Tips when finding the right location for your business
Finding a place to set up your business is exciting! There are many choices to make and questions to ask before you sign or renew any agreements.
We have listed essential tips on finding or renewing the right location to get you started.
If you have a specific address and details of your proposal, Town Planning can provide confidential advice around operating your business from that location.
In some instances a business cannot operate in a particular area, for example a car may not be serviced or repaired for profit from a residential area.
Be open to receiving this advice, as an alternate address may better meet the communities needs and strengthen your foundations.
Read more about how to legally choose a location to operate from
If you are a temporary or mobile food vendor, you will need to register with Streatrader. Once you have obtained your food registration Streatrader also allows you to nominate a location to trade from on your Statement of Trade.
The Statement of Trade will come via Streatrader to our Local Laws team, who will assess the location and provide you with advice around whether or not the location is suitable.
Please note, fees apply for trading in a temporary location.
If you are a temporary or mobile trader (not selling food) you can visit our Street Trading web page and nominate a location to trade from via your application.
If you intend to purchase an existing business, it is best if you contact the Town Planning department (prior to signing any agreements).
Sometimes when a business is for sale, the type of business you are purchasing may not have been approved to operate in its initial location.
By contacting Town Planning you can find out about applicable zones or overlays and you can also discuss any other planning requirements you may have for your business.
If you purchase a property prior to receiving planning approval you accept the risk that your premises may remain empty prior to the planning permit being granted.
Business Victoria provides extensive information on choosing a location and the set up of a premises.
They have put together a checklist for lease agreements and buying a premises. The checklists can guide you to ask the right questions before you purchase a premises, or sign or renew a lease agreement.
Go to www.business.vic.gov.au
If you sign a lease prior to receiving planning approval you accept the risk that your premises may remain empty prior to the planning permit being granted.
- Involve your solicitor with reviewing leases or contracts of sale for purchases.
- Consider whether an extended settlement period for your property purchase would assist in reducing your costs while appropriate permit approvals and applications are being considered.
- Consider whether a special clause would be appropriate in your contract of sale regarding the purchase being subject to planning approval.
- Consider whether you have sufficient parking spaces
- Town Planning can provide advice around commencing or expanding a business without sufficient on-site car parking.
- Consider whether your chosen location can cope with the hours of operation you are proposing.
- Consider talking to Environmental Health staff before you purchase or sign a lease, as they can provide you with advice around the fit-out and set up of any of the following business types:
- Accommodation (including rooming or caravan parks)
- Skin penetration
- Aquatic facilities (privatey operated)
- Consider the power usage you need for your business and whether your chosen location can provide this.
- Power usage can sometimes substantially affect the power grid. Town Planning can advise if you can operate your business type in the location chosen.
- Seek advice from a professional electrician to see if your power requirements can be met before you purchase or sign a lease.
- Consider if there is enough floor space to conduct all your business.
- Obtain a property title for your premises from www.propertyandlandtitles.vic.gov.au before submitting a planning permit application to Town Planning. Property titles allow Town Planners to give you more accurate advice about your chosen business location.
- Titles include information about:
- The current owner of the land
- Covenants, caveats, easements and mortgages listed against a piece of land
- Restrictions relevant to the land e.g. certain types of business that cannot operate on the land
- Section 173 agreements that may apply to the land (Section 173 agreements identify many things, for example Bushfire agreements, advice to potential purchasers, building over easements, stormwater detention).
- Titles include information about:
- If you have chosen a premises that is heritage listed, talk to the Amendments and Heritage Coordinator in Town Planning to find out what you can do to meet heritage requirements.
- Find out if the premises you have chosen is affected by a Cultural Heritage Management Plan.
- Go to the Aboriginal Victoria website and view the Aboriginal Heritage Planning Tool
- If you're considering operating from home, download our fact sheet around home based business (home occupation)
Building Department staff can assist you to understand your legal obligations around accessibility and the Disability (Access to premises – buildings) Standards 2010.
Accessibility can sometimes present hidden costs. Seek advice around the premises you have chosen, as one premises may be more cost effective to convert than another.
Still not sure where to start?
Check out Business Victoria's web page which provides step by step guidance around the set up and location of business premises.