Food business licence (Douglas) - Queensland


Food businesses

You will require a food business licence under the Food Act 2006 if your business:

  • manufactures food (refer to the definition of manufacture)
  • sells unpackaged food by retail (excluding non-profit organisations)
  • is a non-profit organisation that sells meals prepared by the organisation on at least 12 days each financial year.

Mobile food businesses

Mobile food businesses are only required to have one food business licence, issued by council for any of the areas in which they intend to operate. The licence allows the business to sell food from the mobile premises anywhere in Queensland. However, you may also require an itinerant vendors licence and/or standing stall/vehicle licence from the council local to each area in which you intend to operate (these licences are separate from the licensing requirements under the Food Act 2006).

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.


The Act does not apply in any of the following situations, and therefore a food business a licence is not required:

  • state or government owned corporations
  • the handling or sale of food at a tuckshop operated by a parents and citizens association at a state school
  • the handling, at a persons home, of food intended to be given away to a non-profit organisation for sale by the organisation.

A food business that consists of one or more of the following activities is not required to be licensed under the Food Act 2006:

  • the production of primary produce under an accreditation granted under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000 - including meat, dairy, egg and seafood schemes
  • the sale of unpackaged snack foods that are not potentially hazardous (e.g. food such as biscuits, cakes, confectionery, corn chips, potato chips, nuts or dried or glazed fruit)
  • the sale of whole fruit or vegetables
  • the sale of seeds, spices, dried herbs, tea leaves, coffee beans or ground coffee
  • the grinding of coffee beans
  • the sale of drinks (other than fruit or vegetable juice processed at the place of sale) including, for example, tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • the sale of ice, including flavoured ice (e.g. snow cones or bags of party ice)
  • the sale of meals by a non-profit organisation if
    1. the meal consists only of fruit, cereal, toast, or similar food; or
    2. the consumer of the meal helps prepare it
  • the sale of meals by a non-profit organisation that are prepared by an entity other than the organisation and are stored and heated or otherwise prepared by the organisation in accordance with the directions of the meal's manufacturer
  • the 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
  • the sale of meals by a non-profit organisation, if
    1. the organisation is a surf lifesaving club; and
    2. a member is involved in the preparation of the meal; and
    3. the meal is sold to a member of the club for a nominal amount.

Eligibility requirements

Food safety supervisors

The Food Act 2006 requires every licensable food business in Queensland to have a food safety supervisor.  Licensees are required to notify the local government that issues the licence, of the name and contact details of the food safety supervisor for the food business within 30 days of the licence being issued. 

Food premises 

There are requirements that must be met for the design and fit-out of the food premises to ensure it is appropriate for the operation of a food business. 

Food handlers

There are also requirements for all food handlers for the food business to have a level of skills and knowledge in food safety and food hygiene appropriate for their work activities at the food business.


This licence remains in effect for a period of no greater than 3 years as determined by council.


Task Business Structure Resources
Common All Application - Food Business Licence (Opens in new window)

Application process

In addition to the completed application form, you must submit the appropriate fee as well as plans drawn to scale and that provide an accurate representation of the layout of the food premises. 

You may be required to include:

  • a site plan
  • floor plan
  • sectional elevations
  • hydraulic plans
  • mechanical exhaust ventilation plans (if applicable)
  • transport vehicle plan (if applicable).

All applications and associated documentation for the licence must be directed to council for the area in which you intend to operate your food business.

A site inspection may be undertaken by the council environmental health officer to determine compliance with design and fit-out requirements for the food premises.

Transfer process

This licence cannot be transferred.

Additional information

Food safety programs

The following food businesses are required to have a food safety program accredited by the local government:

  • the food business involves off-site catering
  • the primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at the premises stated in the licence
  • the primary activity of the food business is on-site catering at part of the premises stated in the licence to cater for 200 or more people on 12 or more occasions in any 12 month period
  • the food business is carried on as part of the operations of a private hospital or otherwise processes or serves potentially hazardous food to six or more vulnerable persons (e.g. a child care centre or aged care facility).

Food businesses that are required to have an accredited food safety program are required to have an audit conducted by an appropriate auditor approved by the Department of Health within the first six months of accreditation, then at a frequency determined by the local government.

If you operate any other type of food business (other than mentioned above) and you wish to have a food safety program accredited, you may submit your program to your local government.

Please note that licence fees may vary between local governments.

Please contact your local government for further information.

Administering agency

Douglas Shire Council

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Please use these contact details for help or more information:

Douglas Shire Council

Operating address: 64-66 Front Street
Mossman, Queensland 4873
Mailing address: PO Box 723
Mossman, Queensland 4873
Phone: 07 4099 9444
Website: Douglas Shire Council (Opens in new window)