Business permits and regulations

If you're looking to run a business or undertake promotional activities in Stonnington you may need to obtain a permit or approval first. 

A simple way to find out what you'll need is to complete a self-assessment.  By answering a few simple questions, we can tell you what permits or approvals will be required.

Complete self-assessment now

If you need help with permit requirements please email our Business Concierge team or call the business hotline 8290 3222

Permits

Busking permit

To perform as a busker in the City of Stonnington you must first obtain a busking permit. A busker provides street entertainment for passers-by and does not charge a set fee.

Buskers are musical performers, singers, comedians, theatrical and performance artists.

Tarot readers, fortune tellers and sketch artists are not buskers - these activities are considered hawkers and are not permitted in the City of Stonnington.

Permit period and fee

Permits are issued for a six month period.

Permit period Fee 
1 October to 31 March  $26 
1 April to 30 September $26 

You must renew your permit every six month to ensure your permit is valid.

How to apply

  1. Complete a Busking permit application(PDF, 140KB)
  2. Read the busking permit conditions contained in the application form.
  3. Submit your application using the address listed on the form.
  4. Once approved, we will contact you with a reference number and payment instructions.
  5. Your permit will be issued once payment is received.

Permit conditions

  1. Busking groups of more than six people is not permitted without special approval.
  2. The permit holder must ensure they hold a current City of Stonnington busking permit.
  3. Busking in front of or around town halls and other Council buildings is generally not permitted during business hours.
  4. No amplified music or percussion type instruments are permitted.
  5. Busking is allowed between the hours 7am to 11pm only.
  6. Children aged under 13 years must be accompanied by a person aged over 16 years, and have with them written permission from their parent or guardian.

For full conditions please refer to the Busking Permit application(PDF, 140KB)

Domestic animal business permit

Under the Domestic Animals Act 1994, all domestic animal related businesses must be registered with the local government authority. 

Businesses that require a permit are those that involve buying, selling, rearing, training or boarding domestic animals. 

How to apply 

You can apply and pay for the permit online. 

Apply now

Please note: Operating contrary to the conditions of the permit may lead to withdrawal or cancellation of a current or future permit.

Permit renewal

Domestic animal business permits are renewed annually, in April.

Government Codes of Practice

Domestic pet and animal-related businesses must comply with the Victorian Government's animal-specific codes of practice, and we inspect businesses each year to ensure they do. 

See what your responsibilities are on the Victorian Government's Agriculture website.

For information or advice email our Environmental Health team or call 8290 1333.

Event permit

If you're planning a festival, event or celebration on Council-owned land such as in a park, garden or open space you will need an event permit.

An event permit is also needed if the planned activity is happening on a footpath or requires a road closure, with the exception of neighbourhood street parties, street sampling, fundraising and busking.

How to apply

Important: If you're planning an event in one of our parks you must complete a park booking before submitting your event permit application.

  1. Complete an Event permit application(PDF, 648KB) (fees apply).
  2. Submit your application with all supporting documents:
Email Festival an Events team 
Post

City of Stonnington
Attn: Festivals and Events
PO Box 58, Malvern VIC 3144

Application timelines

To allow enough time to assess, approve and process your event permit please adhere to the following timelines:

  • Applications for community, trader and commercial events must be submitted a minimum 60 days before the event.
  • Applications for major events and festivals must be submitted a minimum 120 days before the event. 

Supporting information

For information about staging events in Stonnington see our Event Guidelines(PDF, 4MB).

If you have any questions or need help completing your Event permit application email our Festival and Events team or call 8290 1333.

Footpath trading permit

An annual footpath trading permit is required when a public footpath is being used for a commercial purpose, such as:

  • displaying an A-frame advertising sign
  • alfesco dining with tables and chairs 
  • displaying goods 
  • licensed venue queue
  • real estate agent pointer board

How to apply

You can apply and pay for an annual footpath trading permit online.

Apply now

Applications can also be made in writing using our Footpath trading permit application(PDF, 224KB)

Please note: A non-refundable application fee is required before an application will be assessed. If your application is approved, we will send you an invoice which must be paid before the permit is issued. We request a minimum 14 days to assess an application.

