Whitehorse City Council

Licence/Regulations & Approvals for Business

Development Approvals

Obtaining appropriate approval(s) from Council can play a critical part in the success of any business enterprise – whether you are starting a business, expanding a business, changing the nature of our business activities or the location of your premises.

To help speed up the permit approval processes, business owners are encouraged to:

  • First check with Council to confirm whether a permit is needed for some, or all, aspects of your business
  • Discuss your plans with Council Officers before you lodge your application, to ensure you avoid all possible pitfalls
  • Submit an application for a permit (if required), which can be obtained from the Council
  • Provide Council with all required information and supporting material. Be prepared with plans, accompanying letters/reports, or even photographs that describe your business precisely
  • Adequately describe the nature of the business. Information that may be required might include - area requirements, number of employees and patrons, operating hours, transport and parking needs (including use of street trading) and any off-site effects such as odour, noise and general image 
  • Speak to owners of surrounding businesses, or your neighbours, to advise them of what you propose to do. If they have no objections, it is likely that your permit will be approved quickly

Working from Home

Planning controls have been introduced to make operating a business from home easier. Home-based businesses are now able to have one employee and floor space of 50 square metres, or one-third of the gross floor area of the family home (whichever is less) without requiring a planning permit.

If a permit is obtained, home based businesses are permitted a maximum of two employees and floor space of 100 square metres, or one-third of the gross floor area of the family home, (whichever is less).

A number of other requirements still need to be met to ensure the amenity of the neighbourhood is not adversely affected by an occupation conducted in or from a dwelling. Contact the Planning Unit for an information sheet.

Liquor Licences

There are a number of requirements that you must comply with if you intend to sell or serve liquor from your business premises. Contact the Planning Unit for an information sheet.

The following Council departments will guide you through Council's processes and assist with your business venture.

Council Departments

The following departments will guide you through Council's processes and assist with your business venture.

Planning Unit

The Planning Unit determines where and under what conditions your site can be used and developed. This can include issues such as land use, parking needs, operating hours, outdoor advertising and external works and alterations.

Phone: 9262 6303

Building Unit

The Building Unit deals with alterations, demolitions, new buildings or extensions, to ensure that your business meets fire, safety and structural standards.

Phone: 9262 6421

Environmental Health Unit

The Environmental Health Unit controls the registration of food and health-related businesses to ensure that all health requirements and standards are met.

Phone: 9262 6197

Community Laws Department

The Community Laws Department regulates and issues permits relating to the placement of outdoor furniture, product displays and A-frame footpath signage. The unit also assists in regulating car parking across the City, including ensuring turnover of vital customer car parking. Other services include regulation of pet shops and animal control.

Phone: 9262 6557