Registration of a food business

Register your food business with the local government Environmental Health ServicesBefore operating your food business you need to register or notify your business with the relevant enforcement agency, either the:

  • local government Environmental Health Services or the
  • Department of Health, Environmental Health Directorate.

This includes temporary food businesses such as a market stall, mobile food vans, home based food businesses and fundraisers.

The organisation you notify or register with depends on where you operate, and what type of business you are operating. Most food businesses will need to register with the local government.

By law, a food business must not start operating without registering, otherwise enforcement action, including prosecution, can apply.

Exemptions from registration

Some food businesses are exempt from having to register, however they must still notify the relevant enforcement agency; local government or the Department of Health.

These include food businesses that:

  • sell food to raise money for charity or a community cause, and the food is not potentially hazardous or, if it is, after cooking it is sold for immediate consumption, for example sausage sizzles, or selling soft drinks
  • only sell packaged food that is not potentially hazardous (for example selling packaged confectionery)
  • provide complimentary drinks in conjunction with another type of business
  • are conducted at registered establishments (premises registered under the Australian Government’s Export Control Act 1982).

How does an exempt food business notify?

Contact the relevant enforcement agency who will have their own notification form for you to complete. Information that is required will include:

  • contact details of the food business including:
    • the name of the food business
    • the name and business address of the proprietor of the food business
  • the nature of the food business
  • the location of all food premises of the food business that are within the jurisdiction of the enforcement agency
  • any other information deemed necessary by the enforcement agency
  • any fee set by the enforcement agency.

What is the purpose of notification?

Notification ensures that anyone handling food intended for sale is provided with appropriate information and guidance on how to prepare food safely.

It also assists such persons in understanding their legal obligations for selling food to the public.

The notification process also ensures that enforcement agencies (e.g. the local government) are aware of all food business activities being conducted within their district, which is important for food safety surveillance and compliance activities.

Is there a fee for notification?

With the exception of food businesses conducted solely for charitable and community purposes, an enforcement agency can impose and recover a fee for notification under the Local Government Act 1995 Part 6 Division 5 Subdivision 2.

Local government registration or notification

The following food businesses, charities and industry groups must register or notify the relevant local government where the business is located.

Type of food business
Cafe, restaurant, grocery stores, supermarkets and food retail outlets
Food prepared in a residential home intended for sale
Food manufacturer (e.g. jams, fudges, chutneys, spice mixes, cakes)
Mobile food van (the location / suburb where the van is garaged overnight)
School canteen, childcare / day care and family day care facilities
Charities, community groups and volunteers that are selling good
Private hospitals or aged care facility
Pet meat
Abattoirs / boning rooms (Australia only - that do not export overseas)
Egg producers
Seafood primary production and processing (except bivalve molluscs)
Food manufacturers

To register, or notify, local government

  1. Refer to the relevant local government Environmental Health Services (external site) for details of the registration process required by the local government and any other food safety requirements
  2. Complete the local government notification/registration form and (if required) include design and fit-out specifications of the premises where food is to be handled or any other information required by the local government
  3. Pay the one-off notification/registration fee as required by the local government

After the local government considers the application for registration they will either:

  • grant the application, with or without conditions, and issue a certificate of registration specifying the premises in respect of which registration is granted
  • refuse the application in writing, setting out the reasons for refusal.

Temporary and mobile food businesses

  • A temporary business (e.g. catering) that may only operate for a short period of time must still register with the local government where food is processed or stored and notify all other local governments where the business intends to operate.
  • Mobile food van businesses may operate across multiple local government jurisdictions must register with the local government where you garage the vehicle overnight. In addition, they must notify all other local governments where the mobile food business intends to operate.

All queries regarding registration should be directed to the relevant local government Environmental Health Services (external site).

Department of Health registration or notification

The following types of food businesses must register with the Environmental Health Directorate of the Department of Health.

All other food business must register with the relevant local government environmental health services.

Type of food business
Processors of meat that export overseas
Processors of poultry that export overseas
Processors of seafood, including shellfish, that export overseas
Public hospitals or aged care facilities where food is prepared in the facility
Primary production and processing of bivalve molluscs
Primary production, processing and transportation of dairy products
Any food business (including food vans, manufacturers etc.) in:
  • Kings Park
  • Rottnest Island
  • WA Basketball Centre
  • State Athletics Centre 
  • any other business not within a local government area

To register or notify the Department of Health, Environmental Health Directorate

  1. Complete the Notification/Registration form (Word 150KB) or PDF 162KB
  2. Email the form to foodsafety@health.wa.gov.au
  3. Pay the one-off registration or notification fee

After the Department of Health considers the application the Department will either:

  • grant the application, with or without conditions, and issue a certificate of registration specifying the premises in respect of which registration is granted
  • refuse the application in writing, setting out the reasons for refusal.

Processing times for registration

The Department of Health will assess your application and write to you within 10 working days to let you know if we need any more information.

Existing registration

If you have registered with the Department of Health and need to change or cancel the application email the foodsafety@health.wa.gov.au or contact 9222 2000

Queries

Direct phone enquiries about Department of Health registration application to the Environmental Health Directorate on 9222 2000 or email foodsafety@health.wa.gov.au

Frequently asked questions

What is the period of registration?

The registration of a food business in respect of any premises remains in force until cancelled.

A registration may only be cancelled for one of the following reasons:

  • any annual or other fee imposed by the appropriate enforcement agency that relates to the registration of the food business in respect of those premises has not been paid
  • the food business has ceased to be conducted at those premises
  • at the request of the registration certificate holder of the business premises.

What fees are involved?

The enforcement agency may charge a:

  • one-off registration or notification fee
  • annual or other fee (to cover annual inspections costs)

It is important you contact the local government Environmental Health Services (external site) to discuss any fees they may charge. Each local government may charge slightly different fees.

Conditions of registration

An enforcement agency may place conditions on the food business in respect of any premises.

The conditions may only relate to issues that ensure compliance with the Food Act. If the enforcement agency decides to vary the conditions of registration then it must advise the holder of the Certificate of Registration, in writing, of the reasons and consider any submissions made by the holder of the Certificate of Registration.

What if the food business is sold?

If you intent to sell your food business, you should request for the registration in respect of the premises to be cancelled with the relevant local government prior to handing over control of the premises to the new proprietor.

This will ensure that you do not continue to be responsible for the food business being operated from those sold premises that has been sold to a new proprietor.

In addition, Section 113 of the Food Act 2008 makes it an offence to not inform the appropriate local government enforcement agency of any changes to a registered food business including if the business ceases to be conducted at those premises or if the food business is sold.

The new proprietor must apply to the appropriate local government enforcement agency for a registration in accordance with the Food Act 2008.


More information

  • For information about registering a food business contact the relevant local government Environmental Health Services where the food business is to be located. Refer to the online local government directory (external site) for contact details.
  • For food businesses in Kings Park, Rottnest Island, or locations not within a local government district, contact the Environmental Health Directorate by emailing foodsafety@health.wa.gov.au
Last reviewed: 02-11-2020
Produced by

Environmental Health Directorate