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Business types in this industry

The forestry industry includes individuals and business engaged in activities which include:

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

Legislation, standards and initiatives

Licences and permits

State, territory and local governments manage the licences and permits for the forestry industry.

The licences and permits you may need include:

  • 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.


The forestry industry 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.

Additional resources that detail tax measures for the forestry industry include:

Levies and charges

Levies and charges fund activities that benefit the industry such as:

  • research and development
  • marketing and promotion

The main levies that apply to the forestry industry include levies on:

  • forest and wood products
  • forest growers

Additional levies and charges apply if you import or export forestry products.

Find out if levies and charges apply to your business.

Employ people

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

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)

All businesses must comply with general occupational health and safety  regulations. The forestry industry also has state specific WHS requirements. These include:

  • safety standards for separation of activities
  • safety standards for maintaining safe distances
  • standards for occupational safety signage
  • standards for protective clothing and equipment
  • manual handling safety standards
  • workplace noise management
  • prevention of falls
  • handling & storage of hazardous substances

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

Read the guide to growing and managing forests.


Forestry businesses often rely heavily on the environment and stand to have the biggest benefits and impacts. The main environmental issues that businesses in the forestry industry should understand include:

  • sustainability
  • reporting requirements
  • waste management and reduction

Intellectual Property

The forestry industry and its businesses have access to protecting their general intellectual property. Other IP rights that may be relevant to the forestry industry include:

  • Patents which protects inventions such as new machinery, new systems or new processes
  • Plant Breeder's Rights 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.


Alongside compulsory insurances, the forestry industry has specific insurances. These insurances can cover:

  • equipment and machinery
  • property and buildings
  • vehicles
  • business interruption
  • forests

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.