Starting a food business

If you're thinking about purchasing an existing food business or opening a brand-new one, you'll need to make sure you understand all of the relevant health, safety, planning and environmental regulations.

Food business notification

You must notify Council before conducting a food business, regardless of whether you’re taking over an existing business or starting a new one.

Food business notification

Opening a new food business

If you are considering building a new food premises or fitting out an existing building, you will be required to lodge a development application or an application for a complying development certificate prior to starting any work.

For further advice regarding requirements for development consent you can speak with Council’s Duty Planner, call (02) 7955 7777 or find further information here.

Taking over an existing food business

We recommend you organise a ‘pre-purchase inspection’ through Council to determine if the design and fit out of the business is meeting the current food safety standards.

A ‘pre-purchase inspection’ includes:

  • An inspection undertaken by an Environmental Health Officer.
  • A detailed report identifying relevant non-compliance matters identified under the Food Act (2003), Food Regulation (2015) and Food Standards Code (2003). 

Pre-purchase inspection request

Structural renovations, including replacing existing fixtures or fittings may require development consent. For further advice regarding requirements for development consent you can speak with Council’s Duty Planner, call (02) 7955 7777. Even if a development consent is not required it is a good idea to check any changes with Council’s Environmental Health team.

You should always check with the building and planning, and water departments in Council for all relevant approvals (e.g. planning consent, trade waste agreement, etc.) prior to purchasing a food premises.

Home based food business (home manufacturing)

Home based food businesses involve the handling of food intended for sale using an existing domestic kitchen within a residential premises.

Prior to starting a home-based food business you need to check with Council that you permitted to do so based on the zoning of your land. Please contact Council’s Duty Planner, call (02) 7955 7777 or email your enquiry to [email protected].

If you are selling direct to the final customer i.e. at a market or event you must notify Council of your business. If you are selling to another party such as a café or restaurant to on-sell you need to notify the NSW Food Authority.

Further information regarding home based and mixed businesses can be found on the NSW Food Authority’s website

Further information