Permit fees

 Footpath trading permit Fee 

Dining (tables and chairs on footpath)

Busy areas* per square metre/annum
Other areas per square metre/annum

 

$260
$130

Goods on footpath^

Busy areas* per square metre/annum
Other areas per square metre/annum

 

$260
$130

Advertising sign board (A-frame)

Per board/annum

 

$297

 Licensed venue queue

Per queue/annum

 

$228

Real estate agent pointer board

Auction and inspection (maximum 10 boards/annum)

 

$670

Application fee  $66 

*Chapel Street, Commercial Road, Greville Street, High Street (Punt Road to Bangs Street and Northcote Road to Spring Road), Toorak Road (Punt Road to Grange Road), Malvern Road (Chapel Street to Mathoura Road), Glenferrie Road (Dandenong Avenue to Drysdale Street) and Wattletree Road (Duncraig Avenue to Drysdale Street)

^The display of goods on footpaths is only allowed in the Glenferrie Road and Chapel Street precincts with the exception of white goods.

Permit renewals

We will send you an invoice each year to renew your footpath trading permit, with payment due on 1 October.

Changing ownership

If the business changes ownership, all current footpath trading permits will be invalid. Permits are not transferrable and the new business owner must make an application if they wish to retain a footpath trading permit. 

Specific permit conditions

A-frame board conditions

  1. Current permit sticker must be displayed on the front window of the approved premises at all times.
  2. The board must be no larger than one metre high and 750mm wide.
  3. The board must be placed a minimum 300mm from the back of the kerb within the trading zone (to allow for safe pedestrian and vehicle access).
  4. The board must only advertise the business or service provided by the premises to which it relates.
  5. Boards are not permitted on a street corner; they are only to be placed on the kerbside directly in front of the approved premises.
  6. Before a new permit or extension to an existing permit will be considered, where the premises contains more than one business or service, written permission from the business / property / Body Corporate must be provided to Council.
  7. Only one advertising sign per business of any type is permitted on the footpath.
  8. A-frame advertising signs on the footpath are not permitted for traders located above the ground floor.

Footpath dining conditions

  1. Footpath dining is permitted in all approved areas of Stonnington.
  2. Permits are only approved to registered food premises businesses.
  3. Fixed footpath dining furniture and barriers are not permitted.

Goods displayed on the footpath conditions

  1. The display of goods on footpaths is only permitted in the Glenferrie Road(PDF, 248KB) and Chapel Street(PDF, 359KB) precincts. 
  2. In all other areas it is prohibited to display goods on the footpath, except for fruit, vegetable, flower and plant stands.
  3. The display of whitegoods is prohibited across the whole municipality.

Queuing and 'roped off' areas for licensed venues conditions

  1. New premises should incorporate queuing areas within the premises.
  2. It is the permit holder’s responsibility to ensure the safe management of patrons queuing at venues.
  3. Licensed premises queue permits will not be issued adjacent to any outdoor dining areas.
  4. Queuing and 'roped off' areas shall only occur adjacent to building line, with unimpeded access of pedestrians maintained.
  5. Queuing patrons and other passing pedestrian traffic must not under any circumstances be forced from the footpath onto the road carriageway.

Real estate agent pointer boards conditions

  1. Real estate agents may be granted a permit for signs (pointer boards) to be placed on the nature strip at or near a property for which the agent is acting.
  2. No sign may be placed on the road, on any roundabout, traffic island or garden bed, or where it creates any hazard to pedestrian or vehicle safety.
  3. One permit allows up to 10 signs to be used at any one time.
  4. Signs are only to be placed within two hours of the activity they are advertising and removed within two hours after the activity has ceased.
  5. Corflute style pointer boards or similar must not to be attached to any Council-owned assets.

Film permit

If you want to film in the City of Stonnington you willneed to obtain a film permit first. You willneed a permit if you plan to film for a movie, television, music videos, student films or still photography.

To find out how to organise a film permit contact our Customer Services team or call 8290 1333.

