Business application navigation tool

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Application Navigator Tool

The Application Navigator Tool has been designed to assist business applicants in understanding which permits they may need for their business.

How to use the Navigator Tool

Once you open the navigator tool, you will be asked a number of questions to determine what permits and applications might be relevant to your business. You need to note the application or permits down as you complete the questions. You will then be provided with web links to each document you need to complete.

If you do not wish to fill the applications out online, or you would like to complete the Application Navigator in paper form, you can contact a Business Help Desk officer for assistance.

Important things to note;

If the Navigator Tool indicates you need to complete a number of applications and permits, we encourage you to complete our Single Application form. A Business Help Desk officer can assist you with this process.

Welcome to the City of Greater Bendigo Application Navigator for Business!

The Application Navigator for Business helps you understand which permit/s you may need to apply for to have your business approved by the City of Greater Bendigo. It asks questions about your business and business location, and provides you with:

  • Links to relevant information on our website
  • Details to talk to or book a meeting with our officers
  • Links to application forms if you are ready to begin completing them and start gathering the documents necessary to support your applications.

Let's begin! Please click Next to start.

Before you begin

Permits you may require from the City include a planning permit, food registration, health registration or outdoor trading permits.Please note these suggestions are indicative; they are not City's final decision on the need for a permit.

The Application Navigator also suggests non-Council approvals you may require, such as building permits, liquor licenses, tobacco, meat and dairy produce registrations. 

Once you have answered all questions, you will receive a list of suggested permits which you can save. You can also book a time to talk with the Business Help Desk who can assist you to understand what to do next and how to apply.

* A red star next to a question indicates it is mandatory to answer the question.

Please note that if you click on a hyperlink, it will open from this tab. Instead, please 'open in a new tab'.


Step 1 - Tell us about your business.

How many staff will your business likely have?*
Where are you in your business journey?*
Please select the services or products your business will offer.*


If you wish to place any items or trade on the footpath or on public land, you will require a permit from the City.

Please select the options that apply to your business.*

Step 2 - Will your business need a planning permit?

A planning permit will allow you to develop land or change the current use of the land for your business. Some examples of where you may need a planning permit include:

  • Developing the land or changing the use of the building (e.g. establishing a building for your business on empty land)
  • Changing the type of business (e.g. from a retail store to a cafe or restaurant)
  • Developing new buildings or alterations to existing buildings to operate a business
  • Renovations to the front of a shop in a heritage area
  • Applying for a liquor licence (which is different to the Liquor Licence Application through the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation)
  • Increasing or changing the area where liquor can be served in your premises (referred to as changing the red line area)
  • Placing signage on a business (either attached to the building or free standing; but not an A-frame sign)

Depending on your business' location and what you intend to do with the land/premises, you may be required to apply for a planning permit if any of the options below will apply to your business.

Please read through all options and select any those that apply to your business.*

Step 3 - Will your business need a building permit?

A building permit will allow you to make structural (physical) changes to the building in which your business is located.

While the City of Greater Bendigo generally does not issue building permits, our building department can provide advice on whether your business plans will require a permit. If you do require a building permit, you will need to engage a local private building surveyor.

Some example of where you may need a building permit include;

  • Building a new premises
  • Renovating the inside or outside of the building in which your business will be located
  • Changing the fence outside your business or installing permanent outdoor structures such as shade sales

Please note, Disability Discrimination Act compliance will be required for existing buildings and certain new buildings undergoing building works. Examples include installation of disability access ramps or wheelchair enabled bathrooms.

The questions below aim to understand whether any works undertaken to open your business will require a building permit.

Please read through all options and select any those that apply to your business.*

Step 4 - You must complete the forms listed below to start the application process with the City

If you need to complete more than one of our application forms, we recommend you complete our single application form for businesses.

Access the form at this link: http://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/About/Document-Library/business-approvals-application-form

We also recommend you copy and paste this list into a Word document for future reference before moving to the next step!

Applicant Details form

An applicant details form will appear at the beginning of each of our applications (except for business planning permits).

