Starting or growing a business

If you are thinking of starting a business or if you own a business in Kingston and want to see it grow, our Business Wizardry Team (Biz Wiz) are here to help.

Biz Wiz is a free service to help guide and assist you through the process of starting or growing your business, including navigating necessary permits and approvals.

You will likely need to get approval from Council to do certain activities. This can include specific business permits or registrations for your business type. 

Biz Wiz will assess your information and help you to understand what regulatory permits you might need and how to process your application. They can also help to make introductions to other departments e.g. the Planning Department.

Before you get in touch, think through your business plan and do some background research. This will help Biz Wiz understand what regulatory permits you might need, which will inform the application process you may go through.

See the steps to understand the application process and to learn about approvals you need to operate your business. For a brief overview see the journey map(PDF, 77KB).

Step 1: Prepare

Before you apply for permits or registrations for your business, spend some time getting prepared.

Make a business plan

You will need to be able to describe the type of business you want to set up and how it will operate in some detail. This includes:

  • proposed location
  • hours of operation
  • number of staff
  • parking for staff and customers
  • proposed building works 

Learn more on Business Victoria's website about:

Do background research

Learn about the range of initiatives and external resources to help businesses. For example, Australian Taxation Office business guidance, liquor licencing, obtaining your property title.

Complete our Biz Wiz questionnaire  

After you have done some research, get in touch with Biz Wiz.

Biz Wiz questionnaire

Advice from Biz Wiz

After completing the questionnaire, Biz Wiz will contact you within 7 business days and help you to understand what regulatory permits you might need and how to process your application.

Examples of regulatory permits and registrations

  • Planning permits are required to make sure your business is operating in the correct zone, if you are changing the type of business in a certain location, for any signage and external alterations, parking requirements and liquor licenses.
  • Building permits are required for any internal or external building works to your business, if you are changing the type of business in a certain location, for disability access, and for fire and safety requirements. Council does not issue building permits. You will need to obtain a building permit from a private building surveyor. Please note a building permit is often required if a planning permit is required.
  • Environmental Health registrations are required for
    • all food businesses (including home-based businesses) that prepare, handle and /or store food for sale.
    • all health businesses that undertake services such as hairdressing, beauty treatments, tattooing, colonic irrigation, dry needling etc.
    • all accommodation businesses such as residential accommodation, rooming houses, hotels, hostels, student, holiday camps, bed and breakfast etc.
  • Footpath trading permits are needed for placing any furniture or signage on the footpath.
  • Local laws permits are needed for any animal related businesses. 
  • Permits or licenses from external regulators may be needed, for example the Department of Transport or the Victorian Liquor Commission. Biz Wiz will offer guidance on what external regulators you may need to engage.

Step 2: Apply

When you have spoken with Biz Wiz and have identified the permits and registrations you need, you can start the formal application process.

Apply for your permits

Fees

The fees and charges will depend on your proposed business activities and type of business.

For further information related to fees you can also contact Biz Wiz.

Step 3: Assessment

Council assess/s your permit application/s

  • Once your permit application form has been submitted, we will begin assessing your application.
  • A team member from each relevant department will be assigned to your application, and request further information if required.
  • To check on the status of your application, you can contact the assigned team member.

Permits and registration timelines can depend on whether Council needs to:

  • request further information
  • refer to internal departments
  • refer to external regulators
  • advertise your plans to the public
  • perform an on-site inspection

Timelines

  • Planning: 3 - 18 months
  • Building: 2 - 3 months
  • Environmental health: 1 month
  • Local laws: 1 month
  • Footpath trading: 2 weeks

Step 4: Outcome

Council approves or declines your permit application/s

  • Once we have finished our assessment, we will be in touch to confirm our decision.
  • If your application is approved, we will email you a copy of your permit or registration and, where appropriate, hard copies will be mailed to you.

Step 5: Ongoing support

Biz Wiz will provide ongoing support and can connect you with services that will help your business to grow and succeed. 

Hire staff

Our free dedicated Kingston Jobs website assists local employers and job seekers with employment opportunities, courses and links to other valuable resources.

Attend a business workshop or event

We run various workshops, events and networking opportunities throughout the year that allow you access to low-cost or free options and learn new skills that can assist in managing and growing your business. 

Meet our energy advisor

Our energy advisor can assist you with free energy assessments, energy upgrade funding and advice on government schemes, grants and rebates. 

Be sustainable

Reduce the waste you send to landfill through our ASPIRE and plastic free Kingston programs. Sustainable business practices are recognised and rewarded through Kingston’s Sustainable Business Awards.

Find out more on sustainability in business.