Last updated on 10 January 2012
Change of FBO: approval of establishments
Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 defines the ‘food business operator’ as the natural or legal persons. In the case of an incorporated company, the FBO is the legal person who is responsible for ensuring that requirements of food law are met within the food business under their control.
Yes. For the purposes of approval documentation, the approval will be granted in the name of the sole trader, partners or legal entity. The food business may trade using a different name to that of the approval name. In these cases the trading/business name will be listed separately.
No, as long as the company remains incorporated and registered as the same legal entity, that is, with the same registration number as per Companies House records (or equivalent) and the name is recognised/accepted by Companies House. In these cases the Agency will need to be notified so the approval documentation can be updated to reflect the correct name, and for enforcement and charges purposes.
I'm currently a sole trader but wish to go into partnership. Will I need a new approval when the partnership is formed?
No. The creation of a partnership where the sole trader is one of the partners doesn’t constitute a change of FBO. All partners will become FBOs, and all are personally liable for any legal actions and debts the business may face. In these cases the Agency needs to be notified so the approval documentation can be updated to include the additional FBO(s) partner(s), and for enforcement and charges purposes.
Yes. By becoming incorporated the legal entity changes from a natural person (that is, a human being) to a legal person, and therefore a change of FBO has occurred.
Possibly. Where an establishment has been assessed due to a change of FBO and approval is granted, generally a new approval number should be given. However, a business should be able to retain its approval number where, other than the change of FBO, the business is to continue to operate from the same premises and in essentially the same way, that is, the type of food production by the business and the food safety control arrangements of the business will remain essentially the same.
Our guidance document explains what an FBO, for approval purposes is, what constitutes a change of FBO and the circumstances where a new approval is required.
If your premises has changed FBO since 1 January 2006 and before 31 January 2012, you must notify the relevant competent authority immediately and submit an approval application form.
If an application is received by 31 January 2012, you may continue to operate pending the required approval visit. You will be able to continue to use your existing approval number after gaining the new approval, if other aspects of your business remain essentially the same.
Changes of FBO that take place after 31 January 2012 are likely to require a new approval number, unless the business activities are substantially the same. The FSA is currently receiving feedback from industry groups on a possible process for future cases involving a possible change of FBO, to minimise any impact where possible. The FSA will inform relevant parties what the finalised process will be when the review has concluded.
The guidance document describes different scenarios and provides guidance on how the FSA will implement the approvals process in each case.
I currently hold an approval for my establishment, issued by the FSA to the previous owner. I need to submit an application for a new approval. Where do I get an application form from?
An application form can be found at the link below.
Alternatively you can contact the relevant approvals team.
England, Scotland and Wales
Approvals Admin Team
Room 112 Foss House
Kings Pool, Peasholme Green
York YO1 7PR
tel: 01904 232060
fax: 01904 455420
Mrs Joy Cresswell
FSA Northern Ireland,
10A-C Clarendon Road
Belfast BT1 3BG
tel: 02890 417759
fax: 02890 417726
I hold an approval for my establishment, issued by a local authority to the previous owner. I I need to submit an application form for a new approval. Where do I get an application form from?
You need to contact the local authority directly. You can find the contact details for your local authority by entering your post code on the FSA website using the link below.