Supermarkets, Book Store or Hairdresser

Shop is a broad reference to premises where retail goods are sold or available for hire, such as supermarkets, newsagents and stores selling clothes, books or the like. It also includes premises where personal services are provided such as hairdressers, tattoo studios and beauty therapy.

Shop doesn’t include the selling of liquor, which would be considered as a liquor store.

You don’t need planning approval for your Shop if:

  1. It is located in a Mixed Use, Local Centre, District Centre, Regional Centre or Commercial zone. To check your properties zoning, open our Online Maps. Then search your property address at the bottom of the page and refer to the “LPS2 Zone” of your property at the top right of the page.
  1. It is located in a Mixed Use zone, it does not have a floor area more than 300 square metres.

If your Shop does not meet these conditions then it needs planning approval. To check what you need to do to get planning approval see here.

If your Shop does meet these conditions then it doesn’t need planning approval. 

Whether you need planning approval or not, you may still need the following approvals:

Building Permit Approval 

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 & Occupancy Permits for Commercial Fitouts

Building Services Information

Building Application Forms

Have any questions? Give our Building team a call on 9273 6000 between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday or email us at

Health Approval

Food Business

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

Any retail food shop which requires health assessment or approval will require an Environmental Health Officer to come out to the property and complete a final inspection before your business can open. This will ensure the premises complies with the relevant health laws. If all requirements are met, then a certificate or letter will be issued.


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, Hairdressers & Body Art

Have any questions? Give our Health team a call on 9273 6000 between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday or email us at

Occupancy Permit Approval

An occupancy permit must be obtained from the City before a commercial tenancy or building can be occupied. This is required to change the use or classification of a building.

An occupancy permit relates to the building, and not to the owner or occupier. This means that subsequent tenants may do renovation, fit out or minor works that does not involve a change of use or classification without needing to obtain a new occupancy permit.

A copy or details of the occupancy permit must be displayed at or near the principal entrance to the building so that it is clearly visible to occupiers and other people using the building.

For more information on occupancy permits please visit the following webpages:

Occupancy Permits

Building & Occupancy Permits for Commercial Fitouts

Once you have got the required approvals then you can open your Shop and start operating!

Some other information which may be useful is available here:

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