Home based food business licence
  • Last updated:
  • 18 Aug 2021

If you are planning on using your existing domestic kitchen to prepare food for sale you may need a food business licence. In certain circumstances council can grant a food business licence to a home based food business using a domestic kitchen. To be eligible for a home based food business licence you must be:

  • preparing low risk foods. For example: non potentially hazardous cakes, cup cakes, slices etc.
  • a bed and breakfast or Air BNB.

If you are not eligible for a home based business licence, you can apply for a fixed premises licence. A fixed premises licence can be approved for a purpose built kitchen at your home which is separate to your domestic kitchen and must comply with Food Standard 3.2.3 and the food business fit-out guide. Alternatively you could apply for a fixed food licence for a shared kitchen e.g. hall, subleasing a cafe etc.

Not sure if you need a food licence? Read council's frequently asked questions food business licence FAQs[328KB].

Getting a home based food business licence

Follow these steps for getting a home based food business licence.

Step 1 - Check other approvals

Before submitting a food licence application you should check if other approvals are required:

  • Planning approval - contact Development Services on (07) 5475 PLAN (7526)
  • Building approval - contact a private certifier
  • Plumbing approval - contact Development Services on (07) 5475 PLAN (7526)
  • Trade waste approvals - contact Unitywater

Step 2 - Prepare a plan application 

To assess the suitability of your proposed kitchen, council requires that you submit a food business plan application. You can apply online for a plan application through MyCouncil by:

  1. log in or register as a new user of MyCouncil, if you haven’t used MyCouncil before it is quick and easy to register
  2. click on submit application and select food business plan assessment
  3. upload your kitchen floor plans and elevations
  4. pay the application fees, the 2021/22 plan application fee is $643.

Once your application is received, council will assess the suitability of your premises against Food Standard 3.2.3 and the Design and Fitout Guide for Food Businesses.

Note: If there are aspects of your premises that do not meet the requirements you may have to provide additional information or change yours plans. If you have already started building your premises prior to receiving the approved plans, you may have to modify the design if it is non-compliant.

Step 3 - Food business licence application form

Once you have received the approved plan and approval letter:

  1. A food business licence application will be sent to you. The appropriate category will be indicated on the application form as per your plan assessment discussion.
  2. Complete the application form and pay the associated fees. You should apply approximately 20 days out from when you intend to start the business.
  3. When you submit the application form also nominate a food safety supervisor.

Form: Food business licence application[372KB].

You can submit your food licence application by mail to mail@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.

Step 4 - Final inspection

  1. Council will then organise a time with you to undertake a food safety inspection to determine the suitability of the premises.
  2. If council determines that your application complies with the ​Food Act 2006​, you will be issued a food business licence certificate which will need to be displayed when you are operating.

Resources are also available on LG Toolbox website.