A market stall is a temporary structure that you set up to sell your products or service. You can sell any type of product or service from handmade jewellery to fresh produce or clothing.

Market stalls are one way for you to test your product with customers or expand your business. You’ll likely need some type of registration, licence, permit or insurance to run your stall. These are important to protect you and the investments you've made in your business.


Many market organisers require you to insure your stall in case things go wrong. You may need both public liability and product liability insurance to make sure you're covered. You might also consider professional indemnity insurance to help cover the cost of any legal action.

Some insurance providers will sell insurance packages specifically for market stall holders (sometimes called 'Market Trading Insurance').

If the market you intend to sell your goods at offers insurance as a part of the registration fee, make sure you understand exactly what you're covered for. If you feel more comfortable, obtain your own insurance in addition to the insurance on offer from the market. Make sure that your insurance package includes your set up and pack down time.

Understand your insurance options

Consider if you require:

  • public liability insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • product liability insurance

Review the difference between the insurances to make sure you understand what you need.

Footpath usage

If your market stall obstructs the footpath, you may need to obtain a footpath usage or obstruction permit from your local council. This permit helps to protect public safety and ensures that we maintain the natural environment.

You can find out from the market organiser if they obtain this permit on your behalf, or if you need to obtain one yourself.

If you need a footpath usage/obstruction permit to hold a market stall, you can search the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to find one relevant to your local council.

Labels and measurements

If you sell goods by measurement (e.g. weight, length or volume), you need to comply with trade measurement laws. Trade measurement laws cover how you measure and label your goods and the measurement tools, such as scales, that you use. Your legal requirements may differ depending on the type of product and quantity you sell.

Check the trade measurement laws to make sure you comply with the measurement requirements for your market stall product.

Product safety

You’re legally required to sell goods that are safe to use and free from defects that may cause injury. Our product safety rules and standards page provides information on product safety requirements and product laws in your state or territory.

Food market stalls

Market stall owners selling food or products for consumption often must comply with additional legal obligations.

Temporary food stall licence

Whether you sell your prize-winning 'cronuts' or freshly blitzed organic smoothies, you'll likely need a temporary food stall licence from your local council.

Temporary food stall licences are available from most local councils for a set period of time. For example, the Brisbane City local council offers one-off temporary food stall licences (for multiple consecutive days) or an annual licence that covers a single location for weekends and/or public holidays.

Use the ABLIS Find a form search tool to find the temporary food stall licence you need from your local council.

Food safety standards

The food you sell at a market must comply with the Food Standards Code (the Code).

Food safety standards make sure that the food supplied is safe and suitable for people to eat.

To make sure you meet your obligations, familiarise yourself with the Code, in particular Food Safety Practices and General Requirements Standard 3.2.2.

Obligations can include how you manage:

  • temperature control
  • cleanliness
  • hand washing
  • labelling

Some temporary food businesses may be able to apply for exemptions to some of these standards. Check with your local council to find out if you're exempt from any of the requirements.

We also recommend that you contact the market organiser in advance, and find out what facilities and practices they have in place for food safety, such as:

  • where to find the closest bathroom
  • what kind of access you'll have to water at your stall
  • how to dispose of food scraps and food waste

Some local councils conduct inspections at market stalls to check that good food safety practices are being followed. Be prepared and make sure your stall complies.

State and territory food safety regulations

Food safety regulations can vary between states, territories and local councils. Become familiar with your local obligations so you’re certain that you comply:

Read next

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