National Relay Service for the hearing impaired Language translation services

Food business - fixed, mobile and temporary premises

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, mobile and temporary 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?

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 (e.g. barbeque stall, sausage sizzle at an outdoor event or food stalls at markets).

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.

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

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

How to apply

Complete an application for the type of food business licence that you wish to apply for online or download a copy to complete offline and submit at one of our customer service centres.

To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure the following supporting information is included with your application:

Note: Plans are not required if the application relates to an existing licensed food business where there have been no changes to the fit-out, fixtures, fittings or equipment. Plans are also not required to be submitted for temporary food business licence applications.

  • Floor plan to scale detailing location, materials and dimensions of all equipment fixtures and fittings.
  • Cross-section drawings to scale detailing materials, dimensions and junctions of surfaces/ equipment.
  • Site plan detailing location of premises in regard to other premises and facilities.
  • Cooking and ventilation equipment details including types, energy type/rating and ventilation systems.
  • Food safety training / qualifications (if applicable).
  • Food Safety Program (if required). Refer to the Food safety programs page for information regarding which licensable food businesses are required to have an accredited food safety program.
  • Notice of written advice by a Queensland Health approved auditor (required if submitting a food safety program).
  • Evidence of nil fee eligibility (mobile or temporary food business licence applications only. See application form for details.

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 for fixed or mobile premises.

Temporary food stall design will need to comply with the Australia New Zealand food standards code. Please see the link to the Eat Safe Gold Coast resources page to view the guide for the design and operation of a temporary food premises (stall) below (includes artist impression of stall).

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.

Can an existing food business licence be transferred?

No, a food business licence is not transferrable. You will need to submit a new application for food business licence. As detailed on the application form, if there are no changes to the fit-out, fixtures, fittings and equipment, plans will not be required to be submitted.

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 changes to your business or contact information, modifying your operation or requesting a change to conditions of approval, you will need to submit an amendment application.

Find a link to the Amendment - food business licence / food safety program application below.

Licence renewal

Fixed and mobile food business licences are renewed annually and are valid until 31 August of each year.

Temporary food licences may be renewed annualy and are valid until 31 August of each year, or may be issued for a one-off event (non-renewable).

Lost or damaged licence – how to request a replacement

Eat Safe

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

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.

The completion of food safety training assists in improving food safety work practices in the workplace. All persons undertaking food handling operations within a food business must have appropriate skills and knowledge in food safety matters. Food safety training services and resources are available from various sources including in house, external providers and training organisations. The City offers the following food safety training services:

  • Basic food safety training (non-accredited). The training is free (subject to meeting eligibility criteria), and is delivered by City Environmental Health Officers. Refer to Food safety training for further information.

A series of fact sheets and guidelines to help you meet your obligations under the Food Act 2006 are available. Visit Queensland Government’s Food Act compliance – Information for businesses for a list of useful resources.

Related information

Jump to key information

ADVERTISEMENT