If you are planning on manufacturing food, you will need a food business licence from Brisbane City Council.
Use our Starting a New Food Business fact sheet to gain a better overview of the requirements for starting a new food business.
The Food Act 2006 defines food manufacturing as:
- making food by combining ingredients, e.g. producing frozen meals in a factory and producing cake mixes
- significantly changing the condition or nature of food by any process, e.g. milling flour and peeling, cutting and freezing vegetables
- bottling or canning food, e.g. bottling water or canning fruit
- packing unpackaged food, other than unprocessed primary produce
- making ice.
It does not include preparing food at a particular place for retail sale at the place, including sale for immediate consumption, e.g.:
- preparing food at a restaurant for sale to a person dining in the restaurant
- preparing and packing sandwiches at a cafe for retail sale at the cafe
- preparing food for a food business that involves offsite catering
- making ice at a particular place for use at the place
- changing the condition of food merely by changing its temperature.
As a general guide, for new food manufacturing premises, the following fees may apply for the 2019-20 financial year.
Small business fee reduction
If you run a small business, you may be eligible for a small business fee reduction.
|Size of premises||Design application||Small business fee reduction||Food licence||Small business fee reduction|
|Less than 250 square metres||$390.35||100%||$789.55||50% for new applications
10% for renewals
|250 square metres to 1000 square metres||$638.50||100%||$1078.45||50% for new applications
10% for renewals
|More than 1000 square metres||$846.90||100%||$3370||50% for new applications
10% for renewals
These fees do not attract GST.
If a food safety program is required for the business, an additional fee will be incurred.
How to apply
Apply by completing the Application for food business approvals online form.
The food business licence roadmap consists of two stages. Stage 1 is a design assessment and Stage 2 is the food business licence assessment.
Step 1: Design assessment
Firstly, lodge your application. It takes approximately 20 working days to assess.
- visit the Queensland Health website to read the Food business design and fit-out guide for food businesses
- visit the Local Government toolbox website to find out how to start a food business
- have your design plans ready
- lodge a design assessment using Application for food business approvals online form.
Step 2: Food business licence assessment
After the design assessment is approved and fit-out has started, an application for a food business licence must be submitted no more than 30 days before the desired start date of operation.
You can lodge the food business licence application using the Application for food business approvals online form.
Before you can start operating, an Environmental Health Officer will conduct a final site inspection.
A food business licence will be issued when the completed fit out has been approved.
Food safety supervisor notification
All licensable food businesses in Queensland must have a food safety supervisor. You can nominate this person when you make your licence application using the Application for food business approvals online form or submit a hard copy form.
Alternatively, you can nominate a food safety supervisor by phoning the Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263) within 30 days of the licence issue date.
Find out more about food safety supervisors.
Council has developed a food business checklist (Word - 110kb) to assist in considering approvals that may be required to start and operate a food business in a fixed location.
Preparing for Council inspection
Before you start trading, a Council Environmental Health Officer will conduct a final inspection of the food premises to ensure it is constructed in accordance with the approved design plans. To arrange your final inspection, contact Council approximately one week before construction is due to finish to schedule a suitable date and time.
To limit delays, use the New Food Business Final Inspection Checklist or the Taking Over an Existing Business Inspection Checklist to confirm that essential works are complete before the date of your final inspection.
Prior to the food business licence being issued, Council will conduct a full Eat Safe audit of the premises.
The Local Government Toolbox provides helpful tools and resources.
For more information phone Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.