How to apply

  1. Complete a film permit application(PDF, 21KB) (fees apply).
  2. Email your application and supporting documents to our Festivals and Events team. 

To allow enough time to process your application, please lodge your film permit application at least 10 days before you plan to film.

Please note: the scale and extent of your filming project may mean additional documentation and permits are required - such as parking permits and/or a traffic management plan. These requirements will be discussed with you on receipt of your application.

Fundraising, street sampling and promotional activities permit

To carry out promotional activities, street sampling or fundraising in the City of Stonnington you must first obtain a permit. 

The permit covers activities such as tin shakes, intersection collections, street appeals/fundraising (charitable gifts of money, subscriptions, deduction agreements, raffles), street stalls for charitable sales, and promotions (handing out flyers, membership promotions, product sampling).

How to apply

Please note: There is no fee for a fundraising, street sampling and promotional activities permit.

  1. Complete a fundraising and promotional activities(PDF, 839KB) application.
  2. Submit your application:
 Email Footpath Trading team 
 Post City of Stonnington
Attn: Building and Local Laws
PO Box 58, Malvern VIC 3144

To allow enough time to process the permit please submit your application a minimum 14 days before the planned activity. 

Permit conditions

  1. If a permit is granted for fundraising in the Chapel Street Precinct, these activities will be restricted to outside the Prahran Town Hall, in Chapel Street, Prahran.
  2. If a permit is granted for the Glenferrie Road, Malvern, shopping precinct, street fundraising may only occur at the intersection of Glenferrie Road and Winter Street.
  3. All fundraising permits are restricted to four hour activity periods, either 9am to 1pm or 1pm to 5pm.
  4. Street sampling, promotional activities and fundraising are prohibited within Stonnington unless a current permit has been issued. Applications to conduct these activities will only be considered upon receipt of the application form.
  5. Street sampling, promotional activities, fundraising and giveaways may be granted a permit under specific conditions. Activities may be limited to specific locations with specific conditions relating to the activity. These conditions and restrictions will have regard to the potential for commercial conflict with existing traders.
  6. The conducting of any street sampling, promotional and fundraising activities within Stonnington during the month of December is prohibited.
  7. The total number of days that any one company may conduct street sampling, promotional activities and fundraising within Stonnington is five activity periods per application. The maximum number of applications per year is two (annual total of 10 activity periods).
  8. A minimum of 14 days ‘Notice of application for permit’ is required. Applications will not be considered for any proposed periods if more than 6 months prior to the proposed date of the street sampling/promotional activities and fundraising.
  9. While conducting street sampling/promotional activities and fundraising, all staff must carry and display a copy of the permit with them at all times.
  10. All or any staff must comply with any direction given by an Authorised Officer of Council or a member of Victoria Police.
  11. No street sales may be conducted within nine metres of an intersection, pedestrian crossing or tram or bus stop, or within 18 metres of a school crossing or where the location of a stall may cause undue obstruction to pedestrians.
  12. Requests for setting up a table, stand, stall, trestle or similar will only be considered if public liability insurance cover for a minimum of $20 million is shown to exist, indicating the City of Stonnington as an interested party.
  13. The location of stalls and tables shall be at the discretion of Council.
  14. The permissible area of footway to be used for the conduct of a stall will be determined by Council. The footpath is not to be obstructed and a clear walking space of 1.8m (measured from the building line) must be maintained at all times.
  15. No street sampling/promotional activities and fundraising may be conducted unless the trader in front of whose shop the activity is proposed (where approved) has given his/her consent. Permit holders or their agents are to immediately relocate their position in the street if the trader whose shop they are operating in front of requests them to move.
  16. Any request for a permit to conduct street sampling/promotional activities and fundraising will be considered on the grounds of availability of dates and times.
  17. All street sampling/promotional activities and fundraising of any nature must be undertaken using passive methods only.
  18. The use of intimidating, confronting or aggressive methods are prohibited and any permit holder found breaching this condition will have their permit revoked and may affect future applications.
  19. Council reserves the right to give preference to Stonnington-based organisations.

