Licensing and Registration

All public health activities are regulated by the ACT Health Protection Service. ACT Health requires licences and registrations for all food businesses, cooling towers, warm water systems, drinking water, infection control, radiation safety and approval to supply needles and syringes.

Please see below for more information and helpful links.

You can discuss your licencing, registrations and obligations with our public health officers on 02 5124 9700 or

Cooling Tower Systems

Cooling tower systems are regulated under the Public Health Act 1997 to minimise potential risks to public health. In particular, from exposure to Legionella bacteria.

The registration is issued to the owner of the cooling tower system, who is the person(s) who will have the overall responsibility for the system, including responsibility for any contraventions of the Act.

Alternatively download these forms:

Community Pharmacies

Community pharmacies in the ACT need to be licensed under the Public Health Act 1997. In addition, community pharmacy licence holders need to comply with the Public Health (Community Pharmacy) Code of Practice 2016 (No 1).

Drinking Water Utilities

Drinking water utilities are licenced under the Public Health Act 1997.

Download these forms to apply for licence or vary an existing licence:

Food Businesses

The Food Act 2001 requires most ACT food businesses to be registered with the Health Protection Service.


Hairdressing businesses do not need a licence to operate in the ACT.

The Health Protection Service will investigate any public health complaints from the community that concern your hairdressing business.


The ACT Health Hairdressing Guidelines 2015 are based on the key principles of infection control.

The guidelines provide a set of infection prevention and control standards for hairdressing businesses to follow.

They include implementation of best practice hygiene procedures for:

  • personnel hygiene
  • equipment cleaning
  • premises cleaning
  • workplace health and safety.
Infection Control Licenses

Any business that performs skin penetration procedures must hold an infection control licence.

How to apply

You can either:

You must include:

  • a copy of the proposed floor plans, compliant with the Infection Control Code of Practice
  • copy of current photographic identification – a driver’s licence, passport or proof of identity, or proof of age card.

Applying as a company

Each company must nominate an authorised agent to make the application. The authorised agent must provide a copy of their photographic identification.

If your company is a corporation, you must also provide a copy of your current Company Extract issued by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This must be issued in the 30 days before applying.

The cost is $215.80 for 12 months.

Existing licences

Vary an existing licence

You can update a trading name, contact or postal address details or let us know about a refurbishment by applying online to vary an existing licence.

Transfer of ownership

To transfer ownership of a licence, you can either

The cost is $88.20 as a one-off fee.

Change location

You must notify us if you intend to change location by completing a new activity licence application.


You can discuss your infection control licencing and obligations with a public health officer by phoning 02 5124 9700 or emailing

Medicines and Poisons

Individuals or businesses may apply for a licence or permit to deal with a medicine or poison under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008. Information on the different types of licences, as well as application forms is available on the Medicines and poisons licences and permits page.

Needle and Syringe Program

This form is used to apply for approval to supply syringes under the Public Health Act 1997. Applicants must have completed an approved training program conducted by Directions Health Services.

Apply for approval to supply syringes

Radiation Licences and Source Registrations

Licences are required for any individual or organisation which deals with a radiation source. All radiation sources must be registered.

Information on Radiation Licences

Information on Radiation Source Registration


As part of the ACT Government's commitment to reducing red tape, boarding houses and hairdressing businesses will no longer require a licence under the ACT Public Health Act 1997 to operate.

It is important to note that even though boarding houses and hairdressing are no longer licensable public health risk activities, the Health Protection Service retains regulatory powers under the Act to address any condition that is, or may become, a public health risk or be offensive to community health standards. 

Page last updated on: 2 Jan 2024