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:

  • Find out what permits you may need by completing the Business Permit Checklist below. The Checklist takes less than five minutes to complete and will give you clarity about the permits you may need.
    Business Permit Checklist

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:

  • structural requirements for fitting out a premises
  • food safety practices that all food handlers must follow

To access the guide visit the Safe Food Australia website.

To further assist you in understanding the structural requirements for food premise, read the Food Premises Guidelines below.

Food Premises Guidelines - 125KB

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, Class 2 and Class 3A food premises must have a food safety supervisor.

All Class 1 and some Class 2 premises require a Food Safety Program.

Council will help you determine which class your food premises is, 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 Services website.

Allergen management

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.

Packaged foods labels

Food businesses that are producing, repackaging 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 website including food safety programs, food safety supervisor requirements and labelling.


How to register your Business

Follow these steps to register your business:

Step 1 – Do you need a Planning or Building Permit?

All applicants must first contact Council to determine if a planning permit or building permit is required for the proposed business.

Find out what permits you may need by completing the Business Permit Checklist below. 

The Checklist takes less than five minutes to complete and will give you clarity about the permits you may need. 

Business Permit Checklist

Step 2 - Apply for Pre-Registration Assessment

The Pre-Registration Assessment will occur once the Business Team have contacted you and discussed your permit requirements. You will be sent the Pre-Registration Assessment Application Form for a Food Business to complete.

Please note, if a planning permit is required, the Pre-Registration Assessment Application will not be sent until the permit process has finalised.

Once submitted, you will be issued an invoice within five working days.  The application will be processed when the correct fee has been paid.

If your business is home-based food business, Council Officers will contact you to arrange an onsite inspection prior to issuing an invoice.

Floor Plan

By providing detailed floor plans, it will assist Council in processing your application in ensuring that the premises complies with relevant food safety standards and will minimise the risk of having to undertake costly remedial work.

The floor plan should be drawn to a scale of not less than 1:100 and include:

  • the layout of the premises, including all fittings and equipment in the premises
  • location of hand washing facilities, food preparation sinks, dishwashing sinks, dishwasher (if provided)
  • a description of the materials to be used for the surface finishes including walls, floors, ceiling, shelving and bench tops etc.
  • location of the waste disposal area, grease trap, bin wash area, storage areas, toilets and cleaners sink

Food premises floor plan example - 108KB

Once you have lodged your application, an Environmental Health Officer will 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.

Step 3 – Construct and Fit Out your Premises

It is recommended that construction and fit out of the premises only commence once you have:

  • confirmed planning premission is in place
  • you have the relevant building permits
  • have been advised by the Environmental Health Officer that the floor plan meets the requirements of the Food Act

During construction, contact the Public Health Unit to organise a progress inspection. This inspection will assess compliance with the requirements of the Food Act.

Step 4 – Final Inspection and Application for Registration

Once the fit out is completed you will need to arrange for a final inspection. Please contact the Public Health Unit at least five working days before the final inspection on 8571 1563 or email

The final inspection will assess compliance with the requirements of the Food Act and the Food Standards Code.

If the final inspection is satisfactory, you will be provided with an Application for Registration and Invoice. The application form must be returned to Council along with the relevant fee before operating. You will be provided with a Certificate of Registration which means you can start operating.

To prepare for the final inspection, please ensure that:

  • all construction works are finished
  • the premises is clean and ready to commence trade
  • electrical power, gas and hot water are connected
  • refrigerators and freezers are operating at the correct temperature
  • the name of the proprietor is displayed prominently on the premises. Lettering should be at least 60mm in height and in contrast to the background colour

You will also need to provide:

  • an appropriate chemical food grade sanitiser, either chlorine based or quaternary ammonium
  • a digital probe thermometer calibrated to ± 1°C, that reads -50oC to +150oC
  • copy of the Compliance Certificate for the plumbing works 
  • copy of the Compliance Certificate for any gas work
  • copy of the Certificate of Electrical Safety for the electrical installation work, and
  • Trade Waste Agreement from South East Water
  • A copy of your building permit for any construction completed
  • A copy of an occupancy permit or Certificate of Final Inspection for Works completed

A copy of the final inspection checklist can be found in the Food Premises Guidelines.

Food Premises Guidelines - 125KB