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Starting a new business

Starting a business can be very exciting, but there is a lot for you to do. You will need to check and organise relevant permits and registrations.

Our Economic Development Team (Business Merri-bek) are here for you but before you contact us, the following may help to answer some of your questions.

Tools and resources for starting your business

It is important that you do your research, ask lots of questions and find out if the location you're considering is suited to your business service or product, and accessible to your potential customer base.

The Australian Government's business website provides a Guide to Starting a Business that will show you how to analyse your business idea and help you identify if you are ready to start.

The Australian and Victorian government's business websites provide you with free access to information, templates and resources that are reliable and helpful.

The Australian government's business website provides a guide that will take you through each step of starting a business and help you understand what's ahead.

This includes information on the following and many more topics:

  • Register your business
  • Prepare your finances
  • Know the law
  • Prepare for tax
  • Set up operations
  • Market your business

The Victorian government's business website provides a range of information on:

  • Business
  • Tools and templates
  • Grants and programs; and
  • Workshops and mentoring

Running your business from home

Business permits and registrations 

Business Approvals Merri-bek (BAM)

Many new businesses will need a permit or registration to operate. Some businesses may need more than one.

Click here for more information about each type of permit.

Most business permits and registrations are site specific. So, when you've identified a potential site for your business, that's the time to find out which permits and registrations are relevant. You can do this by completing the Business Approvals Merri-bek (BAM) online questionnaire. 

Start your questionnaire

You will be contacted within two business days to advise which permits you will need.

If you require more than one permit or registration, we can organise a meeting with the relevant Council units to discuss your requirements in more detail. 

‘Open for Business’ industry permit guidelines and factsheets can also assist you to navigate Council's permit process.

Building permits

*Please note*

It is recommended that you seek advice from a private Building Surveyor.  At this stage, Council is unable to process any Building permit applications. 

The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) maintains a list of all registered Building Surveyors in the State.  You can use their Building Practitioner Search to search for a building surveyor by name, type of work, suburb, postcode or any combination of the above.

Business Approvals Merri-bek (BAM) video & step-by-step guide


Download a printable (PDF)