Permits and legal requirements

There are a range of compliance steps to move through when starting a new business.

Depending on the type of business you’re starting, you may need one or more permits from Council. The following permits and registrations may need consideration.

Planning permits

A planning permit is a legal document that gives permission for a particular type of use and/or development of a property.

Building permits

A building permit is necessary for construction works undertaken on land or on a property.

Food Act - Food registration

All Victorian food and drinks businesses that handle, prepare, package, store, serve, supply or convey food/drinks must be registered or notify under the Food Act - learn more about starting a new food business.

The Food  Registration assessment will designate the appropriate food/drinks classification for your business, for more information find out more about food classifications.

If your business is not a fixed premises, you will need to follow the permit processes for a temporary or mobile food business.

Health and beauty business

All health and beauty businesses need to be registered with the local Council, even if you run a home based business. These include:

  • hairdressers including mobile and low-risk beauty services (such as eyelash extensions)
  • tattooists, body piercing and other skin penetration (such as myotherapy and acupuncture
  • beauty therapy (such as waxing, threading, manicuring, intense pulsed light and laser)
  • electrolysis
  • colonic irrigation.

Accommodation registration - Public Health and Wellbeing Act

Several types of businesses providing accommodation services need to be registered annually under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, to ensure basic hygiene standards are met. Learn more about registering an accommodation premises.

We register and monitor businesses such as:

  • residential accommodation
  • hotels
  • motels
  • hostels
  • student dormitories
  • holiday camps
  • rooming houses
  • some bed and breakfast operations.

Footpath trading applicable permits

Footpath trading includes any commercial activity on the footpath.

Footpath trading permits include:

Filming Permit

Any filming or commercial photography in the Geelong region will require a filming permit.

Busking Permit

All buskers, performers, spruikers and pavement artists need to have a busking permit.

Events Permit

Events held on Council controlled or managed open space may require an event permit.


Domestic Animal Business Permits

Under current legislation, all domestic animal businesses must be registered with the City of Greater Geelong and comply with the appropriate mandatory Code of Practice.

Domestic animal businesses include:

  • animal pounds either run by Council or a Council contractor
  • breeding businesses (cats and/or dogs)
  • training facilities for dogs and cats
  • pet shops
  • animal (welfare) shelters
  • dog/cat rearing premises.

Responsibilities of a domestic animal business as defined under the Domestic Animals Act 1994 can be found on the Animal Welfare Victoria website.

To find out more, visit the Domestic Animal Businesses section of our website.

State and Federal licences and registrations 

To understand what information you need to register a business to comply with the law, visit Business Victoria. 

These include:

Page last updated: Wednesday, 30 March 2022