Register a Food Business
The Food Act 1984 requires that most businesses that manufacture, sell, handle, prepare, package, store, serve, supply, or repackage food be registered with the local council.
However, if you intend to:
Understand your requirements
Before applying for registration, it is important that you understand the requirements relevant to your business.
The following websites are designed to help start and grow your business:
Food Safety requirements
Food premises design and construction
All food business must comply with the Food Act 1984 and FSANZ food standards code. The food premises must be suitably constructed for the purpose of the intended food processes to help ensure the safety of the food.
As required under the Food Act, the construction of your premises must comply with Standard 3.2.3 of the Food Standards Code. Read more about Food Standards
Safe Food Australia is a guide to the food safety standards set out in the food standards code and explains the requirements for:
To access the guide, please visit the Safe Food Australia website.
To further assist you in understanding the structural requirements, download Council’s Food Structure Structural Specifications or take the virtual shop tour on FoodStart.
As part of the construction of your premises, you will also need to contact South East Water to determine if you require a grease trap or oil interceptor. For further information, contact South East Water on 131 867 or visit the South East Water website.
Food safety program and food safety training
All Class 1 and Class 2 food premises must have a food safety supervisor and a food safety program. Council will help you determine which class the food premises fits into, based on the food safety risks and the highest risk food-handling activity.
Information about the class of registration can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Allergen awareness is an important part of running a food business. All food businesses are required to make sure that all staff understand the implications of an allergic reaction and have processes in place to protect your customers. For more information visit the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) website.
Labelling packaged foods
Food businesses that are producing or importing packaged products must ensure the food labels comply with Part 1.2 of the Food Standards Code.
There is also a large range of information on the Department of Health and Human Services website including food safety programs, food safety supervisor requirements and labelling.
What you need to do
Follow these steps to register your business:
Step 1 – Do you need a Planning or Building Permit?
All applicants should first contact the appropriate departments within Council to determine if a planning permit or building permit is required for the proposed business.
For further information please contact:
Step 2 - Apply for Registration under the Food Act 1984
Download and complete all parts of the Application for Registration of a new Fixed Food Premises. Sign and date the form and send it in to Council. Don’t forget to enclose a copy of the floor plans for your food premises.
The floor plan should be drawn to a scale of not less than 1:100 and include:
By providing detailed floor plans, it will assist Council in processing your application in ensuring that the premises complies with relevant standards and will minimise the risk of having to undertake costly remedial work. Download a food premises floor plan example.
Once you have lodged your application, an Environmental Health Officer may contact you to discuss your food processes and the products that you intend produce, handle or sell and determine your class of registration.
You should allow at least three weeks for Council to process your application.
Fixed food premises (GST exempt):
New Class 1 or Class 2 registration
New Class 3 registration
Charity/ Not For Profit (listed on the ACNC register)
You cannot begin trading until you have been granted registration under the Food Act. Penalties apply for operating a food business without registration.
The registration period for all fixed food premises is 1 August to 31 July each year.
Food related business registration fees are set at rates aimed at recovering Council’s costs in:
administering the registration and renewal processes
undertaking annual inspection of food businesses, to ensure compliance with legislation and food safety standards
undertaking follow up and educational visits to registered businesses
Refund of Business registration fees is therefore subject to the following conditions: