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 2022-23 financial year.

Size of premises Food licence
Less than 250 square metres $859.50
250 square metres to 1000 square metres $1174
More than 1000 square metres $3668.70

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

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

Submit your application using the Application for food business approvals online form.

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).

Food business licence assessment

Submit your 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

Council's Environmental Health Officer will conduct a final inspection of the food premises before you start trading. This inspection ensures the food premises is suitable and that construction is in accordance with the Food Safety Standards. To arrange your final inspection, contact Council approximately one week before construction is due to finish.

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, email the Business Hotline team or call 133 BNE (133 263).

Last updated: 25 July 2022

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.