Starting a Food Business

Overview

Vegetables and Fruit    

The City of Launceston is extremely supportive of new businesses and committed to maintaining a high standard of food safety.

New food businesses require assessment and approval before opening to ensure food safety standards are met to protect public health. 

When planning a new food business, we recommend approval to operate is obtained prior to publicly announcing an opening date as unexpected delays may occur. 

We offer information to potential food business operators regarding starting a new food business and advice on how to limit delays in the approval process. 

Home-based Food Business

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Launching a food business from home may be a suitable way to begin a small scale business. The City of Launceston will assess applications for the establishment of home-based food businesses on merit using a risk management approach. 

Design Requirements

As a general guide a home-based food business requires at a minimum: 

  • a kitchen with floor, walls, ceiling and benches that are free from cracks and crevices, in good condition, impervious and easily cleaned;
  • a double bowl sink;
  • storage of foods for business separate from foods for household use (for example, a separate refrigerator may be required);
  • a means of restricting access to food business activities and storage by children;
  • exclusion of household pets from food preparation and storage areas at all times; and
  • food handler/s with adequate food safety skills and knowledge. 

Depending on the nature of the proposal, the home kitchen may not be suitable for food business use and it may be necessary to consider menu or structural changes, installation of a separate commercial kitchen or subleasing of an approved existing commercial kitchen. 

Before commencing a kitchen renovation, if you propose to operate a home-based food business, please submit a floor plan and elevation plans of the proposed fit-out for assessment and advice. 

Food Business Registration or Notification

If potentially hazardous food will be handled by the home-based food business, the business requires a Food Business Registration before beginning operation. Food business registration is not transferable and must be renewed annually. 

Home-based businesses that do not handle potentially hazardous food are not required to be registered, but must notify Council before beginning operation of the business.

Food Business Registration application or (PDF, 162KB)Notification form, as applicable, must be submitted no less than 14 days before the desired start date of operation. 

To support your application, please submit a floor plan of your kitchen and evidence of your food safety training. The City of Launceston offers free online food safety training to assist you with this requirement if you do not already have current food safety training certification. 

Before you can start operating, a City of Launceston Environmental Health Officer must conduct an inspection and give approval to operate. To prepare for the inspection and limit delays, refer to the (PDF, 66KB)Food Business Pre-opening Inspection Checklist(PDF, 66KB) to ensure essential works have been completed prior to the inspection. If the answer to any questions is "NO", please take action to rectify the issue/s before the final inspection. If you will not be ready by the time of the scheduled final inspection, please contact us to defer the appointment. Additional inspections may be required if essential works have not been completed and re-inspection fees may apply. Please note, depending on competing priorities, it may not be possible for rescheduled or additional inspections to be performed later on the same day. 

Subject to assessment of the suitability of the facility and the applicant to operate safely as a food business, an application for registration of a food business may be refused, approved or approved with conditions. 

Food Business Information and Resources

City of Launceston offers information and resources for food business operators including food safety training, labelling information, allergy information and food safety templates to assist food businesses to provide safe food.

Other approvals

Operating a home-based food business may also require planning approval

If building works are required, building and plumbing approval may be required. 

If the business will involve the sale of alcohol, approval from the Commissioner for Licensing is required. 

For further information, contact us

Fixed Location Food Business

Chef in kitchen

Fixed location food businesses operate from bricks and mortar commercial, government or community premises and include food businesses such as cafes, restaurants, takeaways, supermarkets, butcheries, bakeries, fish shops, canteens, food manufacturers and wholesalers.

Design Requirements

The fit-out of new fixed location food premises must comply with the requirements of the National Construction Code Tas Appendix H102 as amended from year to year. 

For an overview of the process for gaining approval for a new food premises please refer to our information sheet Food Premises – How to get started and what you need to know(PDF, 80KB).

Constructing a food premises in accordance with the required approval process will prevent you from having to undertake costly remedial work if the fit-out does not meet legal requirements. 

Food Business Registration or Notification

If potentially hazardous food will be handled by the fixed location food business, the business requires a Food Business Registration before beginning operation. Food business registration is not transferable and must be renewed annually. 

