Taking over an Existing Food Business

Food business approvals are not transferable and potential new businesses must be assessed and approved prior to handling food for sale. 

We recommend approval is obtained prior to publicly announcing an opening date as unexpected delays may occur. 

City of Launceston offers information to potential food business operators regarding the process for taking over a food business. 

Pre-purchase inspection and report

If you are planning to purchase an existing food business we recommend that you request a report on the current status of compliance of the premises prior to signing a contract. This then gives you the opportunity to negotiate completion of any required works with the current owner before you accept full responsibility for them under the Food Act2003.

You should also note that the existing fit-out of the premises may cause menu limitations that may impact on your proposal.

To obtain information about an existing food premises an Application for Information on a Premises(PDF, 61KB) must be submitted. You will need to obtain the current owner’s consent before any information can be released. You have the option of requesting information from our files or requesting an inspection and report. A fee applies to this service.

Alterations to Food Premises

Before making any alterations or renovations to the fit-out of the premises, please contact us to discuss your proposal. 

Alterations and renovations of food premises require approval from one of our Environmental Health Officers prior to the works commencing. For advice on fit-out requirements for fixed location food premises please refer to our (PDF, 144KB)Food Premises – How to get started and what you need to know information sheet(PDF, 80KB). Planning, building and plumbing approval of renovations may also be required.

For information about fit-out requirements for mobile food premises please refer to the Guidelines for Mobile Food Businesses

Altering 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 new food business owner, 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 (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 evidence of your food safety training. City of Launceston offers free on-line 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

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.

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.

If the business will involve the sale of alcohol, approval from the Commissioner for Licensing is required. There are also specific requirements regarding the availability of customer toilet facilities that must be considered. Advice should be sought from a Building Surveyor as to the adequacy of existing toilet facilities for this purpose.

Further information

For further information, please contact us