Market Stall Permits and Compliance

So, you’re a small business owner looking to set up a market stall. You have your unique product, logo, business cards and stall merchandising ready to go and you’re eager to get started. But, are you aware of the legal obligations for stallholders?

Like any business venture, operating a market stall comes with legalities – whether you’re making products yourself or on-selling from a wholesaler.

Why you should be complaint

Although owning a market stall can be less complex than traditional retail, there are still regulations that apply. These regulations not only protect you and your business, but also your key stakeholders.

Market organisers rely on foot traffic to keep their events afloat. Without it, stallholders won’t purchase spaces at their events and their business suffers. Equally, stallholders rely on events with high foot traffic to sell their product.

If your business isn’t recognised as being compliant, market organisers will not take the risk on you. Even the slightest chance of your products being defective puts the whole event at stake.

For example, say a food vendor was allowed to operate without meeting Food Safety Codes. If said food vendor made all of their customers sick, it is likely that those customers won’t return to the market again. They may even tell their friends and family that they got sick at the event, discouraging them from going. The worst case scenario would be that this information reaches media outlets, damaging the reputation of the event and participating stallholders as a whole.

Although this scenario seems extreme, it is not unlikely and we have seen it occur many times in a variety of industries. Market stall holders are not exempt from encountering these types of issues and therefore need the correct permits and insurance.

How to be compliant

Market stall insurance is usually the first operating requirement that comes to mind. However, there are several additional factors that you need to consider such as operating permits, manufacturing guidelines and product safety compliance.

To assist the increasing number of market stall operators being compliant, the Australian Government has launched a general guide to market stall operating requirementsIn addition to visiting the website, the Australian Government recommends checking with your local Council and complete compliance research using their online tool.  

Food vendors also need to meet the Food Safety Code, State and Territory Food Regulations and any additional requirements from the local Council or Food Authority. Some addition State based details are outlined below:

ACT: Food safety regulation

NSW: Food Authority

NT: Food safety standards

QLD: Food business

SA: Health and hygiene responsibilities for food business

TAS: Food safety for businesses and community organisations

VIC: Food businesses

WA: Food regulation

The types of market stall permits required are dependent on your stall activities and therefore this blog is for general use to help start the research process.

If you want to get the best results out of your market stall venture, check out the Events and Markets Australia Market Stall Workshop. It will show you how to improve sales on and after event day by using marketing techniques tailored for events, markets and fairs.