Buying an existing food business

If you are thinking of buying an existing food business, we can advise you whether it is registered with Council's Health Services and whether the fit-out meets the Food Standards Code.

Ask us to inspect the premises to confirm if it meets food safety requirements. Once the business is transferred into your name, any outstanding requirements are your responsibility.

Understand the food safety code

It is important that food businesses meet the Food Standards Code. All businesses are classified according to the food safety risk they present. There are 4 classes of food premises, and each has different registration or notification requirements.

To understand what is required, read our Guidelines for Food Premises Design and Equipment(PDF, 116KB).

Check the premises complies

You can book an inspection of the business to check if it meets the food safety requirements.

Send us the Pre-purchase Inspection of a Food Premises(PDF, 193KB) form with the relevant fee. This step is optional, but recommended.

Transfer business registration

As part of the settlement process, you need to let us know that you are the new business operator. Contact us on 9457 9965 to request a transfer registration form for your business to fill out and return with the relevant fee.

Lodge paperwork with Council

For class 1 and 2 businesses you need to send us a copy of your Food Safety Supervisor Certificate before opening the doors. You also need to have a food safety program ready for when you operate the business. This describes how the business ensures that the food it sells is safe for consumption. For more information and templates, go to health.vic food safety program. For class 3 businesses, you need to provide copies of at least the minimum records required.

Learning about food safety

If you are considering working in the food industry, try the Do Food Safely online food safety learning program. It's free and includes 6 topics on food safety and a final quiz. If you score more than 90% on the quiz you are awarded a certificate.

This certificate is not equivalent to the Food Safety Supervisor training certificate.