Start and 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 contact us to help you understand and comply with relevant standards and codes.This can reduce costs, delays and help avoid potential rework of the premises.

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 by Visa or MasterCard.

What To Include With Your Registration Application

The process for registering a new food business depends on the type of food business. You need to know what Class your food business is. 

  • Class 1 and 2 business applications need to include a food safety program, details of a food safety supervisor and proof of competency. 
  • Classes 1, 2 and 3 have fees for registration.
  • All Classes must provide a comprehensive list of food to be made and sold from the premises.

It is also recommended that when registering a new food business that you submit your plans and specifications to Council.  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.

The plans submitted should include

  • a plan layout and specifications of the proposed business (see an example of plans and elevations  (DOC 146Kb)
  • dimensions and details of fixtures and fittings, including location and elevations, for example sinks, handbasins, ovens, cooktops, and
  • specifications of various material to be used on floors, walls, ceilings, benches, How to register a new food business

How To Apply

Online

To register your new food business:

  1. Select the Class of food business from the list 'Environmental Health Licences'.
  2. As part of the online registration process, you upload digital files if a fee is required pay the fee by Visa or MasterCard.

Submit an application to register a food business

When Council receives your registration application, you receive an automated email confirmation that your application has been received.

The application is allocated an application number and given to a Council environmental health officer who begins the assessment process. You are notified of the registration application number, officer's name and contact details.

Councils online lodgement guide (DOC 1Mb) (DOC 1Mb) should help if you are having any issues lodging online.

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

By Mail or in Person

For Classes 1,2, & 3 you can download the Application for Food Act Registration form  (DOC 172Kb) (DOC 171Kb) and submit all the required documentation and applicable registration fee.

For a Class 4 business you can download the Notification of a Food Premises form (DOC 100Kb). There is no fee to notify your Council of your class 4 food business

You can submit your application by post to Locked Bag 10, Moreland 3058 or in person to Moreland Civic Centre

Councils Environmental Health team operates digitally and does not work with hard copy documents. When Council receives a hard copy application for registration, Council must first scan all documents and plans. The application registration is then allocated a number and given to an Environmental Health officer.

If an email address is provided, you will receive notification of the application number and officer's contact details by email. Otherwise, notification is sent by post.

Council will assess your application, inspect your premises 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.