Dairy distributor

Once you make the decision to start a dairy distribution business, there are several steps to follow before you can legally operate.

Take a look at each of the sections below for all the information you'll need to get started, including a checklist of requirements before you apply for a dairy licence with Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV).

To operate a dairy distributor business in Victoria you are required under the Dairy Act 2000 to be licensed with DFSV and comply with the conditions of that licence. Dairy distributor licence holders must also comply with all relevant provisions of the Food Act 1984 and the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code in the conduct of the dairy business and the handling, storage and distribution of dairy food.

The Victorian dairy licence handbook outlines what is required to obtain and operate under a DFSV dairy licence and the Dairy distributor guideline provides further information about how to comply.

  1. Check eligibility
    Contact DFSV before applying if dairy products are a small portion of the total product mix you distribute in your business, you are already licensed with council, or are not storing product on your premises.

  2. Ensure your premises meets the requirements
    Your premises and equipment must comply with relevants provisions of the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code to ensure dairy foods are protected during storage and distribution to prevent chemical, microbiological and physical contamination.

  3. Establish records
    Dairy distributors are required under the Food Act to maintain records with respect to temperature control and traceability of product. Further information on the records you are required by law to keep is available in the DFSV Dairy distributor guideline.

  4. Ensure adequate skills
    Ensure you have the necessary skills and competency to manage food safety in your business. 

Need help?
If you have any questions or need more information contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or  03 9810 5900.

A dairy distributor licence must be held by the person or entity in charge of operating the business and therefore ultimately responsible for the safety of the dairy food handled.

If you plan to operate at more than one site each site must be licensed separately with DFSV or if two separate businesses operate from the same premises, each may be required to hold a licence.


Submitting your application

Applications for new licences, licence transfers and licence cancellations can be completed online, along with credit card payment of the relevant application fee.

Apply now

Alternatively, forms can be downloaded and printed. Return completed forms to DFSV with applicable payments made by cheque or EFT.

New licence (distributor)        New licence (vendor)        Cancel a licence

Licence transfers
If you are planning to take over a current licence to operate a dairy business held by another person or company, you must apply for a licence transfer. Please do not apply for a new licence.
You can either apply online or download and print the Licence transfer (distributor) or  Licence transfer (dairy vendor) application form. Further information on licence transfers is available here.

Click  here for information to assist you to complete your application


Please note that it is an offence under the Dairy Act 2000 to commence operations prior to the licence being issued by Dairy Food Safety Victoria.

Once your application is received a DFSV food safety manager will make contact with you within 10 business days.

In order to assist DFSV in processing your application within 60 business days from receipt, please ensure that:

  • The application form is complete and includes relevant payment, and
  • A record keeping process meets DFSV Dairy distributor guidelines 

The distributor premise should also be compliant with the relevant legislation.

If these conditions are not met your licence application may not be progressed within this period and may be subject to cancellation after 6 months from the date of application.

Application fee

The one-off application fee for new dairy distributor licences is $190.00


Licence transfer fee

If applying for the transfer of a dairy distributor licence, a fee of $190.00 must be submitted to DFSV with your application form.


Licence fees

These are paid annually and are based on finished product volumes or weights of the dairy food distributed.

Where a business distributes dairy and non-dairy food, it is currently only the volume/weight of the dairy food distributed that is used to calculate the fees.

Dairy distributor (incl. dairy food vendor) – by volume and weight

Rate per annum
Any volume and weight$121.00