Start a new food business

Person serving coffee over the counter in a cafe

If you are thinking of starting a new food business, our Safer Communities team can help you understand and comply with the relevant regulations and codes.

It is your responsibility to apply for any necessary planning permits or building permits before you can commence works on your new food business. For example, you may need a permit if you intend to renovate or extend the building, or require a liquor licence. If you're unsure what permits you may need, please contact our Business Permit Liaison on 1300 368 333.

Food registration 

Under the Food Act 1984 you must register your food business with Council if you want to prepare and/or store food.

You have a responsibility to sell food that is safe to eat. Our environmental health officers will help you understand and comply with your obligations under the relevant laws.

Once your business is registered with Council you will need to renew your registration and pay the registration fee each year. The registration period runs from 1st January - 31 December each year. You cannot trade if you do not have a current registration.

Before registering your business with us, visit the Victorian Governments website to learn more about

  • Food business registration
  • PrimeSafe
  • Dairy Food Safety Victoria
  • Food safety programs and supervisors

Find your business classification

Your food business will be given a classification of 1, 2, 3 or 4 as part of the registration.

Classification is determined by the food handling conducted by your business and the level of risk to food safety. The highest risk is class 1 (e.g. hospitals, childcare centres, aged care facilities) to lowest is class 4 (e.g. prepackaged lollies in a chemist). 

Each classification also has a specific requirements that your business needs to meet before it can be registered. If you change the type of food you handle, it may alter the classification of your food business and you must notify us

To find your classification visit the State Government website. 

Find your food classification

Trade Waste

Food businesses have waste that contains chemicals, grease, oil and solids and must be disposed of appropriately. You must have a trade waste agreement with Yarra Valley Water or South East Water. Visit their website/s for more information.  

Register your business

Register online now