Business licences and permits

Your business may need one or more Queensland, Australian or local licences or permits to operate. These vary from a basic operating licence to very specific permits (e.g. environmental permits) – depending on the type of business, its structure and location, and whether you employ staff.

Licences, permits and registrations

A licence is something that gives you permission to operate and deliver certain activities. You will need to abide by a set of rules outlined in your licence condition.

Permits regulate the safety and structure of businesses. You may need a permit to operate in certain areas (e.g. marine parks) to demonstrate that you will follow the law.

A registration involves the sharing of your business information to relevant authorities so that you are operating within the law.

Businesses that commonly require a licence include:

  • security providers
  • second-hand dealers
  • motor dealers and salespeople
  • pest control operators
  • building trades
  • transport operators
  • food and beverage companies.

To find out your business licensing requirements, you should:

  1. List all of your business activities to get an idea of possible licences and permits you may need.
  2. Learn about licensing and registrations for your business, trade or profession by reading our business start-up guide.
  3. Visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) for online information about any regulations related to operating your business including:
    • a summary of Queensland, local and Australian government requirements for your business
    • contact details of the agency responsible for each listing
    • how to access relevant forms
    • licence and permit details
    • online lodgement and secure payment for some licences.

Codes of practice

A code of practice is referenced in an act or regulation and may include general statements of principle and practical advice for how a business or industry should operate, and detailed business practices where businesses must comply with specific standards.

Learn more about codes of practice.