Starting a New Food Business


All food businesses (including home-based businesses) must register their business with Council and renew this registration annually.

Food businesses must be categorised as either Class 1, 2, 3 or 4, depending on the type of food processes involved. An Environmental Health Officer will ask you questions about your business processes to determine your businesses class category.

Before you can submit an application to register your food business, please ensure each of the following processes are completed.

Approvals from other authorities

Before proceeding with the registration process, you are advised to contact Council’s Planning and Building departments to check for any further requirements.

  • Building: 8290 3218
  • Planning: 8290 3329

For grease interceptor advice, please contact your water authority.

  • Yarra Valley Water (13 1721) if your business is located east of Kooyong Road.
  • South East Water (13 1691) if your business is located west of Kooyong Road.

Application for plans approval

New food businesses should submit an Application for Plans Approval(PDF, 76KB) . An upfront fee is payable when submitting your application.

Ensure you review our Construction Guidelines for Food Premises(PDF, 527KB) when developing your plans.

An Environmental Health Officer will assess the submitted plans and respond within five to seven working days.

Once you receive approval from Council, you may begin work on the fit-out of the premises. Onsite inspections may be requested or conducted by an Environmental Health Officer during construction.

Before opening, a final inspection must be conducted by an Environmental Health Officer. The business owner must arrange this inspection at least two business days before the inspection date.

Food safety program

A food safety program is a written document that describes how your business keeps food safe. Our Environmental Health Unit will determine whether your business is required to implement and maintain a food safety program.

If you are required to implement a food safety program, you will need to present it to the Environmental Health Unit either before the final inspection or on the day of the final inspection.

Further information regarding food safety programs can be found at Department of Health and Human Services website.

Please note, the above program should not be confused with the FoodSafe Program which acknowledges the highest standards in food safety and hygiene in the City of Stonnington.

Food Safety Supervisors

As part of the food safety program, the business will also need to have a nominated Food Safety Supervisor. This person will be responsible for the implementation of the food safety program. You are required to provide Council with the name and a copy of the qualifications of the Food Safety Supervisor when you submit an application to register your food business.

For more information visit Department of Health and Human Services website.

Registration approval

Your plans approval letter will be sent to you along with a food business registration application form. Please ensure you submit this application form prior to the date of the final inspection.

Once your application has been accepted and payment has been received, a Certificate of Registration under the Food Act 1984 will be issued and you will be ready to open your business to the public.

Your premises must not open before the Certificate of Registration is received. Under the Food Act 1984 it is an offence to operate a food business without being registered. 

Contact information

For more information or advice on starting a new food business, please contact us to speak with an Environmental Health Officer:

Office hours: Monday to Friday between 8.30am – 5pm

Phone: 8290 3393