Commercial building

Commercial buildings have various uses, including factories, warehouses, shops, schools and sporting venues. The Building Code of Australia classes these types of buildings as Classes 2 – 9, depending on the proposed use.

What can I build?

The Building Code of Australia (BCA), together with the City’s Town Planning Scheme and adopted policies, has specific minimum and maximum requirements relating to the construction and location of commercial buildings. The class of building, number of storeys, location, layout and size of the building determine these requirements.

The Building Code of Australia is complex; advice regarding the design of your proposed building should be sought from your Architect or registered Private Building Surveyor.

All Class 2 to 9 buildings over 500m2 are required to be reviewed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES). Visit the DFES website for further information:

Do I need a building permit?

The Building Act 2011 states that a Building Permit is required for all new commercial buildings. Renovation, repair and improvement to a commercial building also requires a Building Permit if the proposed work affects how the building complies with each applicable standard or alters the structural integrity of the building.

How long does it take to get a building permit for a commercial building?

The Building Act 2011 sets time frames in which the City has to assess and determine an application for a Building Permit. The City has up to 10 business days from the date of lodgement to assess a certified application and issue a Building Permit.

It is important that you are aware of allowed time frames prior to lodging your application and that your application documentation is complete.

Should further information be required by the City in order to assess the building application, the applicant may be given up to 21 calendar days in which to provide the outstanding information. If the information is not received within the 21 days, the application may be refused unless a mutual consent has been granted for a further 21 days.

Uncertified Building Applications (BA2)

The City can only accept certified applications for all commercial class 2 to 9 buildings (see below).

Certified Building Applications (BA1)

A Certified Building Application must be submitted for Class 2 to 9 structures.

Prior to lodging a Certified Building Application to the City, a private Building Surveying Practitioner would need to be engaged to issue a Certificate of Design Compliance.

How long until my permit expires?

A Building Permit is valid for two years from the date on which it was granted.

If more time is required to complete the building works, you can apply for an extension of time of up to a further six months by making a formal application and paying the prescribed fee.

What happens when I have completed my building works?

The nominated builder on the Building Permit must submit a Notice of Completion BA7 form to the City within seven days of completing the prescribed building works.

If you would like to submit an application to build a commercial building, you will need to include the following information in your application:

  • A complete BA1 (certified) application form
    • Including all owner's details, construction materials and costings
    • Signed by all owners
    • Signed by a registered builder, including the builder's registration number or owner-builder approval where the value of works is greater than $20,000
    • Applicant's contact details

BA1 application forms are available from the City's website, Building and Energy or from the front counter of the City's Administration Centre

  • A Certificate of Design Compliance.

This must be issued by a registered Building Surveying Practitioner and include all documentation as referenced on the Certificate of Design Compliance

  • Payment of fees

Refer to the City's Fees and Charges for full fee details (here). Fee details are also available from the front counter of the City's Administration Centre.

  • Building Construction Industry Training Fund (BCITF) levy payment form (for building works greater than $20,000)

Required in full and signed for works over $20,000 - refer to the City's Fees and Charges for details click (here).

  • Site plan drawn to scale (1:200), showing:
    • Location of the new structure
    • Details of all floors including basements/carparking
    • Location of all existing structures on the property
    • Measurement from the boundaries to the proposed structure
    • Location of any septic tanks and leach drains (if applicable)

Construction details drawn to scale (1:100), showing:

    • Detailed floor plans and elevations
    • Cross-section details
  • Structural Engineer's certification
  • Accessibility certification
  • Energy Efficiency Assessment
  • Mechanical certification
  • Fire Services certification
  • Hydraulic certification
  • Acoustic report
  • Electrical certification
  • Specifications
  • DFES approval
  • Planning approval
  • Construction Management Plan

More information

This information is intended as a guide only. The City disclaims any liability for damages sustained by a person acting on the basis of this information.

For more information please contact the City's building services team on 9273 6000 or email

Was this page helpful?