting thread as I am in the process of setting up a (sort-of) catering business. I came across the idea in the States where you cannot sell food made in your own kitchen due to legal reasons (all food for sale needs to be made in a certified commercial kitchen) and wasn't sure if the same applied in this country. But I'm guessing from what you all are saying that it isn't the case. I am actually planning on doing a lot of cooking in my clients' kitchens but will still need to be certified. I was quite worried about it but am relieved that a few of you are saying it's not a big deal!