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Research your location

Find a profitable position.

On this page

  • Location options and business needs
  • Council permits
  • Market research
  • Visit locations

Consider your options and business needs

When you're researching a location, consider these basic points:

  • will the local council let me run this business in this location? 
  • can I get a permit to extend, modify or renovate the premises?
  • could future development plans make the location unsuitable?
  • how close do I need to be to my customers, clients and suppliers? 
  • how much competition is in the local and surrounding area? 
  • are the transport, parking and delivery facilities adequate? 
  • does the location reflect the image my business is aiming for?

To help your business succeed, research these questions early in your decision making process. There are many tools and services to help you make an informed decision before signing your business lease, or buying a premises.

Contact your local council for zoning, building and planning permit questions

Learn more about how to gather this information for your prospective premises by reading the Business permits, zoning and approvals page. This covers business zones, heritage listing, council planning help and permit applications. You can also get a free basic property report from the Land Victoria website with planning zone maps, planning provisions and more.

Do your own market research

Look at where your competition is located. Decide whether it is of benefit to be close to your competition, or to set up in a new area that has shown a need for your services or products.

Learn more by reading our Do market research section.

Get out and visit your preferred locations

Many businesses fail because there's not enough passing foot traffic, or the shop is too hard to get to, or there's nowhere to park. As part of your research, take the time to observe a location to make sure there are potential customers and the site is accessible. Your personal observations will be much more reliable than real estate advertisements, e.g. 'prime location'. Check parking meters, bus stops, and free parking in the area, and if there are clearway zones during peak hours of traffic and business.

If you're overseas or interstate and thinking about Victoria as an option for your business, Invest Victoria has some good data on why Melbourne is a great choice.