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Permits, zoning & approvals

Know which changes will need permits and approvals.

On this page

  • Find out common planning and building permit applications
  • Know what steps to take to increase your chances of getting approved

The best starting point: speak to your local council

Contact your local council's building or planning department to check which permits and approvals you'll need when you want to set up or make fit-out changes to your retail shop, office, commercial or business premises.

Local councils often have specific requirements. Most will want you speak to them before you make any decisions. They'll also be able to tell you if you need a building or planning permit. Speaking to your council is an important step in the process — even if you've been through it before.

Use the Find your Local Council map to find your council’s website and contact details.

Common planning and building permit applications

Situations where you'll probably need a planning or building permit for a shop or commercial premises are:

  • setting up your store, food premises or other business
  • changing the existing shop front
  • attaching signage to the building
  • updating the internal fit-out of your premises
  • putting outdoor seating or heaters on a footpath.

The Department of Planning and Community Development website explains the steps involved in applying for a planning permit if you need one.

What you can do early on

Before you sign your lease or buy your property, it's a good idea to: