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Starting a Food Business

A food premises is any business or shop involved in the sale, storage or preparation of food and drink. There are a number of regulatory approvals required before this type of business can operate.  Home based food businesses need to follow the same standards as opening a food shop.  Refer to the steps below.

    Steps to starting a food business

    If you are starting with an empty premises or considering making changes to an existing food premise then you must follow the Council procedure below:

    1.  Apply for Development Consent (DA), a Construction Certificate (CC) and possibly a section 68 Local Government Act - Grease Trap/Plumbing Approval.

    You can submit your applications separately if you wish, but a Development Application (land use) permit is required first.  

    2.  Construction Certificates (CC) are issued once you have met the DA consent conditions.

    A construction Certificate can be issued by Council or a Private Certifier. If you are using a Private Certifier it is a requirement for that person to ensure the NSW Food Act Construction Standards are met. 

    After the Construction Certificate is issued, work can usually start on your business. Building and Plumbing inspections may be undertaken by Council Officers during this time to verify the works in progress.

    3.  Once all consent conditions, construction and plumbing standards have been met an Occupation Certificate can be issued.

    Council will conduct a final inspection before the Occupation Certificate can be issued to confirm the business is fit for food handling and storage and you will be provided with a certificate number. 

    4. Register your food business.

      All food businesses in NSW must either hold a current NSW Food Authority licence (this applies only to specific food businesses in sectors covered by a Regulation under the Food Act 2003 (NSW)) or notify the Authority of their food activity details. This applies to almost all other food businesses and includes those involved in temporary events and businesses which sell any sort of food or food ingredient as any part of their business. It is required by national food law (Food Safety Standard 3.2.2).

      Download the  Food premises registration form277KB pdf(PDF, 277KB).

        What construction standards apply?

        Australia Standard 4674- 2004 applies for any new kitchen proposal used in the production, preparation, handling, storing or serving of food for sale.

            Application support

            If you are having difficulty with the application process it may be worthwhile to consider securing the services of a town planning consultant, architect or consultant with knowledge of the Food Shop Construction Standards (at your own cost).


            More information and references

             Design, Construction and Fitout Guide4MB pdf(PDF, 4MB)

             Preliminary Plans Checklist415KB pdf(PDF, 415KB)

             Registration of Food Premises277KB pdf(PDF, 277KB)

            This page was last updated on: 15 May 2020