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.

  • water usage
  • clearing vegetation
  • disposal of waste
  • fire management and safety
  • handling livestock and animals
  • erecting fencing, property or other structures
  • handling, storage and use of chemicals or dangerous substances.

  • approval to conduct fishing activities
  • approval to use certain fishing equipment
  • chemical use in aquaculture
  • protecting marine parks
  • protecting marine life
  • disposal of waste
  • managing fish population
  • aquaculture
  • zoning approvals for production facilities.

  • collecting, felling, transporting and burning timber or forests
  • protecting forests and native plants
  • protecting wildlife
  • disposal of waste
  • fire management and safety
  • water usage or constructing a bore or well
  • handling, storage and use of chemicals or dangerous substances.

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.

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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:

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.

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.

Levies and charges are payable on:

  • Animal products
  • Field crops
  • Game animals
  • Horticulture
  • Live animal export
  • Livestock processing 
  • Poultry
  • Wine

Levies and charges are payable in relation to:

  • farmed prawns
  • fishing permits and licences
  • quota management

Levies and charges are payable in relation to:

  • forest and wood products
  • forest growers

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:


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.

Find support

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

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