Starting a new business

We make registering a new business faster and easier than ever before, because we know that for our small business operators time means money.

Overview of Council's Business Registration Process

The pictorial below represents the registration process for a new business in the City of Maribyrnong.

Business registration process overview image

Introducing the Business Concierge and MariBusiness

Our Business Concierge is your one point of contact within Council and will guide and assist you through the new business registration application processes from the beginning, right to the very end. We offer one-hour new business meetings that help identify which permits you will need to open your business. One specialist from each of the following departments will attend this meeting to provide helpful advice specific to your proposal - Environmental Health, City Planning and Building.

MariBusiness is our new online application tool for you to answer a few questions about your business and, based on your responses, MariBusiness will identify all the areas across Council that will need input into your business registration. Once you click submit, this will notify our Business Concierge to make contact with you to discuss your new business idea further and if required, organise a time for a new business meeting.

Go to MariBusiness

Make contact with the Business Concierge at anytime by phone on 9688 0200 or email us at

The following information provides an overview of the potential permits your new business may require.

Environmental Health

When starting a new food or health business such as a restaurant, café, takeaway shop, hairdressers, beautician, tattooist, it is important to contact the Business Concierge to organise a new business meeting, which includes an officer from our Environmental Health section.

A new business meeting provides an opportunity to ask questions specific about your business, and will ensure you have a clear understanding of both the structural and food/health processing requirements to meet compliance and therefore have your permits issued without delays.  It is best you attend this meeting prior to signing a lease.

You should bring along a floorplan of the business, displaying all equipment and sink locations (see examples below) and if it is a food business, a proposed menu.

Food businesses

Ensuring safe food is provided to the community across the City is a high priority for Council. Council is committed to assisting new food business proprietors understand food safety requirements along with Council’s approval process. As part of this process, all applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with Council’s New Food Premises Information Kit, as this information will be relevant to your application and bring this along to the meeting with any questions you may have.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

Home occupation/residential businesses

If you wish to operate a business from home, you will need to enquire as to whether your home is suitable. Class 3 low risk food businesses (refer to new food business information kit) and your home kitchen will need to meet the requirements of the Food Standards, in order to convert your domestic kitchen into a commercial operation.

Based on the type of food processes and foods wanting to be produced e.g., Class 1 & 2 high risk food businesses (refer to new food business information kit) your residential home may not be suitable for commercial operations. Converting your residential kitchen to a commercial operation will require a purpose built facility, meeting the food standards and other permit requirements. e.g., Planning, Building and City West Water.

The New Food Business Information Kit can be downloaded below.

Please note: If you are renting you will require approval by the owner or the Body Corporation to operate a food business from a residential premises prior to any works being carried out.

Mobile and temporary food businesses

Food businesses (including mobile food businesses) may wish to operate a temporary food premises on occasion. E.g. attend a festival and sell food.

To legally operate a temporary or mobile food premises in Victoria, you must make application online through Streatrader (Streatrader is operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and is a statewide registration process):

  • Streatrader New Application : will require you to either register or notify your temporary and mobile food premises with Council online in order to operate anywhere in Victoria. Council will contact you once your application is received to make a time to discuss your transfer.
  • Streatrader Transfer Application (Change of Principle Council): If you wish to transfer your currently registered food business, please make application on Streatrader. Council will contact you once your application is received to make a time to discuss your transfer.

Visit the Streatrader website via the link below.

Please note: Any proposal may require other permits e.g., city west water, planning, building and local laws. This will be discussed at a meeting with Council’s Business Concierge.

Health businesses

Health Businesses wanting to operate from a commercial or residential premises, must meet all the health requirements along with Planning and Building requirements. Based on the risk of the operation, a purpose built facility may be required before approval can be given.

For further information download the DHHS Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines below.

Please note: If you are renting you will require approval by the owner or the Owners' Corporation to operate a health business from a residential premises prior to any works being carried out.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

Building Services

Council is responsible for ensuring developments in the municipality meet the statutory requirements under the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations and that the city is a safe place to live for all members of the public.

If you are carrying out new building works, including renovating or altering an existing building or changing the use of an existing building you may need a building permit before you commence the works. It is important you check with your local councils building department or a private building surveyor if the proposed building works or occupation requires any building approvals before you commit to a site to avoid unnecessary costs or delays to your planned open date.

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) and Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS) both have search functions to help locate a registered Building Surveyor within Victoria. To visit the VBA or AIBS websites please see links below.

You do not need to engage a building surveyor located within your local municipality as long as the surveyor is registered in Victoria they are qualified to provide regulatory advice and any building approvals should they be required. For most buildings, the Building Surveyors registration number can be either BS-L or BS-U, for any buildings exceeding 2,000m2 in floor area or over 3 storeys in height only a Building Surveyor with a BS-U registration is qualified to provide advice.

Related Information

City Planning

In certain instances, a proposed business may trigger a planning permit under the Maribyrnong Planning Scheme. A planning permit is a legal document that gives permission for a use or development on a particular piece of land. A planning permit is not a building permit.

Once you have found a suitable location for your business (prior to signing a lease), you should contact the City Planning Department or Business Concierge on 9688 0200 to find out whether the location is appropriate and whether a planning permit is triggered by your proposal.

Should you wish to attend a Business Concierge meeting, you will be required to provide the following information prior to the meeting:

  1. Address of the site
  2. How is the site currently being used?
  3. How are you proposing to use the site (as a restaurant, cafe, shop)?
  4. What will be the maximum amount of patrons on site at any one time?
  5. What are the proposed hours of operation?
  6. Will you be wanting a liquor license?
  7. Will there be seating on the footpath?
  8. Will you require advertising signage?  If so, are existing signs being replaced or are new signs to be installed?

All conditions contained in planning permits must be complied with.  Any breach of permit conditions may be subject to enforcement action.

Related Information

Local Laws

Council administers a number of Local Laws designed to protect the safety, health and wellbeing of everyone in the municipality.

Your new business may require permits for items on a footpath:

  • A-framed advertising signs
  • Tables and chairs
  • Barriers
  • Windbreaks
  • Goods display
  • Waste skips.

Related Information