Businesses in the accommodation and food services industry

Gain an understanding of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the accommodation and food services industry.

The accommodation industry includes:

  • hotels
  • motels
  • serviced apartments
  • other short-term accommodation for visitors

The food services industry includes:

  • cafes
  • restaurants
  • takeaways
  • pubs
  • bars
  • other businesses that sell meals, snacks and beverages

Further advice and assistance

You should check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business. For further advice and assistance, contact your accountant, solicitor or business adviser. You may also wish to consult with an industry association or group for more information and advice on your industry.

Legislation, standards and initiatives

It’s important that you are aware of the laws that apply to the accommodation and food services industry. Key legislation includes:

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's (ACCC) guides

Licences and permits

State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the accommodation and food services industry. The licences and permits you may need include:

  • preparing and/or selling food
  • selling and/or consumption of alcohol
  • erecting/displaying signage
  • restricted trading days
  • outdoor dining 
  • playing video/sound recordings
  • disposal of waste

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

Find the licences and permits you need for your business.


Accommodation and food services industry businesses have specific goods and services tax (GST) measures. It’s important that you know your GST obligations and to make sure you register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

Employing people

If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the accommodation and food services industry.

Workplace health and safety (WHS)

There are general occupational health and safety regulations for all businesses. The accommodation and food services industry also have state-specific WHS requirements, including:

  • occupational noise management
  • standards for protective clothing and equipment
  • standards for occupational safety signage
  • national standard for manual handling 
  • prevention of burns from hot liquids, surfaces or steam
  • prevention and response to workplace bullying 
  • prevention of workplace violence (e.g. robbery)
  • electrical safety

Government organisations

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