Applying for a food registration certificate

You need a food registration certificate to sell food in Wellington City. You'll need to operate under a food control plan or national programme.

How it works

You need a food registration certificate to sell food in Wellington City. This includes:

  • restaurants, cafes and takeaway shops
  • shops that sell food, like dairies, supermarkets and online stores
  • food stalls and food trucks
  • food manufacturers and growers, like brewers or honey producers
  • transport businesses that handle food.

Information sheets

How to apply

We can usually complete your pre-opening inspection within 2 weeks of receiving your completed application.

1. Choose your plan or programme

To get a food registration certificate, you need to have set up a food control plan or national programme. These have been created by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and are designed to make sure the food you sell is safe for consumers.

To work out which plan applies to you, use MPI's 'My food rules' tool, or contact the Council's Public Health team Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm on
04 499 4444.

My food rules – MPI

2. Set up your plan or programme

It's best to work out how you will put the plan or programme into practice before you apply for registration, so you're ready to go when a registration officer comes to see you.

3. Prepare your supporting documents

Before you apply, check that you have everything you need. Your application will not be processed if any documents are missing or you haven't paid the right application fee.

You'll need:

  • your NZ business number and a copy of your certificate of incorporation, if your business is a limited liability company
  • a confirmation letter from your National Programme verifier if you haven't chosen Wellington City Council
  • a multiple site details form if you have more than one site and you want to include all the sites under one registration.

4. Fees to pay

See the full list of food safety fees and when they apply.

5. Submit the application

Apply online

You will need a credit card to make your payment. Your application won’t be received unless the payment is made.

Download the form

6. Have a pre-opening inspection

A registration officer will contact you to arrange a pre-opening inspection and to approve your business to operate. This will usually happen within 2 weeks of when you apply.

They will give you advice about anything you might still need to do.

Once we're satisfied that your business is ready, you will be issued with a food registration certificate and can start trading.

For significant change applications, a registration officer will contact you to discuss the changes you are making to your business.

A pre-opening inspection may not be necessary, decided on a case-by-case basis.  

7. Get verified

Within your first 6 weeks of operation a verifier will visit your premises with you to assess your procedures and paperwork and make sure all safety procedures and plans are being followed.

Your business will be verified regularly while you're operating.

Verification of your food business

8. Renew your registration

You need to renew your food registration certificate:

  • every year if you're on a food control plan, or
  • every other year if you're on a national programme.

This is a separate step to verification and will usually happen at a different time.

Renewing your food registration certificate

Need help?

The Public Health team is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.

Public Health
Phone: 04 499 4444