Reading time: 4 minutes

Bread and cake certainly have distinguished lineages. Humans began eating bread in Neolithic times. Although cake arrived a little later in human history, Marie Antoinette’s fondness for it has cemented its place in the public imagination. However, retailers of bread and cakes also need to think about the law. So if you sell bread or cakes or are running a bakery or cake store, this article details those legal obligations you need to consider.

Trading Hours

Governments have long regulated trading hours. This regulation had a dual purpose: to reserve time for religious observance and to ensure that citizens did not have to work outside of regular trading hours. In Australia, state and territory governments regulate trading hours.

As a bread and cake retailer, you need to know if there exist restrictions on the hours that you trade. And while the answer is likely no, you still need to check with the relevant government authority in your state or territory. There has been a national movement towards deregulation of trading hours generally, including for bread and cake shops. In NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, these stores are classified as either ‘exempt’ or ‘small’ and have unrestricted trading hours. The ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania have also deregulated trading hours.

Licensing for Running a Bakery or Cake Store

State and territory governments do not regulate cake stores and bakeries. However, you will need to get a licence for your store from your relevant local government authority. Every council needs to see that you can meet their requirements before they issue you with a permit.  If you obtain a licence, you will likely have to display it on your premises.

Check the website for your local council to determine the application procedure and requirements applicable to you. Councils are more than willing to speak with prospective business owners, so do not hesitate to ring them or visit their offices if you need to talk to someone before you apply.

Food Safety Standards

As a retailer of food, you will need to be very familiar with all relevant food safety standards. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (ANZFS Code) is a national food safety standard that all Australian states and territories have formally adopted into their food legislation. The Code primarily concerns relevant standards for food safety and hygiene, the fit-out of food premises and labelling, composition and advertising food.

Food safety standards comprise part of the Code. Specifically:

  • Food Safety Practices and General Requirements (Standard 3.2.2); and
  • Food Premises and Equipment (3.2.3).

State and territory health authorities enforce the Code. As a retailer, you will need to observe the code as a risk management strategy. You must make sure you stay alert to any updates and to educate your staff appropriately.

Other state or territory concerning food may also apply to you. While it typically covers state standards for primary industry such as meat, dairy and egg production, it is commercially prudent for you to check. Speak with the relevant government authority or a lawyer.

You might need a member of staff qualified as a Food Safety Supervisor. State and territory legislation prescribes which food businesses require a supervisor. The Food Safety Supervisor scheme is intended to improve food handling skills and knowledge so as to reduce foodborne illness in the retail and hospitality sector. Check with the appropriate government department whether you need a food safety supervisor.


The Code also includes food labelling standards. It details both general labelling requirements as well as requirements that are situation specific. State legislation might also impose labelling obligations for your retail outlet. These could include the kilojoule content of food together with a reference statement.  For example, NSW imposes labelling requirements on standard food outlets that sell standard food items. Guidelines are freely available on the NSW Food Authority website.

If you have any questions, it is a good idea to speak with a qualified legal professional. Tailored legal advice early could prevent difficulties later. Contact LegalVision’s business lawyers to assist you. Questions? Call us on 1300 544 755.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards