Register a food business

How to register your food business

Thinking of starting or buying an existing food business?

Under the Food Act 1984 all food businesses that prepare, store, and handle food for sale must register their premises with their local Council. This includes businesses such as:

  • restaurants and cafes
  • takeaway food operators
  • home-based food businesses
  • childcare centres
  • aged care facilities
  • hospitals
  • farm gate businesses 
  • supermarkets

Fixed premises

Before starting your food business, you will need to contact Council’s Planning and Building teams to determine if you need a permit for construction or change of use of the building. You will also need to contact your local water authority, Western Water or Central Highlands Water, to determine if you require a grease trap.

It is recommended that before starting any works that you submit a plan’s approval application(DOCX, 136KB) to the Environmental Health Team ensure that your premises will comply with the Food Standards Code. Before you can begin operating, you must have paid all relevant fees and have had your final inspection from an Environmental Health Officer.

Purchasing an existing business

If you are purchasing an existing food business, you will need to submit an application of registration with Council. Before you can begin operating, you must have paid all relevant fees and have had your final inspection from an Environmental Health Officer.

Home businesses

Before starting your home food business, it is recommended that you contact the Environmental Health team to discuss your food business plans.

For home businesses, Council’s structural requirements are as follows:

  • A minimum of a double bowl sink (with a mixer tap) and a dishwasher. 1 side of the double bowl will become the dedicated hand washing basin and will need to be supplied with liquid soap and paper towel.
  • Sufficient bench space for the type of foods being processed.
  • All surfaces need to be smooth and impervious (no damage to walls, floor or ceiling in areas where food is handled, prepared or stored).
  • A separate storage area for ingredients and equipment used for the business.
  • Adequate disposal for generated food wastes (bins with tight fitting lids).
  • Supply of potable water.
  • Access to hot water.
  • No pets are to be allowed in food preparation areas

Please be aware that depending on the nature and size of your business, you maybe be required to have an entirely separate kitchen.


When you apply to register your food business with Council, you will be charged two fees:

  • A once-off establishment fee
  • A registration fee

The charge for the establishment fee is:

  • $246 for a fixed premises
  • $123 for a home business

The registration fee depends on the risk classification of your ingredients and/or if you are serving food to vulnerable people:

  • Class 1 (eg. hospitals, childcare, aged care): $717.00
  • Class 2 (eg. restaurants, cafes, catering, cakes with fresh cream): $717.00
  • Class 3 (eg. high-risk packaged or shelf stable products): $504.00
  • Class 3A (eg. a home business making food products such as jams, accommodation getaways that cook-serve food): $504.00

Please be aware that Council's registration fees are pro rata and may differ depending on when the application is submitted to Council.


Meat, fish, and dairy food business

Some types of food premises do not need to register with Council. Instead they must register with the appropriate agency depending on the type of business they are.