Food manufacturing

If you are planning on manufacturing food, you will need a food business licence from Brisbane City Council.


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 2021-22 financial year.

Size of premises Design application Food licence
Less than 250 square metres $404.95 $819.15
250 square metres to 1000 square metres $662.40 $1118.85
More than 1000 square metres $878.65 $3496.35

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.

Before submitting the application, review helpful tips about preparing an application and common application problems to avoid.

Council has introduced a free advisory service for new and existing businesses. Contact Council for more information. The advisory service allows you to speak with one of Council’s Environment Health Officers to provide advice on meeting the requirements of the food safety standards and ensure any future application is properly made. To book a meeting, please apply by contacting Council’s Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263).

Step 1: Design assessment

It is strongly recommended that businesses submit a design assessment however this is not mandatory. The assessment of the structural fit-out will be undertaken at the food business licence assessment stage.

Food businesses may still choose to apply for a design assessment to ensure your kitchen design complies with the food standards code prior to construction, prevent delays with the processing of your food business licence application and reduce the potential for costly re-work . Please note, incomplete or defective food business fit-outs will not be approved. 

Ensure you:

Step 2: Food business licence assessment

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.

Other approvals

You may require planning approvals for industry or home business.

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.

Application assessment

Prior to the food business licence being issued, Council will conduct a full Eat Safe audit of the premises.

More information

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.

Last updated: 1 July 2021