Permits and legal requirements

There are a range of compliance steps to move through when starting a new business.

Depending on the type of business you establish, the regulations and permits vary. Here's a short explanation of each, to help you consider what you may need.

Planning permits

A planning permit is a legal document that gives permission for a particular type of use and/or development of a property.

Building permits

A building permit is necessary for construction works undertaken on land or on a property.

Food business

If you are thinking of starting your own food business in fixed premises such as a café, shop, factory or other permanent structure, there are some important steps you will need to follow.

If your business is not a fixed premises, you will need to follow the permit processes for a temporary or mobile food business.

Health and beauty business

All health and beauty businesses need to be registered with the local Council, even if you run a home based business. These include:

  • Hairdressers including mobile and low-risk beauty services (such as eyelash extensions)
  • Tattooists, Body piercing & other skin penetration (such as myotherapy and acupuncture
  • Beauty therapy (such as waxing, threading, manicuring, intense pulsed light and laser)
  • Electrolysis
  • Colonic irrigation

Accommodation business

Several types of businesses providing accommodation services need to be registered annually under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act to ensure basic hygiene standards are met. 

We register and monitor businesses such as:

  • residential accommodation
  • hotels
  • motels
  • hostels
  • student dormitories
  • holiday camps
  • rooming houses
  • some bed and breakfast operations.

Other common permits for a new or expanding business

Business licences and registrations

These include:

  • registering a business name
  • registering for goods and services tax (GST)
  • applying for an Australian Business Name (ABN) or Australian Company Name (ACN)
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding tax
  • fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).

Business Victoria has information on licences and registrations.

Fair trading laws

You can learn about fair trading by visiting the Business Victoria website.

Page last updated: Thursday, 16 September 2021