Starting, Expanding or Buying a Business

Do you have plans for a new business and want to get started? Are you taking over or expanding an existing business?

What type of permits might my business need?

The video below will help to explain what different permits you might need

There are a range of permits or registrations your business might need including:

  • Planning Permit
    includes permits for subdividing land, use of land, use of building for business, displaying signs, street trading and other statutory planning requirements.  
  • Building Permit
    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.
  • Environmental Health Registration
    includes registration and certificates required for food premises, accommodation premises, hairdressers, beauty and tattoo premises.
  • Local Laws Permit
    includes permits for seating or objects placed on the footpath or on council land including A frames and signage.

We understand that it can be difficult to know where to start. That is why we have created this webpage as a roadmap to help you understand the impact of regulations on your plans.

In the "Prepare" section below, you will find a Permit Checklist to understand which permits may apply and information on our Business Support service offered by our Economic Development team.


Spend time now preparing to get your application right. Providing the right information the first time can save time on the assessment and may get the doors to your business open sooner.

What is your business idea?
Start with 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 details.

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

Economic Development Team
The Economic Development Team is the first point of contact for business customers that are starting a business for the first time or those needing help to expand.

The service is designed to provide you with information up-front and to discuss the steps you need to take to open your business. The team will clarify who to speak to and the support available from Council or other organisations.

At any time, we are here to give the right information before you sign a lease or purchase a property to avoid you making costly mistakes.

You can contact us on 5559 4800 or

This is a free service.

Permit Support Meeting
If you need multiple permits, the Economic Development Team can coordinate a meeting with you and the relevant Council departments to get advice on the information to include in your application. These meetings are free.

What permits do I need?

Use the Permit Checklist below to help you understand the types of permits you may need for your business. It takes around three minutes.

Your Details

General information about experience and nature of business

Type of Business
Is any part of this business being operated from your home?
Is your business mobile? [e.g. Food Truck, Dog Wash, Hairdresser]
Will you trade on council land at any time?

Property Details

Have you signed a lease, or do you own the building?

Planning Permit Indicators

Planning Permit Indicator fields

Building Permit Indicators

Building Permit Indicator Fields

Public Health Registration Indicators

Public Health Registration Indicators fields

Local Laws Permit Indicators

Local Laws Permit Indicators fields

Heritage & Cultural Heritage

Heritage & Cultural Heritage fields


Read the Warrnambool City Council privacy Policy here
The information collected on this form is required by Warrnambool City Council. If this information is not collected the application cannot be processed. The applicant may apply to Council for access and/or amendment of the information by contacting Council’s Freedom of Information/Privacy officer on 03 5559 4800 or
CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Receiving the Application

A Council Officer from each relevant department will be assigned to your application. They will confirm their contact details and the expected timelines to assess the application. You are welcome to contact them to check on the status of your application. The Business Support Team will be available as a point of contact throughout this process if necessary.

Permit Payments

There are standard fees that apply to all permit types. The details of your application will determine the exact fees & charges. A Council Officer from the relevant department will contact you to confirm the final fee and payment details.

Requests for Further Information

You may get 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.


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

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

Congratulations! You are ready to open the doors.
Thank you for choosing Warrnambool as a place to run your business.


Our Economic Development team are available to provide advice on networking and business support programs.
Please contact them by

phone 03 5559 4800
or email

Sign up to our Economic Development Newsletter here