Food businesses that do not handle potentially hazardous food  are not required to be registered, but must notify Council before beginning operation of the business. 

A Food Business Registration application or Notification form as applicable, must be submitted no less than 14 days before the desired start date of operation. 

If you are planning to sublease an existing registered kitchen, you still need to apply and hold a separate approval for your business. 

To support your application, please submit evidence of your food safety training. City of Launceston offers free online food safety training to assist you with this requirement if you do not already have current food safety training certification. 

Before you can start operating, a City of Launceston Environmental Health Officer must conduct an inspection and give approval to operate. To prepare for the inspection and limit delays, refer to the Food Business Pre-opening Inspection Checklist(PDF, 66KB) to ensure essential works have been completed prior to the inspection. If the answer to any questions is "NO", please take action to rectify the issue/s before the final inspection. If you will not be ready by the time of the scheduled final inspection, please contact us to defer the appointment. Additional inspections may be required if essential works have not been completed and re-inspection fees may apply. Please note, depending on competing priorities, it may not be possible for rescheduled or additional inspections to be performed later on the same day. 

Subject to assessment of the suitability of the facility and the applicant to operate safely as a food business, an application for registration of a food business may be refused, approved or approved with conditions. 

Food Business Information and Resources

City of Launceston offers information and resources for food business operators including food safety training, labelling information, allergy information and food safety templates to assist food businesses to provide safe food. 

Other approvals

Building a new fixed location food premises may require planning approvalBuilding and plumbing approval will be required. 

Approval from Council is required if the business wishes to use a portion of the footpath or road reserve for on-street dining or portable signs

If the business will involve the sale of alcohol, approval from the Commissioner for Licensing is required.

For further information, contact us

Off-site Catering Business

Off-site catering businesses have a principal place of operation for the preparation of food, which they then serve at private functions held at other venues. Off-site caterers must be approved by the relevant Council at the principal place of business. 

Off-site catering does not include:

  • the wholesale delivery of food from a home-based or fixed location food business; or
  • the preparation and sale of food to the public from a temporary food premises, such as a food stall at an event. Please see Temporary Food Business for requirements for operating a food stall.

Design Requirements 

The fit-out of the principal place of operation must comply with the requirements of the National Construction Code Tas Appendix H102 as amended from year to year. 

For an overview of the process for gaining approval for a new food premises please refer to our information sheet Food Premises – How to get started and what you need to know(PDF, 80KB).

Constructing a food premises in accordance with the required approval process will prevent you from having to undertake costly remedial work if the fit-out does not meet legal requirements. 

Food Business Registration or Notification

If potentially hazardous food  will be handled by the off-site catering food business, the business requires a Food Business Registration before beginning operation. Food business registration is not transferable and must be renewed annually. 

Food businesses that do not handle potentially hazardous food  are not required to be registered, but must notify Council before beginning operation of the business.

Food Business Registration application or Notification form, as applicable, must be submitted no less than 14 days before the desired start date of operation. 

If you are planning to sublease an existing registered kitchen, you still need to apply and hold a separate approval for your business. 

To support your application, please submit evidence of your food safety training. City of Launceston offers free online food safety training to assist you with this requirement if you do not already have current food safety training certification. 

Before you can start operating, a City of Launceston Environmental Health Officer must conduct an inspection and give approval to operate. To prepare for the inspection and limit delays, refer to the Food Business Pre-opening Inspection Checklist(PDF, 66KB) to ensure essential works have been completed prior to the inspection. If the answer to any questions is "NO", please take action to rectify the issue/s before the final inspection. If you will not be ready by the time of the scheduled final inspection, please contact us to defer the appointment. Additional inspections may be required if essential works have not been completed and re-inspection fees may apply. Please note, depending on competing priorities, it may not be possible for rescheduled or additional inspections to be performed later on the same day. 

Subject to assessment of the suitability of the facility and the applicant to operate safely as a food business, an application for registration of a food business may be refused, approved or approved with conditions. 

Food Business Information and Resources

City of Launceston offers information and resources for food business operators including food safety training, labelling information, allergy information and food safety templates to assist food businesses to provide safe food. 

Other approvals

Building a new food premises may require planning approvalBuilding and plumbing approval will be required. 