While there is no requirement to notify us of door knocks conducted on private property, we request notification of proposed door knock campaigns in order to coordinate the number of fundraising activities occurring at one time, to avoid any potential for conflict between activities.

Applicants are reminded of their obligations under the Fundraising Appeals Act 1998 as applicable and the need for collectors to wear appropriate identification at all times.

Licensed premises permit

There are specific Victoria-wide requirements for running businesses that serve alcohol.

Planning approval

You must obtain planning approval, for a business where alcohol is sold or consumed, when any of the following apply:

  • a licence is required under the Liquor Control Reform Act 1998
  • the permitted hours of trading are to be extended
  • the permitted number of patrons is to be increased
  • the area where liquor is permitted to be consumed or supplied is to be increased.

How to apply

Submit your application for planning approval online (fees apply).

Apply now

Your application will need to include the following:

  • a copy of title and relevant lot plan (available from the Landata website)
  • proposed hours of operation and patron numbers
  • the nature and location of uses surrounding the site
  • the number of on site car parking spaces
  • the red-line plan (the area proposed to serve alcohol). The plan should include a layout of the site showing the seating areas, key fixtures and fittings and proposed maximum patron numbers
  • a noise amenity and action plan, identifying noise sources and details of any music to be played at the venue
  • an assessment by a registered building surveyor detailing the patron capacity of the licensed premise

Supporting documents

For more information see the Stonnington Planning Scheme Licensed Premises Policy(PDF, 851KB)

Stonnington Liquor Accord 

The Stonnington Liquor Accord is a group of licensed premises business owners/operator who share a common aim to:

  • encourage and implement best practice in the management of licensed premises and the immediate external environment.
  • promote responsible standards of behaviour to maximise the safety of everyone in and around out City.
  • maintain high operational standards to ensure patrons enjoy their experience.
  • provide training opportunities and pilot programs to ensure best practice.

Membership to the group is free and is open to all Stonnington businesses who hold a liquor license.

The Stonnington Liquor Accord meets quarterly with representatives from Council, Victoria Police and the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to discuss current issues.

The Accord also runs member training programs on:

  1. Emergency management
  2. Advanced RSA
  3. Conflict resolution
  4. Mental health first aid

If you would like to know more or become a member email the Liquor Accord or call 8290 1333.

Planning permit for business

If you have a business, you may need to apply for a planning permit if you plan to:

  • carry out building works
  • display advertising signage
  • increase operating hours 
  • reduce the number of parking spaces
  • change the use of the building

The requirement for planning approval is based on the zoning of the land, and specific planning controls on how the land can be used.

How to apply

Submit your application for planning approval online (fees apply).

Apply now

Your application will need to include the following:

  • a copy of title and relevant lot plan (available from the Landata website)
  • a description of the proposal
  • floor plans of the existing and proposed layout of the site, including any proposed external building and works and signage
  • elevations of any proposed external building and works and signage

A member of our Planning Services team will contact you within 28 days of receipt of your application.

Supporting information

Heritage Design Guidelines(PDF, 6MB)

Stonnington Planning Scheme Advertising Policy(PDF, 836KB)

Business Permit Application Guidelines(PDF, 462KB)

View the Victorian Heritage Database

For help with your application email our Business Concierge team or call 8290 3222.

Temporary food business permit

If you're planning to sell or serve food at a community event, festival, market or fete, or hold a sausage sizzle you must obtain a permit first.

Applications can be submitted online via the Streatrader website.

Apply now

Fee exemptions apply for non-profit organisations, community groups and registered food businesses

Please note: Registered food businesses must provide a copy of their current Certificate of Registration (under the Food Act 1984), with their application.

Supporting information 

Street stall permits - Cooking on a public footpath, without prior approval, is strictly prohibited. To enquire, please contact our Local Laws team on 8290 1333.

Event permits - If you are planning an event you may need an event permit. To enquire, please contact our Festivals and Events team on 8290 1333

For more information or assistance email our Environmental Health team or call 8290 1333.

Industry specific regulations

Accommodation business regulations

If you're planning to open an accommodation or rooming house business, you need obtain approval first.

