Starting, expanding or buying a business

People working on a laptop at the O Space

Thanks for choosing the Borough as a place to start or grow your business. Whether you've got plans for a new business and want to get started, or are taking over or expanding an existing business, you'll need permission from Council to operate.

We understand that it can be difficult to know where to start, so we've created this webpage as a roadmap to help you understand the permit application process and the impact of regulations on your plans.

What types of permits might my business need?

There are a range of permits or registrations your business might need including:

  • Planning – includes permits for operating a business and/or licensed premises, development of land, displaying business signage and other statutory planning requirements
  • Building – includes building permits that relate to the method of construction of a building or development, and the use of the building to ensure it meets relevant building codes
  • Health – includes registration and certificates required for wastewater and septic systems, food premises, accommodation premises, hairdressers, beauty premises and tattoo premises
  • Local laws – includes footpath trading permits and domestic animal business permits.

What are my next steps?


Spend time now preparing to get your application right. Providing the right information and using the professional assistance of a quality draftsperson or planning consultant (if required) can save time on the assessment and may get your business trading sooner.

What is your business idea?

Start by writing down what you know about your business project. You'll need to be able to describe the type of business you want to set up and how it will operate in some detail.

What permits do I need?

Permit support meeting

If you need multiple permits, our Economic Development team can arrange a meeting with you and the relevant Council departments to get advice on what information you'll need to include in your application. Simply complete the Business Permit Checklist (above) and we'll contact you to arrange a meeting. These meetings are free.

You are ready to apply!

Once you have your business proposal, know which permits you need to apply for and what information you need to provide, you're ready to apply.


Once Council has sent you the relevant permit application forms, you can then return the completed forms to and we'll progress your application.


Once your permit application form has been submitted, we'll begin assessing your application.

Receiving the application

A team member from each relevant department will be assigned to your application, and they'll contact you to advise the expected timelines to assess your application. You're welcome to contact them to check on the status of your application. The Economic Development team also will be available as a point of contact throughout this process.

Permit payments

There are standard fees that apply to all permit types. The details of your application will determine the exact fees and charges. A team member from the relevant department will contact you after you submit your application to confirm the final fee and payment details.

Requests for further information

You might receive a request for further information during the assessment phase. Please be prompt in responding to any requests, as a slow response may delay a decision on your application.


Once we've finished our assessment, we will be in touch to confirm our decision. If your application is approved, we'll email you a copy of your permit or registration and, where appropriate, hard copies will also be mailed to you.

When you're ready to open the doors, our Economic Development team will assist you to hit the ground running by flagging services that will help your business to grow and succeed.

Thank you for choosing the Borough of Queenscliffe as a place to start or grow your business.

Who can I contact for support?

Our Economic Development team are available to provide advice and support for businesses. We're your first point of contact before you apply, during the application process, and after you open the doors.

We can provide information up-front and discuss the steps you'll need to take to open your business. We'll clarify who to speak to and the support available from Council or other organisations, based on your circumstances.

At any time, we're here to give you the right information before you sign a lease or purchase a property, to avoid you making costly mistakes. You can call us on (03) 5258 1377, or email us at