QLD Do I need a food business license?

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1 February 2019
Hello everyone. I am thinking about starting a small business. This business consists of blending tea with other dried ingredients and selling this blended tea, and will be home-based. The Toowoomba Council website and the Food Act 2006, states that if you manufacture food you require a food business license. However, it also states that if you sell tea, spices and dried fruit (the ingredients that I plan on using), you are exempt from obtaining a food business licence. Bit confused by this. I'm not planning on changing the chemical or even physical properties of the ingredients. I'm simply measuring, mixing and packaging in a room where nobody eats, sleeps or generally does anything in. Does anybody know if I would require a business food license or does anyone think that I might be exempt? A customer service agent told me that I could apply for a license and they will simply tell me if I am exempt. However, I was told just applying costs over $400 and I'd rather not pay this sum just to get the answer 'no you don't need one'.
Any answer will be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.


Well-Known Member
31 August 2015
i would say u need a food licence any food handling outside food packaging must be in a clean environment u do run a big risk
have u a food handling certificate u have hand washing facilites with paper towels u have current pest certificates etc etc etc
think about it the only time you dont need a licence if u sell pre packaged food ie coffee shops selling prepacked cakes sandwiches etc
same as 7-11

Rob Legat - SBPL

LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
Gold Coast, Queensland
What you're looking at doing is covered by Queensland's Food Act. The Act provides:
- A 'substance or thing for human consumption (whether raw, prepared or partly prepared)' is food;
- Handling includes packing; and
- Manufacturing includes packaging food, other than unprocessed primary produce.

The "sale of seeds, spices, dried herbs, tea leaves, coffee beans or ground coffee" is exempted under the Act from being a licensable food business.

However, you're manufacturing because of the acts of blending and packaging. It is only the sale which is exempt. You'll need a licence.