Do I Need a Food Business Licence in NSW?

In NSW, businesses will typically need to either hold a NSW Food Authority food business licence or register with their local council.
June 29, 2016

Governed by the NSW Food Authority, NSW's food industry has certain requirements that are not followed by other states. 

Whether your business will need a licence or be registered will depend on what types of food your business handles. In NSW, businesses will typically need to either hold a NSW Food Authority food business licence or register with their local council.

Like in all Australian States and Territories, the NSW food service and retail food industries are regulated by the Food Standards Code, which dictates standards for food businesses, including food safety, additives, labelling and GM foods.

To ensure that NSW food businesses comply with the Food Standards Code, the NSW Food Authority undertakes regular audits and inspections of all licensed businesses to make sure they are following regulations. However, under the NSW system, certain food businesses are classified differently.

All food businesses in NSW must either:

To identify your food business' legal requirements under NSW law, locate your business type below from the two lists.

Food Businesses Required to Hold a NSW Food Authority Licence

Certain sectors of the NSW food industry are regulated under the Food Regulation 2010. These comprise of:

  • Businesses that handle or process meat
  • Dairy producers, factories and vendors
  • Foodservice to vulnerable persons in hospitals and aged care facilities
  • Businesses that handle seafood and shellfish
  • High-priority plant product businesses
  • The egg industry

These businesses must hold a NSW Food Authority licence to operate.

Food Businesses That Need to Notify NSW Food Authority

Most businesses that sell food in NSW must officially notify food standards enforcement agencies, including the NSW Food Authority and their local council, of their food business details before commencing business. This is required by national food law under Food Safety Standard 3.2.2.

Examples of businesses which need to notify the NSW Food Authority to include:

  • Retail food outlets (other than butchers or seafood retailers that also process seafood; see the list of food businesses required to hold a NSW Food Authority Licence)
  • Businesses which sell food as a smaller part of their business, including corner stores, cinemas, petrol stations and sporting facilities
  • Food transport, storage or wholesale businesses
  • Food stallholders at regular, temporary or one-off events
  • School canteens
  • Mobile food outlets
  • Food manufacturers that do not hold an Authority licence
  • Child-care facilities that provide food and do not hold an Authority licence, and
  • Importers and exporters of food or food ingredients.

Please note that not-for-profit fundraising events are not required to notify the Authority.

This public health information was produced and distributed by the Australian Institute of Food Safety Foundation.