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Business types in this industry

The agriculture industry includes:

  • growers – turf, flowers, vegetables, fruit, nuts, grain and other crops
  • farmers – sheep, cattle, poultry, deer and other livestock
  • nurseries

Legislation, standards and initiatives

It’s important that you’re aware of the laws that apply to the agriculture industry.

Licences and permits

State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the agriculture industry.

The licences and permits you may need include:

  • water usage
  • clearing vegetation
  • disposal of waste
  • fire management and safety
  • handling livestock and animals
  • erecting fencing, property or other structures
  • handling, storage and use of chemicals or dangerous substances

Find the licences and permits you need for your business

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to find information on the licences you may need.

Employing people

If you employ staff , you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the agriculture industry.


The agriculture industry has specific Goods and services tax (GST) measures. Know your GST obligations and register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure you can claim your GST credits.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment provides additional information about tax offsets, deductions and concessions.


Grants for the agriculture industry are available to support businesses that:

  • conduct activities that are innovative
  • conduct research and development activities
  • need additional assistance due to exceptional circumstances
  • engage in sustainable farming, carbon farming or other environmental practices

Specific grants and assistance programs for agriculture businesses include:

Levies and charges

Levies and charges are generally used to fund activities that benefit the industry or region as a whole, such as:

  • research and development
  • marketing and promotion
  • plant and animal health programs
  • residue testing

Visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website to find out more about levies and whether they apply to your agriculture business.

Workplace health and safety (WHS)

All business have general occupational health and safety regulations, but the agriculture industry also has state-specific WHS requirements, including.

  • workplace noise management
  • standards for protective clothing and equipment
  • standards for occupational safety signage
  • manual handling safety standards
  • quad bike safety practices
  • electrical safety practices
  • hay bale safety practices
  • animal handling safety practices
  • biosecurity measures

Intellectual property

There are Intellectual Property (IP) rights that might be relevant to agriculture businesses such as:

  • To protect your inventions - new machinery, new systems or new processes where you may need to get a patent.
  • Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) will protect new plant varieties and grant you, the plant breeder, exclusive rights to use, sell and distribute the plant and receive royalties.

Government organisations

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Further advice and assistance

Check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business.

For further advice and assistance, consider contacting your accountant, solicitor, business adviser or industry association.