Business regulations

Council has local laws covering a range of business activities.  Some of these include:

  • Food safety
    The majority of food businesses require a food licence issued by Council.  Information on food licensing is detailed in Council's Food business licensing information package.
  • Accommodation premises and events
    These include bed and breakfasts, farm stays, holiday accommodation, short term accommodation, taverns and caravan parks. Council also regulates temporary entertainment events.
  • Personal appearance services
    Higher Risk Personal Appearance Services, such as tattooing and body piercing, operated from fixed, mobile or residential premises require a licence. Lower Risk Personal Appearance Services, such as hairdressing and beauty therapy, do not require a licence.
  • Outdoor/alfresco dining
    Council's Best Practice Use of Footpaths Policy regulates footpath dining and other commercial use of roads. Permits need to be renewed annually and are not transferable. 
  • Portable advertisements/sandwich boards
    Council's Best Practice Use of Footpaths Policy regulates installing, erecting or displaying advertisements or signs on footpaths and roads. Advertising devices (including but not limited to A-frame signs, portable signs, advertising boards and blackboards, flags, banners, bunting or advertising banners) and goods are not permitted to be displayed in the Trading Zone. .
  • Commercial filming 
    If you wish to film or conduct commercial filming related activities on Council-controlled public open space, footpaths or roads, you need to seek prior Council approval and complete an online application form. You may also need to apply to other managing authorities to film in locations that are not under Council's control. Council's Film Liaison Officer will assist you in this process if required.
  • Busking
    Buskers of Cairns are encouraged to join our list of talented performers who regularly entertain the city crowds. If you wish to busk, please complete the simple application process. Approvals are valid for 3 months.