Taking over an existing food business

If you are taking over an existing food business that has a food business licence, e.g. a café, mobile food vehicle, takeaway, catering business or food manufacturing business, you will need a food business licence.  It is not possible to transfer an existing food business licence to a new owner or operator. The new owner or operator must apply and receive approval for a food business licence before they start trading.

Researching the food business

When buying a food business that is already operating, it is recommended you obtain information from Council before the sale is finalised or contracts are signed.

Firstly, you can search online using the Eat Safe Brisbane listing to check that the food business has a current licence. If you want written advice about the business, you can apply for a Pre-sale Inspection Report from Council for a fee.

Renovations

If you are making changes to the premises, particularly the food preparation, storage and major appliances, you will need to lodge a design application and follow the same process as starting a new food business. Refer to the application process for the relevant new food business that includes:

No renovations

Even if there are no structural changes to the premises, all new owner/operators must submit a Food Business Licence application to obtain their own food business licence.

As a general guide, for a food business licence application that does not include renovations, the following fees may apply in 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.

Table containing size of premises, food licence fee and small business fee reduction.
Size of premises Food licence Small business fee reduction
Less than 250 square metres $789.55 50%
250 square metres to 1000 square metres $1078.45 50%
More than 1000 square metres $3370 50%

These fees do not attract GST.

Application process

The application process includes a number of steps. You can complete them all online using the Application for Food Business Approvals online form.

Application for food business licence

Applications 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, Council's Environmental Health officer will conduct a final site inspection. This inspection will also provide you with your first Eat Safe Brisbane food safety star rating.

Food safety supervisor notification

All licensable food businesses in Queensland must have a Food Safety Supervisor. You can nominate this person when completing the Application for food business approvals online form.

Alternatively, nominate a food safety supervisor by phoning Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263) within 30 days of the licence issue date.

Find out more about food safety supervisors

Alternatively, you can apply by completing the hard copy forms.

Food safety program accreditation

If your business requires a Food Safety Program it should be submitted for Council accreditation at the same time as the food business licence application.

Use the Application for food business approvals online form to apply for the food safety program accreditation at the same time you lodge your food business licence.

Find out more about Food Safety Programs.

Application assessment

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

More information

For further information phone Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Last updated:1 July 2019