Information to register your business

We have compiled the following information to assist you with starting up your new business.

Food premises 

  • all food business must comply with the Food Act 1984 and Food Standards Code
  • a food business is a business involved in the sale, storage and preparation of food or beverages
  • food business registration period is applicable from 1 October to 30 September, the following year
  • the registration of your premises will include annual inspections to ensure compliance
  • to register your premises, read the information below and follow the application process

Food business classifications

The class 1 service sector includes food businesses that provide meals to vulnerable persons such as: 

  • children in child services
  • aged care establishments
  • patients in hospitals

The class 2 service sector are businesses that prepare and serve potentially hazardous food such as:

  • cafes, restaurants & takeaway food outlets
  • mobile food vehicles or food carts
  • juice bars

The class 3 service sector are businesses that prepare and serve low risk foods such as:

  • bars serving beverages  
  • bed and breakfasts preparing and serving low-risk food such as cereal and toast
  • cafes preparing and serving low-risk food
  • cake decoration shops (no baking)

The class 4 service sector are businesses that sell low-risk prepackaged food such as:

  • confectionery shops selling prepackaged chocolate and sugar-based confectionery
  • green grocers and fruit stalls selling whole or uncut fruit only
  • liquor bottle shops 
  • newsagents and pharmacists selling prepackaged food such as gum, packaged confectionery, bottled water and soft drinks
  • service stations selling low-risk prepackaged food such as gum and soft drinks

Please visit to obtain a more comprehensive list of some predetermined food business classifications.


Fixed Premises

  • means a building or structure with a permanent address such as cafes, restaurants, kiosk
  • premises that require plumbing to the site, such as containers, are also considered fixed premises
  • refer to information below to assist with renovating or constructing a fixed food premises

Guidelines-for-the-Design-and-Construction-of-Food-Premises(PDF, 326KB)

Supplement-1-Wash-Basin-Requirements(PDF, 580KB)

Starting restaurant business video


Shisha lounge bars

  • shisha tobacco that contains any amount of tobacco will be treated the same as other tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars
  • smoking of shisha tobacco is banned in:
    • indoor areas
    • outdoor dining areas
    • outdoor drinking areas if it is within 4 metres of an outdoor dining area, unless separated by 2.1 m high wall
  • fruit or herbal-based products that do not contain tobacco are not subject to these laws  
  • if you wish to operate a Shisha Lounge you will need to show proof the shisha ingredients do not contain tobacco products.
  • for further information refer to the Factsheet

Shisha-tobacco-reforms-factsheet-for-businesses.pdf(PDF, 315KB)

Home based food business

  • includes baking and food storage of items used for mobile food premises or market stalls
  • preparing high risk food in your home kitchen is not permitted
  • refer to information below to ensure your kitchen meets the requirements.

Home-based-food-busineses-A2584897.pdf(PDF, 866KB)

Starting home based food business video 

Planning-Application-Fact-Sheet-Running-a-Business-from-home.pdf(PDF, 602KB)


Temporary & Mobile Vehicles

  • All temporary food premises and mobile vehicles must be registered on FoodTrader.
  • FoodTrader is the online system for businesses and community groups to register and notify their temporary and mobile food premises with their registering council. 
  • A temporary food premises is a structure that is not permanently fixed to a site. For example: tent, stall, marquee or use of a kitchen not owned or leased by the food business.
  • A mobile vehicles can include food vans, carts, caravans or trucks, coffee vans or trailers. 
  • Once we receive your application on FoodTrader, an officer will be in contact with you to ensure the classification is correct and a fee will be generated based on the type of activity you will be doing.
  • Mobile vehicles need to also follow our application process to ensure the vehicle complies with food standard codes.

Once you are registered with Council and FoodTrader you need to lodge a ‘Statement of trade’ (SOT). This is letting Council know where and when you plan to sell food and/or drink. This is required under the Food Act 1984 (the Act) for operators who sell to the public from a temporary or mobile food premises. You must lodge a SOT prior to trading to have complied with your legal obligations under the Act. However, other laws may also apply to your trading. For example, you may need:

  • permission from Council to operate on council land needs to be obtained by applying for a Mobile Vendor Permit
  • permission from the land owner if you intend to operate on private land
  • permission from the event organiser, if operating at events or markets
  • other required licences – such as a liquor licence (if applicable)


 Training & Record keeping

Effective sanitation will reduce the levels of bacteria in your food establishment, this in turn will decrease the risk of contamination and food poisoning occurrences. In 2019 the Public Health distributed measuring spoons and sanitation information sheets to registered food businesses in Hobsons Bay to promote and encourage compliance with sanitation.

