Business approvals - Shops

Shop is a broad reference to premises where retail goods are sold or available for hire, or where personal services are provided such as hairdressers, barbers and beauty therapy. Shop doesn’t include the selling of liquor, which would be considered as a liquor store.

As a guide the following approvals are typically required if you are intending to open a shop

Step 1 - Planning

Depending on the area where you intend to operate your shop, you may be exempt from requiring planning approval. Planning approval is not required where:

  • Shop is identified as a P use under the City’s Local Planning Scheme; and
  • There is no increase in floor area, alteration to the design of the building or requires an increase in parking bays.

More information on change of use applications can be found on the following webpage:

Planning applications

If you have any questions, please speak to a Planning Officer on 9273 6000 or email

Step 2 - Building

Check to see whether you require a building permit. Generally, all works involving alterations and additions will require a building permit. Where a simple fit out is proposed, and only movable furniture is being replaced or painting and decorating is being carried out, a building permit will generally not be required. 

In most cases, proposed partitioning works for shop, office and warehouse fit outs will affect the way the building complies with an applicable Building Standard and will require a building permit. 

For example, including but not limited to: 

  • Fit out changes that affect the existing path of travel to a required exit will affect the way the building complies with the egress provisions of the Building Code. 
  • Changes to access requirements (accessible paths of travel, corridor widths, door widths and doorways etc.) 
  • Internal and/or external alterations resulting in the relocation of, changes to, existing services (sprinkler systems, fire hydrant coverage, smoke detection and alarm systems, emergency lighting and exit signs, mechanical ventilation systems etc.)

For information on the building permit process please visit the following webpages:

Building Services information

Building application forms

If you have any questions, please speak to a Building Surveyor on 9273 6000 or email

Step 3 - Health

food businesses

Selling food? Any retail food shop is classed as a food business under the Food Act 2008 and must be registered with the City.

For more information on the registration process, approval requirements and to download an application form please click the following link:

Food businesses

Hairdressing & beauty therapy

If you are considering opening a hairdressing or beauty therapy shop then a health assessment is required. The City must ensure any skin penetration procedure provided (see definition below) is carried out in a safe and hygienic manner as required under the Health (Skin Penetration Procedure) Regulations 1998 and its Code of Practice.

A skin penetration procedure means a procedure in which the skin is cut, punctured, torn or shaved; or a mucous membrane is cut, punctured or torn. This definition includes a variety of body treatments such as tattooing, body piercing and modifications; and beauty therapy treatments such as waxing, threading and shaving.

The skin penetration law doesn’t apply to medical practitioners, dentists, a person under the supervision of a medical practitioner, podiatrists, nurses, any other person registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (external site).

For more information on the City’s assessment process, requirements and to download the Hairdressing & Skin Penetration Procedure notification form please click the following link:

Skin penetration, beauty therapy, hairdressing and body art

If you have any questions, please speak to an Environmental Health Officer on 9273 6000 or email

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