Starting a new food business

If you are planning a new food business, we can help with:

  • assessing plans for the proposed works
  • understanding the requirements of the Food Standards Code
  • compliance inspections
  • registration of your business
  • operating according to food safety rules.

This must be done before you start trading.

Premises that comply with the code

We can help to make sure your proposed business meets the Food Standards Code.

Read our Guidelines for Food Premises Design and Equipment(PDF, 116KB).

If your business will be at home, read our Guidelines for Setting Up a Home-based Food Business(PDF, 476KB).

Our job is to classify all businesses according to the food safety risk they present. There are 4 classes of food premises: each has different registration or notification requirements. Find out more about food business classifications from health.vic.

Before you start any work on your food business fit-out, send us 2 copies of your plans for us to review with your application form. If you are proposing to open your business in an existing building you can ask us to inspect it. We will supply a written report/endorsement. Asking us to review your plans or inspect premises is optional but recommended.

Complete the Inspection of Unregistered Food Premise form(PDF, 191KB)

Food safety requirements

Class 1 and 2 food businesses must have a Food Safety Program: a plan that describes how the business will ensure that the food it sells is safe for consumption. For more information and templates go to health.vic food safety programs.

Class 1 and 2 food businesses must nominate a Food Safety Supervisor. This person must have a certificate or statement of attainment from a registered training organisation. Go to health.vic food safety supervisors for more information.

Class 3 food businesses must have Minimum Record sheets: a simplified version of a food safety program. For more information, go to health.vic food safety skills and knowledge in class 3 businesses.

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


It is a requirement of the Food Act (1984) for Council to conduct an inspection of the premises prior to operating.

Business registration

If your business is found to meet the requirements during inspection, you are ready to apply for registration. We will provide you with a registration application form, which you need to complete and send to us with the relevant fee.

Your registration must be renewed each year. We will send you the paperwork for this towards the end of each year.

Operating according to food safety rule

With your business registration, you can start operating and implement your Food Safety Program (Class 1 and 2) or Minimum Records (Class 3).