Business types in this industry

Agriculture businesses include:

  • growers – turf, flowers, vegetables, fruit, nuts, grain and other crops
  • growers using indoor or covered growing techniques and technology
  • farmers – sheep, cattle, poultry, deer and other livestock
  • nurseries.

Forestry businesses are involved with: 

  • forestry gathering and growing activities
  • plantation cultivation
  • plantation harvesting
  • logging activities including logging, hewing, shaping, cutting or felling.

Fishing businesses are involved with: 

  • fishing and aquaculture activities
  • hunting 
  • trapping.

Industry statistics

Industry research is an important part of planning for your business, it may help you identify:

  • economic and industry trends
  • establish or improve your business
  • help you keep pace with your industry.

Check out the profile for the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, on the Labour Market Insights website. This will give you an idea of what's happening in the Australian job market.


See statistics for agriculture industry on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) also provides statistical publications on a range of agriculture and food related topics as well as regional profiles across Australia.


The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry provides Australian forest and wood product statistics.


The Fisheries Research & Development Corporation (FRDC) provides statistics specific to fishing.

Licences and permits

State, territory and local governments manage the licences and permits for the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry. This section details the licences and permits you may need to obtain.

Find the licences and permits you need for your business

Search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to find information on the licences you may need.


The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry has 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.

Additional resources that detail tax measures for this industry include:

Learn more about the GST requirements for primary producers.

Employing people

If you employ staff, you need to comply with Australia’s national workplace laws specific to the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.

Use our checklist for small business owners to help you meet Australian laws when hiring an employee. We’ve also included some tips that might help you through the hiring process.

If you're ready to employ someone, create an employment contract tailored to the award and your business needs.

Grants and programs

Grants for the agriculture industry are available to support businesses that:

  • conduct activities that are innovative
  • conduct research and development activities
  • need additional assistance due to exceptional circumstances
  • engage in sustainable farming, carbon farming or other environmental practices.

Explore grants and programs relevant to your industry

Read about support available under the Agri-Business Expansion Initiative

Levies and charges

Levies and charges are generally used to fund activities that benefit the industry or region as a whole, such as:

  • collect data
  • ensure sustainability
  • manage resources
  • marketing and promotion
  • plant and animal health programs
  • research and development
  • residue testing

The main levies and charges that apply to agriculture, forestry and fishing are outlined in this section.

Find out more about industry levies and whether they apply to your business.

For fishing, find additional information about licensing, quotas and levies.

Workplace health and safety (WHS)

There are general work health and safety regulations for all businesses, however there are state and territory WHS requirements that apply to businesses in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry:

Learn more about state-specific WHS requirements.


The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has tips for reducing your energy costs in their agriculture industry sector guide.

Intellectual property

There are Intellectual Property (IP) rights that might be relevant to agriculture, forestry and fishing businesses such as:

  • Patents which protects inventions such as new machinery, systems or processes.
  • Plant Breeder’s Rights (PBR) which protects new plant varieties and grants exclusive rights to the plant breeder to use, sell and distribute the plant and receive royalties.

Learn more about the IP options available to you.

Find support

If you need advice or support, consider getting help from your industry association, a business adviser, accountant or legal professional.

Read next

Find out more about product safety, labelling, warranty and refund regulations.

Find out more about insurance options for your business.