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Other permits for businesses

The following information may be helpful if you are seeking one or more of the following permits:

  • footpath trading permits
  • street trading and special events permits
  • real estate signage permits

Permits you may require when you start your business

Many businesses need one or more permits to operate from a site within Merri-bek.

To identify which permits you will need to start a business, go to our Starting a new business page.

Footpath Trading Permits Hospitality and Non-Hospitality

If you have a business in Merri-bek, you will need a permit to put the following removable items on the footpath in front of your business:

  • advertising signs (A-board)*
  • goods and products to sell
  • tables and chairs
  • benches
  • outdoor heaters
  • umbrellas
  • screens
  • planter boxes

By giving out footpath trading permits, we can make sure the footpaths around Merri-bek are clear and can be accessed by all people.

We have developed Footpath Trading Guidelines (PDF) to meet the federal government’s 'Disability Discrimination Act 1992'. We have also developed a footpath checklist that will help you make sure you have correctly followed the guidelines.

Please review our Footpath Trading Guidelines and our Footpath Trading Checklist (PDF) documents prior to applying.

Footpath Trading Permits are valid until August 31 each year. 

*Please note A-boards that contravene the Tobacco Act 1987 will not be approved. Please visit the Department of Health to find further information about the tobacco reforms and the Tobacco Act 1987.

  • You need to pay your footpath trading permit fees each year.

    The 2023 to 2024 fees for footpath trading permits are included below:

    • A-boards are $131* each
    • Tables are $58* per item
    • Chairs are $23.20* per item
    • Bench seats are $123* per bench
    • Planter boxes/tubs are $58*
    • Outdoor heaters are $58*
    • Umbrellas are $58*
    • Cafe (outdoor dining) screens are $237* per permit
    • Other miscellaneous items are $58* per item
    • Goods displays are $246*
    • Fruit and veg or plant/flower business cost $328* per permit
    • New application inspection fees (non-refundable) are $61.90*

    *subject to change

  • Once you have reviewed the Footpath trading guidelines (PDF) and our Footpath Trading Checklist (PDF), there are two parts to submitting a footpath trading permit application.

    Part A is to get permission to trade on the footpath outside your business.

    To apply for a footpath trading permit, you need to provide:

    • your business and personal contact details 
    • the number and type of items to be placed on the footpath
    • a Site plan form (PDF) showing the proposed placement of items on the footpath (A site plan is not required for A-Board only applications). Please find an example of a completed site plan here (png)
    • a copy of your current Public Liability Insurance Policy that must contain your Policy Number, minimum coverage of $10 million and current expiry date
    • a copy of your Liquor Licence and details of your red zone, if they are needed for your business

    Part B is optional and should be completed if you want to trade on the footpath outside your neighbour's business.

    If you are applying for part B you need to provide:

    • written consent from the tenant or operator of the neighbouring property. If the neighbouring property is empty, consent is required from the managing agent. If the neighbouring building is a flat or apartment block, consent is required from the body corporate (there is a template included in the application form). You can provide this consent by filling in our Written permission for extended trading form (PDF).
    • the number and type of items to be placed on the footpath
    • Site plan form (PDF) showing the proposed placement of items on the footpath (there is a template included in the application form). A site plan is not required for A-Board only applications.
    • a copy of your updated Liquor Licence and details of your red zone, if they are needed for your business
  • Apply online

    You can apply online by:

    1. Registering an account on our eServices website. This is an optional step but as a registered user you won't need to re-enter your personal information and can keep track of requests and applications on any device.
    2. Apply for a Footpath Trading Permit on our eServices website
    3. Attach the required documents to your application
    4. An invoice will then be emailed to you for your payment

    Apply by email

    You can apply by email by:

    1. Completing the Footpath Trading Permit application form (PDF)
    2. Attaching the required documents to your application
    3. Emailing your completed application to citysafety@merri-bek.vic.gov.au for our Amenity and Compliance team to review
    4. An invoice will then be emailed to you for your payment

    Apply by post or in person

    You can apply by post or in person by:

    1. Completing the Footpath Trading Permit application form (PDF)
    2. Attaching the required documents to your application
    3. Either posting the application, required documents to Amenity and Compliance, Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Brunswick VIC 3056, or delivering these in person to the Merri-bek Civic Centre, 90 Bell Street, Coburg
    4. An invoice will then be posted/emailed to you for your payment

    When we receive your application, a Local Laws Officer may inspect the property.

