Business types in this industry

The arts and recreation services industry includes:

Live performances, events or exhibits

  • artists
  • musicians
  • writers
  • performers
  • venue operators

Sporting or recreational activities

  • sports venues
  • gyms
  • sports clubs
  • amusement parks
  • horse racing
  • dog racing

The preservation and exhibition of historical, cultural or educational objects

  • museums
  • zoos
  • nature reserves
  • botanical gardens
  • parks

Gambling activities

  • casino
  • online gambling
  • lottery operators

COVID19 support

If your business has been affected by COVID-19, you can find financial assistance and support on our coronavirus information and support page.

COVID-19 work health and safety for your industry

It’s important to keep workers safe and limit the spread of COVID-19. You can find the latest information and resources for your industry on the Safe Work Australia website.

Legislation, standards and initiatives

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

Licences and permits

State, territory and local 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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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.


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.

Cultural organisations can receive gifts or donations through 2 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.

Learn more about the GST requirements when you conduct gambling activities.


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.

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.

Browse a list of industry and occupation awards to find the one that applies to your industry.

Create an employment contract tailored to the award and your business needs.

Workplace health and 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

Learn more about 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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Further advice and assistance

Check our general business information for additional regulations and obligations relevant to your business.

For further advice and assistance, consider contacting your accountant, solicitor, business adviser or industry association.

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