Register a new food business

The Food Act 1984 controls the sale of food in Victoria. All food businesses must ensure that the food they sell or prepare for sale is safe for human consumption. The main purpose of this legislation is to protect people from food-borne illness.

When you start a food business you have to register it with Council.

Before starting your new food premises

If you are thinking of starting a new food business, Council strongly recommends that you first organise a free on-site meeting with us at your proposed premises. This meeting allows you and Council to clarify any major concerns and help you understand and comply with relevant standards and codes.

After you have met with Council, we also recommend that you submit your plans and specifications to Council for assessment. This assessment helps us to understand your ideas and the scope of your business.

As part of this assessment service, Council reviews your plans to check they comply with the requirements of the Food Standards Code. You will also receive advice and assistance in setting up your new food business.

It is your responsibility to apply for any necessary planning permits or building permits before you can commence works on your new food business. For example, you may need a permit if you intend to renovate or extend the building, or you require a liquor licence.

How to register a new food business

Council's registration period runs from 1 July to 30 June each year. The annual registration fee is set by Council. Council sends an annual renewal notice to all registered food businesses and you can pay the renewal fee online.

The process for registering a new food business depends on the type of food business.

Class 1, 2 and 3 food businesses

To register your new class 1, 2 or 3 food business:

Council will assess your application and let you know if your registration has been granted, granted with conditions or refused.

If your application is successful, Council will send you an invoice. You can pay the registration fee online with a Visa or MasterCard, by phone, mail or in person.

Class 4 businesses

Class 4 food businesses do not need to be registered, however you do have to notify Council:

There is no fee to notify your Council of your class 4 food business.

Council will assess your application and let you know if your registration has been granted, granted with conditions or refused.

Other types of food businesses

There are other types of food premises that must apply for a licence with other agencies. These include PrimeSafe for meat and poultry processing facilities and seafood businesses, such as butchers and fishmongers, and Dairy Food Safety Victoria for dairy processing premises, transporters, manufacturers and distributors.

Temporary food stalls and mobile food premises

Temporary food premises, such as food stalls at markets and festivals, and mobile food premises, such as vans, trucks or carts, are required to register or notify their principal Council and lodge a statement of trade form each time they operate.

For more information, see temporary food stalls and mobile food premises.