    When we approve your application, a permit will be emailed for your records.

  • Once you have a footpath trading permit, you can apply to extend it or to make changes (e.g. add additional items).

    Extend your Footpath Trading Permit

    To apply, you'll need to complete a new application form to include updated site plans, insurance certificates for extension and the consent of your neighbour. 

    You can do this by filling in our Extension to Footpath Trading permit application form (PDF).

    Make changes to your Footpath Trading Permit

    To make changes to your Footpath Trading Permit, you'll need to submit a new application form to include current and new items.

    You can do this by filling in our Changes to Footpath Trading permit application form (PDF).

    How to apply

    Submit your application form and other required documents in one of the following ways:

    When we receive your application, a Local Laws Officer may inspect the property.

    When we approve your application you will receive an invoice by email.

    When we receive your payment, a permit will be emailed to you for your records.

  • The permit holder must comply with (and is responsible for the compliance by their employees, agents and volunteers) with the conditions of the permit, endorsed plans and the requirements and objectives as outlined within the Footpath Trading Permit Guidelines and as amended from time to time and with all other laws.

    • Items should not be fixed to the pavement without a relevant permit and must be removed from the footpath after trading, in accordance with the Footpath Trading Guidelines.
    • The permit holder must inform Council of any breaches of these conditions, guidelines or the law immediately, and if not possible such as in the event of an emergency, within 48 hours.
    • To the extent of any inconsistency between these conditions, guidelines and the law, the law prevails, then these conditions.
    • The permit holder must only use approved furniture in the approved layout in the trading zone approved under the permit and endorsed site plan and only during trading hours. No unapproved items are permitted.
    • Trading hours: Footpath Trading between the hours of 9am – 11pm in commercial areas and 9am - 10pm in residential areas or within 30ms of a residential area, or in accordance with the hours specified by any planning permit for the business.
    • Liquor trading area: Permitted footpath liquor trading area (subject to approval from VCGLR) in front of properties specified in this approved permit bounded by the property line.
    • The permit holder occupies and uses the areas at the permit holder’s own risk.
    • All approved items must be suitably weighted to the reasonable satisfaction of Council. Items and weights must not cause an obstruction or public safety risk.
    • Outdoor freestanding gas heaters must be maintained in a proper state of repair and be safe and lawful and be operated in a safe and lawful way.
    • Extension cords running from the premises to items within the trading area are prohibited.
    • The permit holder must reasonably ensure that the area and immediate access ways are kept clean presentable, and the area is free from rubbish and hazards.
    • The permit holder must ensure the furniture and items are safe, clean and in good condition.
    • The permit holder is reasonably responsible for the good order, conduct and behaviour of patrons using the area.
    • The permit holder must maintain a comprehensive public risk insurance policy for a minimum of ten million dollars ($10,000,000) cover with an insurer approved by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority ("APRA") current for the term of the Permit.
    • The permit holder is responsible to discuss and update Public Liability Insurance with the Insurance company to ensure the outdoor dining area, including any extensions to neighbouring trading area are covered for public liability incidents.
    • The permit must be visible or available upon request by an Authorised Officer of Council.
    • The permit holder must notify Council in writing of any amendments to the permit.
    • The permit holder indemnifies and releases the Council from all liability arising from the use or occupation of the area or the conduct of the permit holder’s business by the permit holder or the permit holder’s agents including:
      • claim for personal injury, loss or damage;
      • loss or damage to property belonging to the permit holder or other person located in the vicinity of the area caused by the permit holder or the permit holder’s agents;
      • loss, damage, injury or illness sustained or incurred by the permit holder or any of the permit holder’s agents

     

I would like to renew my Footpath Trading Permit

We send renewal notices in the mail when it is time for you to renew.

