Any food business wanting to run a stall temporarily to prepare or handle unpackaged food for retail sale generally needs a food business licence. Even if the food business has a food business licence for a fixed premises or manufacturing facility, a separate temporary food stall licence is needed for the market stall if the food is unpackaged or if further handling occurs on site.

Examples of unpackaged food or handled food that needs a licence include:

  • cutting fruit or vegetables

  • fruit or vegetable juice processed at the place of sale

  • sausage sizzle or barbecue

  • cakes or biscuits with dairy fillings or icings

  • unpackaged takeaway foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas or hot chips

  • unpackaged pasta, lasagne or curry

  • unpackaged yoghurt

  • unpackaged food for taste testing

  • any other unpackaged food, unless included in the exemptions

If you are a non-profit organisation, different rules may apply.

Activities Exempt from Licensing

You do not need a licence for your temporary food or market stall if:

  • only packaged food is handled

  • only unpackaged snack food is sold, including:

    1. biscuits or cakes without dairy fillings or icings

    2. confectionary, corn chips, potato chips, popcorn or nuts

    3. dried or glazed fruit

  • only whole fruit or vegetables are sold

  • the sale of seeds, spices, dried herbs, tea leaves, coffee beans

  • the only preparation carried out involves the grinding of coffee beans

  • only drinks are sold (other than fruit or vegetable juice processed at the place of sale), including:

    1. tea or coffee

    2. soft drinks

    3. alcoholic drinks

  • only ice or flavoured ice is sold, for example:

    1. shaved ice or snow cones

    2. primary produce such as seafood not sold by retail; meat and dairy is produced under an accreditation granted under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000, part 5

If you are selling pre-packaged food, you must make sure the labelling complies with Queensland Health food labelling requirements.

Preparation of Food at Other Sites (not at the event/market)

If you are planning to prepare ingredients or food at another location to sell at the market stall, then the preparation location must be licensed as a Fixed Food Business.

For example, if you plan to use your home kitchen to prepare ingredients or prepare food then your home kitchen needs to be licensed. Find out more about getting a food licence for a  home based business here.

Licence Options

Temporary Food Stall Licence 

If you want to operate a food stall only occasionally, you can apply for a one-off licence.

This allows you to operate a stall on one occasion only, for up to three consecutive days. One-off licences cannot be renewed so you need to lodge a licence application and fees each time you operate. You are only permitted to apply up to 11 times in a 12 month period.

Market Stall Licence

A Market Stall Licence has a only one application and fee to be made and you can operate your stall up to 12 times in that year. You will need to list the individual markets or events that you wish to operate at.

The annual licence is renewable each year and renewal notices are issued 60 days before expiry.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted at least 10 working days before the event, and can be submitted to Council up to 30 working days before. There are two parts to the application:

  1. Temporary Food Stall OR Market Stall Licence Application

    • prepare a plan detailing the equipment you will be using and how the stall is to be set up. The plan needs to include where your cooking storage and hand washing facilities are to be placed, however a basic plan is usually sufficient

    • complete and submit a Temporary Food Stall or Market Stall application along with payment to a Council Customer Service Centre.

  2. Food Safety Supervisor Notification  

    • all licensable food businesses in Queensland must have a Food Safety Supervisor. You can nominate this person when you lodge your application.

    • If you are a non-profit organisation you may be exempt from having to provide a Food Safety Supervisor Notification.

Other requirements to consider

Setting up a market or temporary food stall may require more than just a Food Business Licence.  Please ensure you check the following:

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