It is a requirement under the Queensland Food Act 2006 that all food businesses operating certain food handling activities such as a restaurant must hold a Food Business License with their Local Council. A home based business or market stall are popular ways to start a new food business. There are also other options including opening a cafe, restaurant, driving a mobile food vehicle or catering. There are also specific requirements for non-profit and government organisations.

The Food Act 2006 exempts certain food businesses from requiring to hold a licence as per the  following:

  • sale of meals by a non-profit organisation that operates less than 12 days in a financial year

  • production of primary produce under an accreditation granted under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 – including meat, dairy, seafood and egg schemes

  • handling or sale of fisheries resources under a buyers licence issued under the Fisheries Regulation 1995, except where the seafood is cooked

  • sale of unpackaged non potentially hazardous snack foods, such as biscuits, cakes, confectionary, nuts and potato chips

  • sale of whole fruit or vegetables

  • sale of seeds, spices, dried or glazed fruit, dried herbs, tea leaves, coffee beans or ground coffee

  • grinding of coffee beans

  • sale and preparation of drinks including tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcohol, (other than drinks that consist wholly or partially of fruit or vegetable juice processed at the place of sale)

  • sale of ice, including flavoured ice, such as Slurpee’s and snow cones or bags of party ice

  • (the manufacturing of ice is not exempt from food licensing)

  • providing of meals by a non-profit organisation that are pre-prepared by another organisation and are stored and heated or otherwise prepared by the non-profit organisation in accordance with the directions of the meal’s manufacturer

  • sale of food, by a non-profit organisation, that is prepared as part of an educational or training activity conducted by the organisation involving food preparation, hospitality or catering

  • sale of food, by a non-profit organisation, that consists of low risk food (e.g. fruits, cereals, toast or similar food).

While these food businesses are exempt from the licensing requirements and associated provisions, such as food safety supervisors and food safety programs, they are still required to comply with all other aspects of the Food Act 2006 and the Australian Food Standards. These food businesses may be inspected, if needed, and are subject to the same offences and enforcement methods as a licensed food business.

Food Business Licence Fees

Premise Type

Food type      (not food classification)



Non Profit


Domestic Kitchen

Low Risk (Non potentially hazardous cakes, preserves / conserves, slices and biscuits)

< 12 times a yr

Home Based Business - Market Licence  (with Licence assessment) $81 + $62

Licence not required - Only for donating to ie. Church or Soccer Club fundraising (Nil Fee)


High risk               (potentially hazardous food items)

< 12 times a yr

Not permitted from a Domestic Kitchen


> 12 times a yr


On-site @ Markets

Low to High risk

 = or < 12 times a yr

Market Licence (with Licence assessment)

Market Licence (no Licence fee)

$81 + $ 62

B&B & Farmstay (Domestic Premise)

Low to High risk


Food Business Licence  (Low risk Category)

Food Business Licence  (Low risk Category)

$81 + $352

Commercial Food Premise

Low to High risk


Food Business Licence

Food Business Licence  (Low, Med,High Risk)

$81 +

(Low $352)

(Med $435)

(High $475)




Food Business Licence


 $81 +

(Med $435) +

$32 per unit

Temp Food stall (e.g. Event / Market) on-site

Low to High risk

1-3 days max.

Temporary Food Business Licence

Temporary Food Business Licence