Starting a New Business

Starting a new business can be exciting. We have compiled the following information to assist you with starting up your new business.

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 that prepare and serve potentially hazardous food for example:

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

The class 3 service sector 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 that sell low-risk prepackaged food:

  • 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 health.vic to obtain a more comprehensive list of some predetermined food business classifications.


  • Examples include: café, restaurant, kiosk and warehouse.
  • If you are planning on renovating an existing business or starting a new establishment you will need to follow the application process.
  • Please refer to information below to assist with renovating or constructing a fixed food premises.

Food Standards Code

Food Act 1984

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

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

Starting restaurant business video

Home based

  • Home food business may include baking and food storage of items used for mobile food premises or market stalls.
  • Home food businesses must comply with the requirements of the Food Act and Food Standards Code.
  • Follow the application process to register your home food business.
  • Please 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 business from home(PDF, 461KB)


Temporary & Mobile Vehicles

  • All temporary food premises and mobile vehicles must be registered on Streatrader.
  • Streatrader 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 streatrader, 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 Streatrader 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 (Local Laws Department) to operate on council land, or if trading on a street, etc.
  • 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, 461KB)


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: Applying for permits

Permits may be required from other authorities prior to applying for registration with the Public Health Unit.

They may include:

Planning Department- approval of how land is used 9932 1326
Building Department- approval on building design 9932 1196
Local Laws Department- approval for footpath trading 9932 1051
City West Water- for waste interceptors 13 16 91
Department of Justice - Liquor Licensing 1300 182 457
Consumer Affairs- Rooming Houses 1300 55 81 81
Business Victoria- Registering business name and ABN 13 22 15


Step 2: 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.

Click here to submit Public Health Plans Assessment Form

Step 3: 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 4: 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 mailed out to you

Step 5: 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 6: 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

The Department of Health and Human Services (the department) has amended the legislation that governs how surgery is regulated in Victoria. Changes to this legislation mean that all surgery in Victoria must be undertaken in a registered facility.

The Department has created videos in several languages to explain the risks of undertaking cosmetic procedures in an unregistered facility. These and other videos on cosmetic procedures are on the Better Health Channel’s YouTube channel.

Click the link below should you wish to view the videos on cosmetic surgery in private hospital in the range of community languages.