Once you have receieved your renewal notice please complete and sign the renewal form. Then return this via email to citysafety@merri-bek.vic.gov.au along with your public liability insurance and Footpath Trading Extension Letter of Consent (PDF) (if required). If you would like to make amendments to your removeable items please see 'How to change or extend existing footpath trading permits' (above).  

Once we have received all the required documents an invoice will be emailed to you for payment. 

When your payment is received your footpath trading permit will be emailed to you. 

Business Parking Permits

A Business Parking Permit allows you to park in bays that have a 'Business Zone' sign within the area specified on your permit. A Business Parking Permit is for permanent businesses, not temporary ones.

More information on Business Parking Permits and locations is available on our Business parking permits page

Hosting activities or holding events on public land

If you want to hold an event for your business or organisation on public land, you need a Street Trading and Special Event permit from Council. We issue this permit so that we can encourage responsible trading and entertainment, and support local business owners. You can find out more about this permit on our Local law permits page.

With this permit, you can:

  • promote your business to customers, including by handing out flyers
  • sell products and services from a public place in a one-time promotion
  • hold special events
  • host activities in a public space with furniture and other items

You must apply for a Street Trading and Special Event permit before doing anything listed above. If you don't follow this rule and complete these activities without a permit you may be fined.

You can find out more about Street Trading and Special Event permits on our Local law permits page.

Real estate signage permit

If you are a real estate agent in Merri-bek and you want to place any board or sign on public land, you need a real estate signage permit. This includes if you want to put 'Open for inspection' or Auction signs on footpaths or nature strips.

This permit costs $738 per franchise and is renewable each year. For more information, see the Council Real Estate Signage guidelines (DOC 42Kb).

Please note – one permit is required for each premises (e.g. if your company has multiple locations you need a permit for each location).

Information about Community Event Signage can be found on our advertising and club signage in open space reserves

Applying for a real estate signage permit

To apply for a real estate signage permit, you will need a copy of your current valid public liability insurance policy. You can then fill in the Real Estate Signage Permit application form (DOC 42Kb) and do one of the following:

When we approve your application you will receive an invoice. Once we receive your payment, a permit will be posted to you.

Paying your invoice

You can pay your invoice online by Visa or MasterCard on our eServices website. You will need the 'Application number' located on your invoice to complete this payment.

You can register as a user to access My Accounts on our eServices website. As a registered user, you can keep track of requests and applications on any device and don't need to re-enter your personal information.

  • You can pay your renewal fee with a Visa or MasterCard over the phone 24 hours a day using Council's secure automated system.

    To make this payment you need to:

    1. Phone 9240 1111 and press 1 to make a payment. Then press 7 to pay 'licencing tax invoices' and follow the voice prompts.
    2. Provide the ‘Application number' located on your invoice or renewal notice and your Visa or MasterCard details.
  • To pay your invoice by post you need to:

    1. Separate the payment slip at the bottom of your invoice or renewal notice and mail it with your cheque or money order to Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Brunswick 3056, before the due date.
    2. Make the cheque or money order payable to ‘Merri-bek City Council’ and cross it 'Not negotiable'. Do not include cash in the mail.

    We do not provide a receipt for payments received by mail. Please keep the top section of the notice for your records.

  • You can pay your business renewal fee in person by bringing your notice to one of our Council Customer Service Centres before the due date. The locations of these centres are on our Contact us page.

    You can pay by Visa or MasterCard, EFTPOS, cheque, money order and cash. The minimum payment for all card transactions is $10 and there is no cash out facility.