How to apply

  1. Submit an Application for Plans Approval(PDF, 83KB) with two copies of the floor plan, and Application to Register Prescribed Accommodation(PDF, 228KB).
  2. Email our Building Services team or call 8290 1333 to check the building meets fire safety and disability standards.
  3. Email our Planning Services team or call 8290 1333 to check requirements for change of use, signage and car parking.
  4. Visit the Consumer Affairs Victoria website to check residential tenancy standards requirements.

Supporting documents

Operating a rooming house(PDF, 163KB)

For more information or advice email our Environmental Health team or call 8290 1333

Beauty or body art business regulations

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, all beauty or body art businesses must be approved and registered by the local government authority. 

Registration is required for businesses who offer the following services:

  • ear piercing
  • body piercing
  • tattooing
  • colonic irrigation
  • manicure/pedicure
  • waxing/threading
  • electrolysis
  • acupuncture 
  • skin beauty treatments (facials, laser treatment, dermabrasion, dry needling, foot spa, cosmetic tattooing)
  • hairdressing
  • wigs/hair extensions
  • beauty services (make up, spray tan, eyebrow/eyelash tinting, eyelash extensions)

Starting a new business

If you're planning  to build or fit out a beauty or body art business please refer to our Construction Guidelines for Health premises(PDF, 430KB)

  1. Before starting a beauty or body art business you must complete an Application for Plans Approval for Health Premises(PDF, 83KB) and an Application to Register Health Premises(PDF, 52KB) (fees apply).
  2. Upon receipt of your application, an Environment Health Officer will inspect the premises and, if deemed satisfactory, a Certificate of Registration will be issued.
  3. When you receive the Certificate of Registration your business can open.

Buying an existing business

If buying an existing business you must complete an Application to Transfer Registration - Health Premises(PDF, 58KB).

For more information and advice email our Environmental Health team or call 8290 1333

COVID-19 restrictions eased - what you need to know

On 1 June 2020, the Victorian Government eased COVID-19 restrictions - to allow beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours to open with up to 20 patrons.

See Business Victoria’s Beauty and Personal Care Facility Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) for important information to support your business safely resume operations. These guidelines include links to templates for mandatory signage and mechanisms to keep a record of customers.

For the latest COVID-19 information and advice visit the Victorian Government’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Australian Government’s Department of Health.

Visit our Business resources during COVID-19 page for other support opportunities.

Food business regulations

All businesses that prepare, store or handle food for sale, must be registered with Council and comply with the Food Act 1984 and Food Standards Code.

Starting a new business

Please refer to our guide on starting a new food business(PDF, 39KB). If you're planning to build or fit out a food premises please refer to our Construction Guidelines for Food Premises(PDF, 527KB).

  1. Before starting a new food business you need to complete an Application for Plans Approval(PDF, 76KB) and Application to Register Food Premises(PDF, 237KB) (fees apply).
  2. Upon receipt of your application, an Environment Health Officer will inspect the premises and, if deemed satisfactory, a Certificate of Registration will be issued.
  3. When you receive the Certificate of Registration your food business can open.

Buying an existing business

If buying an existing food business you need to obtain a Property enquiry report(PDF, 896KB) (fees apply) and complete an Application for Transfer Food Business Registration(PDF, 23KB).

FoodSafe Program

We run a free Stonnington FoodSafe Program to encourage local businesses to maintain the highest standard in food safety and hygiene.

FoodSafe assessments occur as part of your annual inspection, when an Environmental Health officer will assess your food business based on compliance with the Food Standards Code and Food Act 1984.

To be recognised as FoodSafe, a business must:

  • be a Class 1 or 2 food premises within the City of Stonnington
  • achieve a rating of 91% or above in the Stonnington FoodSafe assessment
  • have no critical food safety issues identified during the inspection
  • provide the name and qualification (certificate) of their Food Safety Supervisor
  • have had no failed food samples or justified serious complaints in the preceding 12 months

For more information about our FoodSafe program email our Environmental Health team or call 8290 1333.