Food Business

Food business licensing

The primary purpose of the Food Act 2006 is to establish that food for sale is safe and suitable for human consumption.

This Act requires the City of Gold Coast to monitor the standard of operations in fixed food premises by providing for the licensing of particular food businesses.

Compliance with the Act will assist you in providing safe food for your customers.

Select from the headings below for information about starting a new business, taking over an existing business, our Eat Safe rating scheme and general services for existing food businesses:

Starting a new business

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Is a licence required?

Please note that compliance with the Food Act 2006 is required, regardless of whether a food licence is needed.

Generally, you will require a licence if you handle or prepare unpackaged food as part of your business. A licence is required regardless of whether the activity is being undertaken in a fixed location, within a mobile set-up, or a temporary food stall.

You do not need a licence to sell: pre-packaged food; whole fruit and vegetables; drinks, such as tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol; primary produce (accredited producers); snack and other foods that are not potentially hazardous, e.g. chocolates, confectionary, dried fruit, cereals, uncooked pasta and spreads.

Not-for-profit organisations are an exception to the above, and require a food licence when meals are served (at a table, with cutlery) 12 or more times in a financial year. Such organisations do not need a licence for selling: packaged food, unpackaged food that is not a meal, food that is not potentially hazardous.

Contact our Licensing and Approvals team on 07 5667 5987 if you need clarification about whether your business needs a licence.

How to apply

The following documentation must be submitted with applications for fixed premises. Plans may not be required if the application relates to an existing licensed food premises where there have been no changes to the fit-out, fixtures, fittings and equipment.

  • Two copies of the floor plan detailing all equipment, benches, sinks, basins, door/window openings, storage cupboards (incl. staff items, chemical/cleaning equipment) and staff areas. (scale 1:100)
  • Two copies of cross-sectional plans of at least two different areas of the premises, detailing finishes to walls, floors and ceilings, lighting provisions, heights of equipment and fixtures, and junctions of walls, floors and fixtures. (scale 1:50)
  • Two copies of the site plan detailing location of premises in regard to other premises, wastewater treatment devices (e.g. grease trap), waste storage areas and staff toilets.
  • Details of location and type of all cooking equipment (including energy type and rating) and mechanical exhaust ventilation systems.
  • Two copies of Food Safety Program (if required).
  • Notice of written advice by a Queensland Health approved auditor (if required).
  • Skills and knowledge evidence – either applicant qualifications or completed Attachment 1.

Premises/vehicle design will need to comply with the Food safety standard 3.2.3 Food premises and equipment of the Australia New Zealand food standards code. Visit the Queensland Government’s Food Act compliance – Information for businesses page for a list of useful resources, including a downloadable design and fit out guide.

Once documentation is prepared, an application can be lodged by submitting the application form in hard copy or via the online smart form (online form available for fixed food business and temporary food stalls).

Find a link to our Food business application forms below.


Taking over an existing business

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Researching the food business

Prior to taking over an existing business you may wish to apply for a Health licence search to confirm the business’ food licence is current and to ensure the current owner is complying with food safety regulations.

Find a link to our Food business application forms and Search Request form below.

Making alterations to business or licence details

For minor changes to your licence, such as change of contact details, you can call us on 07 5667 5987.

For more complex changes, such as refurbishing premises, additional information will need to be submitted with an Amendment to food licence application.

Find a link to the Amendment to food licence application form below.

Is a licence required?

Please note that compliance with the Food Act 2006 is required, regardless of whether a food licence is needed.

Generally, you will require a licence if you handle or prepare unpackaged food as part of your business. A license is required regardless of whether the activity is being undertaken in a fixed location, within a mobile set-up, or a temporary food stall.

You do not need a licence to sell: pre-packaged food; whole fruit and vegetables; drinks, such as tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol; primary produce (accredited producers); snack and other foods that are not potentially hazardous, e.g. chocolates, confectionary, dried fruit, cereals, uncooked pasta and spreads.

Not-for-profit organisations are an exception to the above, and require a food licence when meals are served (at a table, with cutlery) 12 or more times in a financial year. Such organisations do not need a licence for selling: packaged food, unpackaged food that is not a meal, food that is not potentially hazardous.

Contact our Licensing and approvals team on 07 5667 5987 if you need clarification about whether your business needs a licence.


Information for existing businesses

Select from the drop-down headings below for more information.

Amendments to a food business licence

For minor changes to your licence, such as change of contact details, you can call us on 07 5667 5987.

For more complex changes, such as refurbishing premises, additional information will need to be submitted with an Amendment to food licence application.

Find a link to the Amendment to food licence application form below.

Licence renewal

Food licences are renewed annually and are valid until 31 August of each year.

  • If there are no change of details to your existing licence, visit our Payments page to find out how to renew your licence online, by phone or by post.
  • If details on your existing licence require amendment, contact us on 07 5667 5987 or visit a customer service centre.

Lost or damaged licence – how to request a replacement

Find a link to the Application for replacement licence / plans / regulatory label below.

Fees apply for the above request and are detailed on the application form. Payment can be made by:

  • cash, cheque or credit card payment options are available at any of our customer service centres;
  • cheques or money orders made payable to City of Gold Coast can be mailed, along with the completed application form, to City of Gold Coast, PO Box 5042 GCMC QLD 9729.

Eat Safe

Find information about our Eat Safe Gold Coast program, including useful resources to help your business gain the best star rating.

Food safety supervisor notifications

A provision of the Food Act 2006 requires all licensed food businesses to have a Food Safety Supervisor. Find out more by visiting our Food Safety Supervisor page.

How to comply

It is the responsibility of you and your staff to ensure compliance with all requirements of the Food Act 2006 and the Food Standards Code.

Find out more about compliance requirements for food businesses.

Related information

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