Starting, expanding or buying a business

Thank you for choosing Nillumbik as a place to start or grow your business.

Whether you have plans for a new business and want to get started, or are taking over or expanding an existing business, you may need permission from Council to operate. 

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

Infographic - Business Approvals.jpg


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 subdividing land, use of land, use of building for business, displaying signs, street trading and other statutory planning requirements. (Click here for more information on Planning Permits)
  • 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. (Click here for more information on Building Permits)
  • Health - includes registration and certificates required for wastewater and septic systems, food premises, accommodation premises, hairdressers, beauty premises and tattoo premises. (Click here for more information about Health Permits)
  • Community Safety - includes traders' parking permits, domestic animal business permits, and footpath trading permits for furniture, display items or A frames placed on the footpath or on council land. (Click here for more information on Community Safety Permits)

We have developed a Business Permit Checklist to help you determine which permits may apply. Once the checklist is submitted, a Council officer can provide you with detailed information in regard what permits you may require and how to apply. You can view the checklist here, or in the Prepare section below.



Get started by clicking on the Prepare section below.


1. Prepare

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 the doors to your business open sooner.

What is your business idea? 

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

Background research

These links below provide you with a range of advice and tools to assist your business preparation:

Our Business Kit also provides some useful information for businesses in Nillumbik.  

What permits do I need?

Whether you are starting, buying or expanding your business, you may need permission from council to operate.

The information you provide will allow a Council officer to ascertain which permits you may need as well as providing you with the next steps with regard to applying for a permit if necessary.

Click here to view form.

Permit support meeting

If you need multiple permits, the 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 will contact you to arrange a meeting. These meetings are free.

You are ready to apply!

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

2. Apply

Once you have completed the Business Permit Checklist (see the Prepare section above) and spoken with our team to confirm which permit(s) apply to your business, you are ready to apply.

In mid-2020, we will be launching a streamlined application form, which will allow you to submit applications for most permits using a single form. Stay tuned!

To find out more about...

3. Assessment

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

Receiving the application

A team member from each relevant department will be assigned to your application, and they will contact you to advise the expected timelines to assess your application. You are 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 may 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.

4. Outcome

Once we have finished our assessment, we will be in touch to confirm our decision.

If your application is approved, we will email you a copy of your permit or registration and, where appropriate, hard copies will also be mailed to you.

When you are 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 Nillumbik as a place to start or grow your business. 


Support - Economic Development team

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 learn more about the Economic Development team here, call us on 03 9433 3128, email us at or provide your details below and we'll call at a time that suits you. This is a free service.