Food businesses

Markets/food vans Shop fit-out Liquor licence Food safety Footpath dining

Council's Environmental Health Officers work with over 500 local food business operators.

Our focus is food safety, education and compliance with NSW food safety standards.

Recent changes to the Food Standards Code (Standard 3.2.2A) means there are new requirements for all businesses that prepare and serve food in NSW. These changes must be implemented by 8 December 2023. For more information, visit the NSW Food Authority

Starting a food businessa woman serving a sandwich at a cafe

Are you an aspiring foodie with a dream of launching your own food business? The Tweed is a great place to start your business.

If you're starting a new food business or taking over an existing one, make sure you have the correct approvals and permits.

For food business annual administration and inspection fees, visit fees and payments.

Taking over an existing business?

This information is for existing operators (and new operators of an existing business) involved in the retail sale food or beverages including:

  • cafés
  • restaurants
  • takeaways
  • general stores
  • fruit and vegetable shops
  • schools and halls

Buying a food business

Notify Council before you start operating by submitting an Application for Food Premises Registration/Change of Details.

Selling or closing a food business

Notify Council about any change to your business ownership in writing, including the date of business closure or sale.

Pre-purchase advice

If you're looking to purchase an existing food business, Council offers 2 types of pre-purchase checks to help your decision making:

  • pre-purchase: records search only
  • pre-purchase: inspection report and records search

The applicant is to arrange a suitable time between Council and the business owner to conduct the inspection.

To carry out a pre-purchase check complete a conveyancing application. Fees apply.

Markets, food vans and home businesses

Check you have the correct approvals and permits for your home or mobile food business.

Also see Vending of food on public reserves(PDF, 44KB)

Food van or truck

Mobile food vending vehicles are used for on-site food preparation (such as hamburgers, hot dogs and kebabs), one-step food preparation (such as fairy floss, coffee and squeezing juices), and the sale of any type of food including pre-packaged food.

It does not include food vending machines or food transport vehicles. Note that a ‘food premises’ includes ‘vehicles’.

The following information is for new or existing mobile food vans operating on private land or at Council approved markets or events:

Before you start trading

  1. Notify Council by submitting an Application for Food Premises Registration/Change of Details
  2. Have your food van/truck inspected by one of Councils Officers before you trade and achieve a satisfactory inspection report.

For businesses trading on private land in the Tweed

  • Call Council's duty planner to find out which planning approvals are required on 02 6670 2400.
  • Provide written authorisation from the land owner.

Selling food on public roads, streets and reserves

  • Council does not allow the sale of food or drinks on public roads, streets, or reserves. This aims to protect trade for nearby retail outlets and promotes public health, safety and use of public spaces.
  • For more information see Vending of food on public reserves policy(PDF, 134KB).

See fees and payments 

Food stalls or vans at markets or events

Temporary food stalls and vendors selling food or beverages at Council approved markets or events in the Tweed have to submit an Application for Food Premises at Markets and Events(PDF, 421KB)

If you're preparing food at home before a market or event, you will also need approval as a home based food business. Refer to the Home food business section below, which includes the application form.

Vendor places at markets and events are popular, so check availability with the organiser before making an application to Council.

For more information visit NSW Food Authority - Markets and temporary events.

Annual or one-off administration and inspection fees

See fees and payments

Home-based food business

This information is for manufacturers of food prepared at home and sold direct to the customer (directly from home, at a market or event or to a school canteen).

Designed to be small scale, a home-based food business can be a great first step. However, there are special food safety requirements when handling food at home.

For more information visit NSW Food Authority - Home-based and mixed businesses.

If you're starting a home-based food business

If you're selling food online or to other businesses from a home-based business

You may need to register with the NSW Food Authority under the Manufacturer Wholesaler Inspection Program.

Visit their website or call 1300 552 406 for more information.

Annual administration and inspection fees

See fees and payments

Building or renovating

Food premises must be easy to clean and maintain, have sufficient space and suitable equipment for safe food production. See Council's Fit-out guide for fixed food premises(PDF, 620KB)

Head to fees and payments for annual administration and inspection fees.

Building a new food business or renovating an existing one

  1. Call Council's duty planner to find out what planning approvals may be required on 02 6670 2400.
  2. Submit draft plans of the kitchen or food premises
  3. Submit an Application for Approval of Food Premises Fit-out Plan and pay the required fee (this is separate to planning approvals).
  4. When you're ready to trade, arrange a final fit-out inspection with Council's Environmental Health team on 02 6670 2400 and submit an Application for Food Premises Registration/Change of Details.

liquor-licences-tweed.jpg Liquor licences

Liquor & Gaming NSW is the consent authority for liquor license applications. 

Council manages development applications for proposed new licenced premises in the Tweed.

All liquor licence applications made to Liquor & Gaming NSW must provide details of the development approval. 

Council’s role

You must get Council approval for a proposed new licenced premises. Council reviews these development applications against the planning laws.

For more information call Council's Development Assessment Unit on 02 6670 2400.

Copies of development approvals

Copies of development approvals for licenced premises are available in the DA Tracker.

Liquor & Gaming NSW

Liquor & Gaming NSW regulates liquor licences in NSW. Visit their website for more information:

Health and safety

Food Safety Supervisors

The Food Safety Supervisor program was introduced by the NSW Food Authority to improve food handling skills and knowledge and prevent food related illness.

At least one Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) must be appointed for every retail business preparing and selling food that is:

  • ready-to-eat
  • potentially hazardous (needs temperature control)
  • not sold and served in the supplier's original package

From 8 December 2023 the FSS requirement will also apply to a range of currently exempt outlets:  

  • charities and not-for-profit organisations that sell food on an ongoing basis
  • school canteens
  • childcare services, including out of school hours care
  • correctional centres
  • delicatessens
  • supermarkets.

Requirements for Food Safety Supervisor certification

  • FSS Certificate must be current and issued by the NSW Food Authority
  • FSS Certificate must be on display and a copy sent to Council
  • Food Safety Supervisor must be available to all food handlers in the business

The NSW Food Authority website has a list of approved FFS training providers.

For more information see the NSW Food Authority 

Free training for food handlers - I'm Alert

Council offers a free online training course in basic food safety and hygiene for food handlers - I'm Alert

Food safety scoring program - Scores on Doors

Scores on Doors is the NSW hygiene and food safety scoring program.

It shows which food businesses are complying with food safety requirements, so customers can make an informed choice about where to eat.

Scores on Doors is managed by the NSW Food Authority.

It is not intended for:

  • supermarkets, delicatessens or greengrocers
  • low risk food businesses that serve pre-packaged food (such as service stations and convenience stores)
  • market stalls or mobile food vending vehicles.

Water supply

If your food business is not connected to Council's town water supply you must develop a Quality Assurance Program.

For more information see NSW Health or contact us.

Food safety complaints

Report a problem for complaints about most retail food businesses (except butchers) and for possible food poisoning affecting one household by completing the online form.

For issues relating to food safety and labelling, butchers or possible food poisoning in more than one household contact the NSW Food Authority.

Contact us

If you have any questions about owning a food business call Council's Environmental Health Officers on 02 6670 2400.