Gain an understanding of the legal, operational and business issues relevant to the arts and recreation services industryThe arts and recreation services industry includes:

  • live performances, events or exhibits (for example, artists, musicians, writers, performers and venue operators)
  • sporting or recreational activities (for example, sports venues, gyms, sports clubs, amusement parks, horse and dog racing)
  • the preservation and exhibition of historical, cultural or educational objects (for example, museums, zoos, nature reserves, botanical gardens and parks)
  • gambling activities (for example, casino, online gambling and lottery operators)

You should also check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business. For further advice and assistance, contact your accountant, solicitor or business adviser. You may also wish to consult with an industry association or group for more information and advice on your industry.

Legislation, standards and initiatives

You must be aware of the laws that apply to the arts and recreation services industry.
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Licences and permits

State or territory governments manage the licences and permits for the arts and recreation services industry. The licences and permits you may need depend on the type of event or business you manage.
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Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS)

Find the licences and permits you need for your arts and recreation services business.


Arts and recreation services industry businesses have 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.

Visit the ATO website to learn more about the GST requirements when you conduct gambling activities.

Cultural organisations can receive gifts or donations through two programs:

If you maintain gaming machines as part of your business, ensure you comply with state or territory tax regulations. Contact your local revenue office for details.


The arts and recreation services industry has grants available to promote art and creativity within communities, support the development of artists and assist cultural and community events.

Eligible Australian authors and creators can participate in the Public lending rights scheme. The scheme recognises the income that authors and creates lose through educational libraries where their books and work is available for free.

Employing people

If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the accommodation and food services industry.

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for awards specific to your industry.

The arts and recreation services industry presents opportunities for apprentices and trainees with flexible hours and on-the-job training. If you take on an apprentice or trainee, you can access government support and financial help.

Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)

In additional to the general occupational health and safety regulations for all businesses, the arts and recreation services industry also has state-specific WHS requirements. These include:

  • manual handling of equipment
  • working with dangerous animals
  • biosecurity when working with animals
  • zoo safety for the protection of staff and general public
  • working at height
  • noise and vibration
  • working with electricity
  • working alone
  • vehicles and equipment safety
  • preparing for emergency evacuations

Visit the Safe Work Australia website for state-specific WHS requirements.


The preservation and conservation of flora and fauna are core to many businesses in the arts and recreation services industry. The main environmental issues that businesses in the arts and recreation services industry should understand include:


Alongside compulsory insurances, the arts and recreation services industry has specific insurances. These insurances include:

  • public liability
  • artists and performers
  • artwork
  • cultural objects
  • props and costumes
  • art and musical equipment
  • events, including event cancellation
  • sporting players and teams
  • vehicles and machinery
  • zoo and aquarium animals

Government organisations

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