What is it?

If you want to sell food or drinks in the City of Port Phillip, you must either register with Council or notify Council of your activities.

This applies to:

  • businesses
  • organisations
  • individuals
  • community groups.

All sales of food or drinks must:

The Code applies to food safety practices and requirements for food premises and equipment.

Starting a new business?

If you’re starting a new food business, we suggest talking to Council’s Health Services Unit before you register your business or choose a site.

We can help you make sense of health rules and regulations and guide you through the permits and approvals process.

You can also read the:

Food business classification

There are different requirements for different classes of food business. Classes relate to the level of food safety risk.

Contact us before you start an application to register your business to confirm your classification. 

The five classes are:

1Hospitals, childcare centres, and aged care services serving high risk food to vulnerable people.
2Other premises that handle high-risk unpackaged food such as restaurants, cafes, and takeaway food outlets.
3ASome accommodation getaways preparing high-risk food for immediate consumption or home-based premises using a hot-fill process such as chutney, relish or other similar food.
3Premises, warehouses, and distributors that handle unpackaged low-risk food or high-risk pre-packaged food.
4Low-risk activities. Selling shelf-stable pre-packaged foods, uncut fruit, and vegetables, and some fundraising activities. Serving coffee, tea, alcohol, and soft drinks to be consumed immediately. Low-risk foods served in kindergartens or childcare.


Type of feeCost
Application fee$171 to $259
Registration feeVaries by type, class and number of employees from $70 to $1384

Before you apply

Setting up a new businesss?

We give advice on your plans and specifications before you apply to register your food business. You can submit them for review by one of our Environmental Health Officers. There is no fee for this service.

Progress inspections

You can ask us to conduct a progress inspection.

During this inspection, an Environmental Health Officer will make sure that the work meets food safety standards.

If there are any problems, they will give you advice on how to fix them.

Final inspection

You also need a successful final inspection before we can register your business.

Please contact us 5 working days prior to your opening date to schedule an inspection.

Email: healthservicesunit@portphillip.vic.gov.au
Phone: 03 9209 6292

When you apply

To register your business, you need to complete an Application for Food Act Registration. If you haven't contacted us before, you should get in touch before you start to confirm the classification for your business. 

You’ll also need to pay any relevant fees.

Forms and fees vary depending on the classification and size of your food business. We send an invoice after we have received the completed application form.

You can submit an application form along with all required documents via email, post or in person.

If your application is approved, you have to pay the required fee to complete the registration. A card payment fee applies.

After you apply

We have to inspect your premises as part of the registration process. If you are starting at a new premises, we inspect when all works are complete.

If you are changing ownership of an existing business, we do this when we get the application and fee.

You will get a certificate of registration when you have satisfied all the requirements of the Food Act 1984 and Food Safety Standards.

Selling your food business

You need to cancel your registration if you are no longer operating or are selling your business. Contact our Health Services Unit for help.

Before you sell your business, you can ask us to conduct a pre-sale inspection.

This pre-sale inspection will focus on structural, maintenance and cleaning matters.

The condition report will detail non-compliances with the Food Safety Standards found at the inspection.

After we issue this report, it is the responsibility of the purchaser and the vendor of the food business to negotiate to resolve any issues.

To request this inspection, the current business owner needs to complete an Application for Pre-Sale Inspection (120 KB).

You can submit it via email, post or in person.

An inspection fee of $254 (Class 2) and $173 (Class 1 and Class 3) applies - and a card payment fee.


  • Council will only issue the report to the current proprietor
  • Council sends the report in PDF format for distribution to potential purchasers
  • allow one week for Council to complete the inspection and report.

Will I need more than one?

How many permits, licences, and registrations you need depends on your business.

Food businesses trading inside may need:

If your business will also trade outside, you may need:

If you're making changes to your premises or the types of food you prepare, you need to notify us. You may need a different or new permit.

If you think you might need more than one permit, use our Business Permit Finder to determine the permits you need. Learn more about food business permits and approvals at the Department of Health Food Safety website.

Contact us

Our Health Services team is here to help

Send us a message on My Port Phillip.

Email: healthservicesunit@portphillip.vic.gov.au

Phone: 03 9209 6292