Step by step Approval process

Starting a new business or taking over an existing one can be an exciting venture filled with opportunities. However, we understand that navigating the necessary approval processes can sometimes feel overwhelming.

The City of Vincent is committed to supporting small businesses every step of the way. Our aim is to provide you with the guidance, advice, and support you need throughout the approval journey. We believe in fostering a thriving business community and ensuring that your entrepreneurial dreams become a reality.

On this page, you'll find a comprehensive breakdown of the approval procedures involved in starting or taking over a business within our jurisdiction. From permits and licenses to inspections and compliance, we'll walk you through each stage of the process, ensuring that you have the information and resources needed to successfully obtain the necessary approvals.

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Step by step

See below a comprehensive roadmap of the step-by-step approvals process.

This roadmap gives you a clear summary of the essential steps to get the approvals needed for your business. Just click on each step to explore more about the specific details and guidance for that stage.

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What are approvals?

Approvals are the official permissions or licenses that you need to obtain when starting a new business or taking over an existing one. The specific approvals required depend on the type of services and goods you provide. There are three main types of approvals:

  1. Planning Approval: This approval ensures that your business activities align with local zoning regulations and land use plans. It verifies that your business location and operations comply with the designated land-use category.

  2. Building Approval: If you are planning to construct or undertake an internal fit-out for your business, you would need to apply for a Building Permit from the City before you can commence the building work. This ensures that the proposed work complies with existing building standards, fire safety and disabled access requirements. Additionally, if you are changing the use of the building, for example from an office to a restaurant, you would also need to apply for an Occupancy Permit from the City before you can occupy or use the building. The Occupancy Permit verifies that the building is fit of purpose and meets the relevant building legislation and existing building standards.

  3. Health Approval (or Health License): This approval is required for businesses involved in providing food, healthcare, or other services that directly impact public health. It ensures that your business meets health and safety standards to protect customers and employees.

Obtaining these approvals is crucial to operate your business legally and ensures that you meet the necessary standards and regulations set by local authorities.

What types of approvals do I need to start a small business?

The specific approvals required for your small business will vary depending on factors such as location, industry, and business activities. Generally, you may need permits and licenses related to zoning, health and safety, signage, fire safety, and more. It's essential to research and consult with your local government or regulatory agencies to determine the specific approvals you need.

Get a better idea of the approvals you'll need by completing our Approval Self-Assessment Tool.

How long does the approval process typically take?

The duration of the approval process can vary based on several factors, including the complexity of your business activities, the completeness of your application, and the specific requirements of the approving authorities. It is advisable to start the process well in advance and allow sufficient time for reviews, inspections, and any potential revisions or additional documentation that may be requested.

What documents or information will I need to provide during the approval process?

The documentation and information required will depend on the nature of your business and the specific approvals you are seeking. Commonly requested documents include business plans, financial statements, proof of insurance, identification documents, lease agreements, and operational details. It is important to thoroughly review the requirements for each approval and ensure that you have all the necessary documentation ready.

Can I operate my business before obtaining all the required approvals?

In most cases, it is not advisable to operate your business before obtaining all the necessary approvals. Doing so may result in fines, penalties, or even closure of your business. It's crucial to comply with all legal and regulatory requirements to ensure the smooth and lawful operation of your business. Consult with the relevant authorities to understand any temporary or conditional permits that may allow limited operations during the approval process.

What resources or support can the City of Vincent provide during the approval process?

The City of Vincent is dedicated to supporting small businesses throughout the approval process. They can provide guidance, assistance, and resources to help you navigate the requirements. Their services may include information sessions, online resources, dedicated staff for inquiries, and assistance in understanding local regulations and processes. Contact the City of Vincent's business support department for more details on the specific support available.

More information

If you need further information, contact the City of Vincent Business Support on (08) 9273 6000 or

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