Building Permit for businesses


You will need a Building Permit for building or alteration work on most commercial and industrial developments.

This can include the following, no matter what the overall cost of the work:

  • New buildings.
  • Shop fit outs.
  • Alterations and additions to current buildings.
  • Pergolas (roofed), verandahs and shade sails.
  • Decks and balconies.
  • Changes to the use of a building.
  • Minor structures, including garages and sheds.
  • Demolition of existing buildings.
  • Swimming pools, spas or safety barriers.


Use our Permit Finder if you’re not sure what permits you need.

For more information, contact our Building team at or on 03 8290 1333.

How to apply

  1. Apply for a Planning Permit

    If you need a Planning Permit, you will need it before a Building Permit can be issued. We recommend applying for both at the same time. 

  2. Apply for other permits

    You can save time by applying for your Food RegistrationHealth Registration or Accommodation Business Registration while going through the Building Permit process.

  3. Decide on your surveyor

    You can use Council's Municipal Building Surveyor or a private building surveyor to process an application for a permit. Contact Council's Building team at to get a quote for their services.

  4. Prepare your documents

    A private surveyor will have their own process and will let you know what to provide with your application. Please see our FAQs for a list of documents.

    If you're using the Council surveyor, follow the next steps. 

  5. Submit your Building Permit application

    Download and complete the Building Permit Application Form(DOC, 1MB).

    Email your completed form and supporting documents to

    Or mail to:
    City of Stonnington
    PO Box 58
    Malvern 3144

  6. Apply for a building permit number

    Apply for a building permit number and pay the levy to the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

  7. Pay your invoice

    You will receive via email or post, an invoice to pay for your permit application. Once your permit is paid for, the surveyors will assess your application within two to three weeks.

  8. Supply any additional information

    You may hear back from our surveyors with conditions or a request for further information or documentation.

  9. Receive the permit
    If successful, you will receive the permit in the mail and you can start building. The owner of the property will also receive a copy of the permit.

Frequently asked questions

How much does a Building Permit cost?

If your commercial build is below $100,000, a Building Permit fee will start from $3,300. If the build is over $100,00 the minimum fee is $3,800.

For more details, go to the Building page.

How long does it take to get a Building Permit?

The Building team will review your initial application within two to three weeks. Most applications need further input, information and documentation which adds time to the review process and varies with each application.

What documents do I need to apply?

To apply for a Building Permit, you may need to provide the following:

  • A site plan, including a north point, allotment dimensions, nearest street/intersection, any easements, position of building/s on site, levels and stormwater layout.
  • Three copies of design documents and where relevant, a building floor plan showing each floor level, external and sectional elevations, and details of any footings and framing members. Plans must be to scale. In the case of alterations and additions, make sure the existing site conditions and new work are clearly differentiated.
  • Evidence of suitability that a material or design meets its performance requirement or deemed to satisfy provision.
  • A copy of the Certificate of Title with evidence of ownership.
  • Project specifications.
  • Any structural drawings and computations.
  • Relevant town Planning Permit and endorsed plans, if applicable.
  • If you're leasing the space, written authority from the owner of the property.

Can I apply for a Building Permit myself, without a surveyor?

Yes. However, without professional help applications often lack the detail and specifications we need to properly assess your application. A surveyor makes sure that your application complies with all Australian standards. Incomplete or insufficient applications can cause significant delays.

What are essential safety features?

When building works are complete, the owner and occupant is responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the building and safety features, known as 'essential safety features'. This requirement applies to all non-dwelling buildings and covers items such as smoke alarms, exit doors and signs, fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems.

For more information, visit the Victorian Building Authority website.

What is an Occupancy Permit?

An Occupancy Permit is a document that signifies a building surveyor is satisfied that the completed building work is ready for use. A Building Permit will specify whether you need either an Occupancy Permit or a Certificate of Final Inspection before you move into the building.

What should I do when my proposed building works vary from the Building Permit?

Sometimes building works will vary from the building regulations. This is called a Report and Consent and may include these types of works:

  • Building over an easement or in a flood prone area.
  • Fire safety.
  • Setback from the street.
  • Building above or below public facilities.
  • Siting of a building.

For more information, contact our Building team at or ask your surveyor. Note that you may need to get the consent of your neighbours as part of this process.

Do I need a permit to improve access to my premises for people with disabilities?

Yes. You may need a Building Permit if you are making changes to an existing building. We recommend contacting our Building team at for advice.