Licence requirements

If you intend to manufacture food, or prepare or handle unpackaged food for wholesale or retail sale, you will need a Food Business Licence.

We understand when you start a new business you want to be up and running as soon as you’re ready.  However, you must allow sufficient time for your Food Business Licence application to be properly assessed.  This can take up to 30 days and if we need further information from you, it could be longer.

Licence required Licence not required
Manufacturing food - examples:
  • only pre-packaged food is sold
  • Making food by combining ingredients, such as biscuits, cakes, jams, sauces, curries or soup for retail sale for profit
  • Making food for wholesale such as producing frozen meals in a factory or producing cake mixes
  • Changing the condition or nature of food by any process such as milling, peeling, cutting or freezing
  • Processing fruit or vegetable juice at the place of sale
  • Bottling or canning food, such as bottling water or canning fruit
  • Roasting coffee
  • Packing unpackaged food for wholesale/retail sale (other than unprocessed primary produce) such as packing bulk coffee, spices, tea leaves, confectionery
  • Making ice
  • only unpackaged snack food that is not potentially hazardous is sold, such as:
    • biscuits or cakes (with no dairy fillings or icings), croissants, friands, doughnuts or muffins
    • confectionery, carob, chocolates or chocolate bars
    • corn chips, potato chips, dried vegetable chips, pretzels, puffed rice, soy chips, toasted corn or nuts
    • meat jerky, dried or glazed fruit or muesli bars
Retail sale of unpackaged food - examples:
  • the only preparation carried out involves the grinding of coffee beans (distinct from roasting of coffee beans)
  • Restaurants, cafés, delicatessens or bakeries
  • Catering business
  • Takeaway food outlets
  • Motel supplying meals with accommodation
  • Unpackaged food from a food vending machine
  • Selling unpackaged food from a mobile food vehicle
  • Child care centres/services
  • Private residential facilities (home based food businesses)
  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Hostels
  • the sale of the following items unless it is a potentially hazardous :
    • whole, crushed, puffed or toasted nuts, grains and seeds
    • quinoa, spices, dried herbs, tea leaves, coffee beans, cereals or cocoa
    • coconut, couscous, edible oil, flour, legumes, lentils, noodles, oats and pasta
    • preparations for spreading on bread such as honey, peanut butter, hazelnut spread, vegemite, marmalade and jam
    • sugar and syrups such as golden syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, malt syrup, glucose syrup and coconut syrup
  • only drinks are sold, such as tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol. (Note: You do not need a Food Business Licence to sell alcohol but you may need a liquor licence.)
  • sale of whole fruit or vegetables
  • sale of ice including flavoured ice, snow cones or slurpees
  • production of primary produce, ie abattoir or dairy farm
  • government / non-profit operations including:
    • food businesses conducted by the State or a government-owned corporation
    • Tuckshops operated by a parents and citizens association at a state school
    • handling of food at a person’s home that is intended to be given away to a non-profit organisation for sale by the organisation, (eg, cakes made for fundraising parents and citizens association at a school fete)
    • provision of meals by a non-profit organisation if the meals consist only of fruit, cereal, toast or similar food or the consumer of the meal helps prepare it
    • sale of unpackaged food, not considered to be a meal, by a non-profit organisation, eg BBQ sausage sizzle
    • sale of meals by a non-profit organisation that are pre-prepared by an entity other than the organisation and are stored and heated or otherwise prepared by the organisation in accordance with directions of the meal’s manufacturer (eg, sale of a frozen meal after microwaved in accordance with manufacturer's instructions).
 Note: even though a licence may not be required, these types of businesses must ensure the sale of safe and suitable food, and comply with the Food Safety Standards. This includes the design, construction and fit out of the food premises.

If you are unsure if you require a licence, contact Council on 1300 69 22 47 and ask to speak with an Environmental Health Officer.

Last updated: 16 June 2020