Fixed premises food business

Who needs a licence?

The applicant for a licence must be a legal entity (eg person(s) or company).  A business name or shop name is not a legal entity and cannot be the licence holder.  A food business that conducts the following activities requires a licence from council:

  • Making food for wholesale by combining ingredients such as producing frozen meals in a factory or producing cake mixes
  • Significantly changing the condition or nature of food by any process such as milling flour, peeling, cutting or freezing vegetables
  • Bottling or canning food
  • Packing unpackaged food, other than unprocessed primary produce for example, packing bulk coffee for wholesale
  • Making and packaging of ice (with the exception of the sale of ice including flavoured ice such as snow cones or bags of party ice)
  • Making biscuits or cakes for retail sale for profit (eg baking at home, then selling at stalls, markets or fetes etc)

For more information read the Home-based Food Business factsheet or the Food Premises Fit Out guide.

Under the provisions of the Food Act 2006 and Food Safety Standards, a licensable food business is a food business that:

  • Involves the manufacture of food
  • Is carried on by an entity other than a non-profit organisation and involves the sale of unpackaged food by retail
  • Is carried on by a non-profit organisation and involves the sale, on at least 12 days each financial year, of meals prepared by the organisation at a particular place

Examples of licensable food businesses include (but not limited to):

  • Food manufacturers (eg cannery, production of packaged ice)
  • Restaurants
  • Delicatessens
  • Cafes
  • Takeaway food shops
  • Motels providing meals with accommodation
  • Bakeries
  • Mobile food vehicles
  • Temporary food premises
  • Private hospitals
  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Honey

If you are unsure if your business requires a licence, contact council.

Licence exemptions

Even though a licence may not be required, you still have a responsibility to ensure the sale of safe and suitable food and an obligation to comply with the Food Standards Code. This includes the design, construction and fit out of your premises.

A food business that conducts only the following activities does not require a food licence from Council but may need an approval from another Government agency:

  • Handling or sale of fisheries resources under a buyer licence issued under the Fisheries Regulation 1995, except where the seafood is cooked
  • Sale of unpackaged snack food, such as biscuits, cakes, confectionery, nuts and potato chips that are not potentially hazardous food
  • Sale of whole fruit or vegetables
  • Sale of seeds, spices, dried or glazed fruits, dried herbs, tea leaves, coffee beans or ground coffee
  • Grinding of coffee beans
  • Sale of drinks (other than fruit or vegetable juice processed at the place of sale) including, for example, tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • Sale of ice, including flavoured ice, such as slurpees and snow cones or bags of party ice
  • Sale of food, by a non-profit organisation that consists only of fruit, cereal, toast or similar food
  • Provision of meals by a non-profit organisation that are pre-prepared by another organisation and are stored and heated or otherwise prepared by the non-profit organisation in accordance with the directions of the meal’s manufacturer
  • Sale of food, by a non-profit organisation, that is prepared as part of an educational or training activity conducted by the organisation involving food preparation, hospitality or catering
  • Sale of other food prescribed under a regulation

How to apply

New food businesses

The Food Act 2006 states that all food storage, handling, preparation, cooking, and serving areas must comply with the Food Safety Standards.

Prior to submitting an application to operate a new food business, you should ensure the site has relevant approvals in place.

To enable council to assess the suitability of your premises, you are required to submit a plan layout with the application. Two copies of the plan layout including all fixtures, fittings, appliances, sinks, benches, shelving units, floor, walls, and ceiling surfaces, and drainage to a scale of 1:100 should be included.

Plans must be accompanied with the Application for Food Business Licence (PDF 160 KB) and relevant fee.  To assist in you with regard to these applications and meeting the requirements of the Food Safety Standards please refer to council's guide for the Design, Construction and Fit Out of a Food Premises (PDF 276 KB).

A council Environmental Health Officer must carry out a final inspection after construction is finished to approve the application and allow the business to operate.

For further information, contact council.

Change of licence holder

Once a food business is sold and or the Food Business Licence (FBL) holder is to change, the new owner/FBL holder is responsible for all outstanding requisitions and applicable licensing fees.  Council highly recommends prospective purchasers/FBL holders to request a Health (Licensed Premises) Requisition Enquiry or a Health (Licenses Premises) Inspection prior to settlement.

The Food Act 2006 states that a Food Licence can only be granted to someone who has the skills and knowledge required to perform the required functions of the food business.  The new owner is required to complete a Application for Food Business Licence (PDF 160 KB), indicate their past food handling experience and pay the relevant fee.

If you make alterations to the premises, you will need to obtain approvals prior to seeking a food licence.

A council Environmental Health Officer must carry out a final inspection after construction is finished to approve the application and allow the business to operate.

For further information, contact council.