You only need to complete this form once, and submit it with any other permits identified on this page.

Transfer a food, accommodation or health business registration application form

Existing food, health and accommodation businesses will already have registrations with the City of Greater Bendigo. When purchasing one of these businesses, you can apply to transfer this registration. You will need to supply a few details of the existing business to complete this application. You may wish to request the City to complete a pre-purchase inspection to ensure the internal fit-out is compliant with various standards.

This form applies to the following businesses;

  • Food business (at a fixed location - including a home based food business)
  • Accommodation business (dormitories, rooming houses, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts)
  • Health business (beauty therapies, tattooist, skin penetration such as acupuncture, colonic irrigation, hairdressing)

Access the form at this link: Application to transfer a fixed location food business

Register a fixed-location food business application form

You will need to register your food or drink business with the City in accordance with the Food Act.

Please read further information here: Food businesses

Access the form at this link: Application to register a fixed location food business


Mobile Food Van / Food Trucks / Mobile Food Business

Temporary or mobile food businesses need to register through the Department of Health and Human Services website, Streatrader.

Streatrader will send your application to the City of Greater Bendigo. An officer from the City will send you an invoice for payment and once payment is received, an

Environmental Health Officer will be in contact with you to discuss your application.

Liquor licence applications

Businesses selling liquor will need approval from the City and the Victorian Commission for Gambling, Liquor and Regulation (VCGLR). If the existing business premises did not previously sell or service alcohol, you will need to apply for a planning permit from the City before applying to the VCGLR for a liquor licence.

Gambling businesses will need to apply for a license from the VCGLR.
If you are opening a new business, we encourage you to contact the Business Help Desk to assist you understand what the process will be.

Temporary liquor licence

If you are selling liquor at a temporary event, you may need to seek a Temporary Liquor Licence from the VCGLR and/or an exemption to serve liquor from our Local Laws unit;

Meat, poultry and seafood

If you sell, produce, transport, store or prepare mainly meat, poultry or seafood, you will need to register with Primesafe.

Example businesses might include;

  • Butchers
  • Pet food butchers
  • Seafood manufacturers
  • Seafood shops

Register with Primesafe through their website www.primesafe.vic.gov.au or phone 03 9685 7333

Dairy

If you sell, produce, transport, store or prepare mainly dairy, you will need to register with Dairy Food Safety Victoria.
Example businesses include;

  • Milk manufacturers
  • Farmers Dairy distributors
  • Dairy carriers (dairy transport vehicles)

Register with Dairy Food Safety Victoria through their website www.dairysafe.vic.gov.au or phone 03 9810 5900

Register a health-related business application form

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, businesses who provide health-related services such as hairdressing, tattooist, skin piercing may be required to register with council.

The following health businesses defined below will need to complete an application form:

  • Hairdressers (in home or in a fixed business location)
  • Tattooing studio's
  • Beauty therapies
  • Skin penetration (including piercing)
  • Colonic irrigation services

Please read further information here.

Access the form at this link. Application to register a hair, beauty or skin penetration business

Register an accommodation business application form

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act, all accommodation premises must be registered with council.

Please read further information here: Accommodation businesses

Access the form at this link: Register an accommodation business

A-frame sign / display of good on the footpath / outdoor dining facilities application form

Using the footpath for business activity (displaying your products or outdoor dining) or placing signs (A-frames) on the footpath requires permission from Council, to ensure the placement of items does not endanger the public or affect the amenity negatively.

Please read further information here and access the application form: Outdoor dining, a-frame and footpath trading

Works within a road reserve permit

If you would like to do any works on a road reserve controlled by the City of Greater Bendigo, you will need a permit. Examples of this include driveways, drainage, nature strip, verge, shoulders or similar.

Please read further information here and access the application form: Guide to working in the road reserve Works within a road reserve application form

You may also require permission from Vic Roads

Visit their webpage for more information - https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/design-and-management/working-within-the-road-reserve

License agreement for trading on public land application form

Using public land for business activity requires permission from Council, to ensure the placement of items does not endanger the public or affect the amenity negatively.