To view our sanitation information sheet click the attached link Sanitisation using chlorine(PDF, 79KB).

  • all hair, beauty and skin penetration businesses (including home businesses) must comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009
  • your Public Health and Wellbeing registration is applicable from 1 January to 31 December
  • the registration of your premises will include an annual inspection to ensure compliance. It may also include investigations into complaints of your procedures 
  • activities that require registration include:
    • hairdressing/barber
    • manicure/pedicure
    • make-up artist
    • body and ear piercing
    • beauty therapy
    • waxing/threading
    • tattooing
    • electrolysis/laser treatment
    • colonic irrigation
    • dry needling
    • cosmetic tattooing
  • hairdressers, barbers and make-up artists obtain ongoing or 'once-off' registration. This means annual renewal of registration is not required unless activities change or you have moved premises
  • follow the application process to register your health, beauty or skin penetration premises
  • please refer to the information below to assist with renovating or establishing a new health premises

Infection prevention and control guidelines for hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries

Planning-Application-Fact-Sheet-Running-a-Business-from-home.pdf(PDF, 602KB)  


You need to register your business with Council and comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, if it is a:

  • motel or hotel
  • residential accommodation
  • hostel
  • boarding or rooming house
  • holiday camp
  • student dormitory

and, where there are four or more fee paying occupants. 

Your Public Health and Wellbeing registration is applicable from 1 January to 31 December.

If you are planning on renovating an existing premises or starting a new establishment you will need to follow the application process.

Rooming house

Rooming house proprietors are required to provide a certain standard of health and living conditions to your tenants. These include:

  • continuous supple of hot and cold water to bathing, laundry and kitchen facilities
  • drinking water must be fit for human consumption
  • adequate sewerage system in place and is kept in good working order
  • hard wired smoke alarms must be installed
  • adequate rubbish collection containers that are cleaned and collected regularly
  • for every 10 people accommodated you must provide at least one toilet, one bath or shower and one wash basin
  • the minimum room size for one resident: 7.5 square metres, two residents: 12 square metres, for every additional resident: add 4 square metres

Please note before Council can register a rooming house you will need to be a licensed operator with Consumer Affairs.

Step 1: Assessment and review of plans

  • after you have obtained relevant permits, the Public Health Unit will also need to review your plans of the proposed design and fit-out of your premises to ensure it complies with the minimum food or health standards required under the relevant acts, regulations and guidelines. This free service provides an opportunity to discuss design to avoid costly changes. The application process requires the submission of clear and precise working drawings for the proposal
  • to facilitate the application process please ensure that the plans are drawn to scale of 1:100 and include the following:

1. A detailed floor plan showing the layout of your proposed premises. Please ensure that you include the dimensions of both the space and all fixtures contained within.

2. A schedule of finishes – this is a written document that describes the finishes of all surfaces including the floor, ceiling, walls, benches, cabinetry etc.

  • Please have these documents ready before completing the online form. 
  • Please allow a minimum of 10 working days to process the application

Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Food Premises(PDF, 382KB) 

Complete the Request for Assessment of Plans form

Step 2: Council Processing

  • an officer will review and assess your plans application
  • the officer may contact you for further clarification
  • you will be provided with a written document stating the outcome of the plans assessment
  • upon satisfactory completion of the plans review process the public health unit will forward you an application for registration


Step 3: Fees determined and invoice produced

  • registration fees will be prorated. Fees will be determined by classification and activities conducted
  • once the application form is received an invoice will be generated and sent to you


Step 4: Inspection

  • once the registration fee is paid an officer will be in contact with you to arrange an appointment for inspection. Please allow a minimum of 10 working days for inspection to be arranged
  • an inspection report will be provided to you that may outline any compliance issues
  • the inspection will determine your commencement of trade


Step 5: Registration

  • once your premises complies with the inspection it will be registered with Council
  • a registration certificate will be mailed out to you
  • one month after registration another inspection will be conducted