Set up a food business

Cafe operator prepares coffee

Food businesses and food vehicles that sell food must register with Council or notify Council of the premises where they sell or prepare food. They must also comply with the Food Act 1984.  

Information about the requirements for food businesses is available at the Starting a food business page of the Department of Health and Human Services website.

The information below sets out the steps you should follow if you are starting up a new food business in the City of Yarra. 

If you are taking over an existing food business, you should visit the webpage that provides information about transferring registration of a food business.

If you are planning to operate from a temporary or mobile food premises such as a market stall, community fundraiser, sausage sizzle or cake stall, you should visit the webpage that provides information about temporary and mobile food premises.

Step 1 - Planning Permits

The first step in the process is to ensure that the business you are planning is able to be conducted at your intended address. You should contact Council’s Town Planning Department on 9205 5373 to check on permitted uses and whether any permits are required.

Step 2 - Building Permits

If you are intending on constructing a new building or making any structural changes to an existing building you will need to obtain the necessary permits. For further information contact Council’s Building Services on 9205 5095. 

Step 3 - Review of food premises plans

There are requirements for the construction and fit out of food premises that will make sure a food business can handle food safely. To ensure that the food premises will comply with the requirements, Council offers a service of reviewing plans for the proposed premises (or renovations/improvements to existing premises) and providing advice before construction commences.

Although not mandatory this service may prevent food businesses from having to make costly alterations once construction has started or been completed.  There is no additional fee on top of the registration fee for this service. To submit plans for review, download a copy of the docx format Food Premises Plans Review Request 2015 (33.78 KB)  to accompany the plans.

For guidance on structural requirements for food premises refer to the following documents:

Step 4 - Obtain an application or notification form

Once the construction of the new food premises is completed or close to completion, you should contact Council's Compliance Administration Team on 9205 5166 to obtain an Application to Register a Food Premises and find out the registration fee. Once the complete and correct application has been received and the payment made, an authorised officer will inspect the premises to ensure the premises complies with relevant requirements. Once all requirements have been met, registration will be granted and the food business can commence operating from the premises.

For low risk food premises a once off notification must be lodged.  You do not need to obtain formal approval and there are no fees that need to be paid.  docx format Food Premises Notification Form (42.93 KB)

Further information
Compliance Administration Team
9205 5166

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