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Applying for a food licence

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Applying online is the quickest and easiest way to apply for a NSW Food Authority licence.

Only some types of businesses are required to hold a food licence to operate in NSW.

All other businesses must notify their details to either their local council or the Food Authority. See Licensing and notifying for more information.

Postal applications

If you are unable to apply online, you can download, print and complete the relevant licence application form from the list below and post it with your payment to: NSW Food Authority, PO Box 6682, Silverwater NSW 1811.

Fees and payments

Licensing fees depend on how many full time equivalent (FTE) food handlers are employed at the business.

Most businesses pay one-off application fee and an annual licensing fee.

Fees are set out in Schedule 3 of the Food Regulation 2015 and are indexed each financial year in line with the Consumer Price Index. From 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024, the following fees apply:

  • 0-5 FTE food handlers - $539
  • 6-50 FTE food handlers - $1,113
  • 51+ FTE food handlers - $4,900

The licensing process also attracts a $50 application fee.  

Small egg farm exemption

Small egg farms producing less than 100 dozen (1,200) eggs per week are entitled to a licence fee waiver and a one-off licence application fee waiver.

Calculating FTE

For the purposes of this calculation, an FTE working week is 38 hours.

To calculate the number of FTE food handlers at a business, add up all the hours employees undertake food handling activities during a working week and divide it by 38 hours (average working week).

For example, if a facility has 4 people handling food for 25 hours per week, this equals approximately 3 FTE food handlers.

Payments

If applying online, you will be asked to pay by credit card or BPAY at the end of the application.  

If posting your application, you can pay by:

  • Credit card - a 0.4% merchant surcharge applies. Please note we do not accept American Express.
  • BPAY, internet banking or telephone - submit your completed application form without payment. An invoice will then be forwarded to you for payment.
  • Cheque or money order – mail your money order or cheque, crossed ‘Not negotiable’ and made out to the NSW Food Authority, with a completed application form to the NSW Food Authority, PO Box 6682, Silverwater NSW 1811.

Licensing process

Businesses are required to:

  1. submit a licence application form, online or by post
  2. pay a one-off application fee and first annual licence fee
  3. be ready to meet relevant food standards, as set out for each industry sector
  4. be ready to be audited or inspected.

When the Food Authority has reviewed the application and is satisfied the business can meet food safety standards, it will issue the licence and any appropriate stamps and brands.  

You must not commence operations until you are informed that your licence application has been processed.

If the premises are found to be operating without a licence, enforcement action may be taken.

In some cases a licence can be issued pending completion of the audit or inspection. If the result of the audit or inspection is unacceptable, the licence may not be approved and the licence application may be rejected.

A Food Authority licence is not transferable from one person or business to another.

Processing times

We will assess your application and write to you within 10 working days to let you know if we need any more information.
 
In that letter we will also let you know a timeframe for any audit or inspection that is needed.
 
We aim to finalise your application within 4 weeks after the audit or inspection.

Permissions and conditions

When the licence is issued, it will set out the specific food activities and processes which are permitted.

There may also be conditions applied to the licence. These can be varied by notice in writing from the Food Authority.

Display

On every premises to which the licence relates, a copy of the licence must be displayed.

For food transport vehicles that need a Food Authority licence, we will send a label or sticker to be displayed on the vehicle at all times.

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