If the business will involve the sale of alcohol, approval from the Commissioner for Licensing is required. 

For further information, contact us.

Statewide Mobile Food Business

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Statewide mobile food businesses operate from mobile structures such as vehicles, trailers or stalls. Such businesses are registered by the local council where the business is based and are permitted to operate throughout Tasmania subject to planning, traffic, event organiser and property owner obligations and approval processes. 

Design Requirements

The fit-out of mobile food premises must comply with the Guidelines for Mobile Food Businesses

Before commencing any works in setting up a mobile food premises, please submit a floor plan and elevation plans of the proposed fit-out for assessment and advice. 

Constructing a food premises in accordance with the required approval process will prevent you from having to undertake costly remedial work if the fit-out does not meet legal requirements. 

Statewide Mobile Food Business Registration

Mobile food businesses that handle potentially hazardous food  and intend to operate statewide require a Statewide Food Business Registration before beginning operation. Statewide food business registration is not transferable and must be renewed annually. 

Statewide Mobile Food Business Registration application must be submitted no less than 14 days before the desired start date of operation.

To support your application, please submit evidence of your food safety training. City of Launceston offers free online food safety training to assist you with this requirement if you do not already have current food safety training certification. 

Before you can start operating, a City of Launceston Environmental Health Officer must conduct an inspection and give approval to operate. To prepare for the inspection and limit delays, refer to the (PDF, 66KB)Food Business Pre-opening Inspection Checklist(PDF, 66KB) to ensure essential works have been completed prior to the inspection. If the answer to any questions is "NO", please take action to rectify the issue/s before the final inspection. If you will not be ready by the time of the scheduled final inspection, please contact us to defer the appointment. Additional inspections may be required if essential works have not been completed and re-inspection fees may apply. Please note, depending on competing priorities, it may not be possible for rescheduled or additional inspections to be performed later on the same day.

Subject to assessment of the suitability of the facility and the applicant to operate safely as a food business, an application for registration of a food business may be refused, approved or approved with conditions.

Mobile food businesses that do not handle potentially hazardous food  are not required to be registered. Such businesses must notify the relevant Council in each municipality they intend to operate as a single statewide notification is not provided for in the Food Act 2003. If you do not require registration and intend to operate in the City of Launceston municipality, please submit the Notification form.

Food Business Information and Resources

City of Launceston offers information and resources for food business operators including food safety training, labelling information, allergy information and food safety templates to assist food businesses to provide safe food.

Other approvals

The operation of mobile food businesses on private property requires the consent of the owner and may require planning approval.

A permit from Council, issued under the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, is required for food vendors on public roads.                       

The operation of mobile food premises at events requires the permission of the event organiser.

Food stalls may require building approval.

If the business will involve the sale of alcohol, approval from the Commissioner for Licensing is required.

For further information, contact us.  

Temporary Food Business

The temporary operation of a food business in a stall or existing kitchen facility may be a suitable way to fundraise or trial a new business. 

Many events and markets also provide the opportunity for temporary food businesses to participate. 

If you are planning a special event such as a school fair, market or festival please also visit our Events page for further information. 

Design Requirements 

The fit-out of temporary food premises must comply with the Guidelines for Mobile Food Businesses

Food Business Registration or Notification

Temporary Food Business Application must be submitted no less than 10 working days before the desired start date of operation or a late fee is applied. 

To support your application, please submit evidence of your food safety training. City of Launceston offers free online food safety training to assist you with this requirement if you do not already have current food safety training certification. 

Subject to assessment of the suitability of the facility and the applicant to operate safely as a food business, an application for registration of a food business may be refused, approved or approved with conditions. 

Food Business Information and Resources

City of Launceston offers information and resources for food business operators including food safety training, labelling information, allergy information, fact sheets for charities and community organisations and food safety templates to assist food businesses to provide safe food. 

Other approvals

The operation of a temporary food business on private property requires the consent of the owner. 

A permit from Council, issued under the Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, is required for food vendors on public roads

The operation of temporary food businesses at events requires the permission of the event organiser. 

Food stalls may require building approval

If the business will involve the sale of alcohol, approval from the Commissioner for Licensing is required. 

For further information, contact us