Please read further information here: Street trading

Access the form at this link: License agreement to trade on public land

Home based businesses

You may or may not require a Planning Permit and other permits, based on the type of business you would like to run from home.

Please read our Home Based Business fact sheet, then contact a Business Help Desk officer to understand if you are allowed to run your business from home.

The City'sGreater Bendigo Planning Scheme will help you understand what you can and cannot do when running a business from home.

Home based food businesses

Home based food businesses can also read our Home based food business fact sheet to guide you. Please ensure you have selected the option to run a food and/or drink business and downloaded the application form to apply for a food registration.

Tobacco retailing

If you intend on selling or you currently sell tobacco, there is no application form to complete through council. However please view the following for more information:

Planning permit application form

Based on your answers, you may need a business planning permit. It is recommended you seek final advice from the City prior to submitting a business planning permit application.

You can read more information about planning permits on our Town Planning webpage. You can also learn about the permit process, read frequently asked questions, understand what may trigger a planning permit as well as access other forms and a fee schedule.

If you are unable to find what you are looking for on our website, you can contact to Planning on 03 5434 6355 or [email protected] or contact the Business Help Desk.

You can access the document on this link: Business Planning permit - new application, VicSmart and amendments

Based on your answers, you may not require a planning permit, however we recommend you speak with our Business Help Desk to ensure you do not require a planning permit.

Please read further on planning permits here.

The Business Help Desk officer can also run through a few questions to ensure you are complying with other permit or application requirements.

Based on your answers, you may need a building permit or advice from a private building surveyor.

You will need to consult a private building surveyor who will issue you a building permit and will provide this to the City. The City will be able to provide you with general advice as to whether you may or may not need a building permit and point you in the right direction to a private building surveyor.

Please read further information from the City's Building Services department and the Victorian Building Authority.

Also note that Disability Discrimination Act compliance will be required for existing buildings. Examples include installation of disability access ramps or bathrooms.

We recommend you contact a local private building surveyor for advice. The City has a list of local building surveyors which you can download a copy from the City's website.

Step 5 - Would you like support from the Business Help Desk?

One of our Business Help Desk officers would like to speak with you to discuss how we can best support you. The Business Help Desk is here to help you:

  • understand the approvals process and applications in a way that is relevant to your proposed business
  • provide advice on how to complete an accurate and complete application along with necessary documentation, the first time
  • understand timeframes and cost associated with applying for permits
  • find connections to other business supports.

Read more on the Business Help Desk here. This upfront support will help you to thoroughly prepare for the application process, which should reduce the length of time to receive your business approvals.

If you are feeling confident, you should begin filling in your business approval forms before meeting with the Business Help Desk.

We recommend you meet with the Business Help Desk via face-to-face or phone-call if any of the below options are relevant to you:


Please tick any items relevant to your business.*
Would you like to talk with one of our Business Help Desk officers?*
Name*
0354346000 please do not include spaces in your area code, mobile phone number or home phone number
How would you prefer to discuss your business plans?*
What day would be most suitable for a meeting with our Business Help Desk?*

Thank you for taking the time to complete our Applications Navigator for Business and we look forward to discussing your business with you soon! One of our Business Help Desk officers will receive your answers to these questions and be in contact shortly to confirm a time.

We hope you found this tool useful. If you think it could be improved in any way, please feel free to email our Business Help Desk on [email protected]


Thank you for taking the time to complete our Applications Navigator. We hope you found this tool useful. If you think it could be improved in any way, please feel free to email our Business Help Desk on [email protected]

Permits by busines type

Have a browse through some of the most common business categories in Greater Bendigo to see some of the permits you might require.

Permits by business type


Do you need assistance completing any forms?

Please contact a Business Help Desk officer to receive one on one assistance with your permits journey, 03 5434 6000 or email [email protected]

We welcome your feedback.

Did you know you can log requests online?

This includes several bin requests such as missed bins, footpath maintenance, tree inspections and general requests. Visit our make a request page.


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