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.

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.

See statistics for Australian Industry on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website, which includes the arts and recreation industry. 

Search Electorate Profiles on the Australia Council for the Arts website. This is an interactive tool providing data on arts and culture in each of Australia’s federal electorates

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

Legislation, standards and initiatives

It’s important that you are 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 approvals you may need are outlined in this section.

These events often include artists, musicians, writers, performers and venue operators. The licences and permits you may need include:

  • event permits
  • food vendor permit
  • provision of liquor at functions or venues
  • broadcast of copyright material
  • filming and photography permit
  • event signage permit
  • location of events, including occupation of public spaces
  • operation of machinery at events
  • operation of vehicles and equipment
  • event features, such as fireworks.

These activities often include sports venues and clubs, gyms, amusement parks or horse and dog racing. The licences and permits you may need include:

  • racehorse owner and trainer registration
  • greyhound owner and trainer registration
  • operation of an amusement device
  • event permits
  • food vendor permit
  • provision of liquor at functions or venues
  • broadcast of copyright material.

These businesses include museums, zoos, nature reserves, botanical gardens and parks. The licences and permits you may need include:

The licences and permits you may need include:

  • permit to run a lottery
  • permit to operate gaming machines.

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.

Search now


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 programs including:

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 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.

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 arts and recreation services industry:


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:

Controlling your energy use is one way you can improve environmental and business sustainability.  

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


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.

Find support

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

Was this page helpful?