Help with Business Permits

1. Overview

Business Support 

Whether you’re a new or established business, you’ll likely need one or more permits to operate. Council has a dedicated team to help guide your business through the application process. We know that there’s a lot to consider when starting or changing a business, so we want to make sure you get the permits you need.

Our business development team is here to make this happen and will help you at each stage of the process. Contact us during business hours (9am to 5pm) on 03 5382 9777 or email

  • Before you apply, we’ll help you get the advice you need to apply for a permit. The business support officer will arrange a pre-application meeting if necessary. 


Do I need a permit?

Whether you are a new or established business, you will likely need a permit to operate - some businesses may even need more than one permit. This page will help you determine the type of permits you may need and apply if you're ready. 

There are five different business permits.

2. Planning Permit

If you answer yes to any of the following questions you'll likely need a planning permit:

  • Are you changing the business type from its current form?
  • Are you changing the trading hours of the business?
  • Are you applying for or altering a liquor licence?
  • Are you adding or changing signage?
  • Are you looking to paint a heritage listed building?
  • Do you have a car park or are you seeking a reduction in car parking?


Apply for a Planning Permit                                               Planning application requirements


3. Building Permit

If you answer yes to the following questions you will need to apply for a building permit:

  • Are you planning on carrying out any internal fit outs or alterations on your premises?
  • Are you planning to carry out any structural alteration to the exterior of the building (including increasing window and door sizes)?
  • Do you want to increase the number of people that can occupy your building at any one time?
  • Are you changing the use of the premises? (i.e. converting a shop to a restaurant/Bar)
  • Are you altering any essential safety measures? (i.e fire hydrants, fire hose reels, exit signs, emergency lighting or paths of travel to an exit)


Apply for your Building Permit                                            Building permit information


4. Food Permit

If you answer yes to the following questions you'll likely need a food permit:

  • Do you intend to sell food or drink on the premises of your business?


Apply for your Food Permit                                                 Food business information


5. Health Permit

If you answer yes to any of the following questions you'll likely need a health permit:

  • Do you intend to sell health related services on your premises? (i.e hairdressing, beauty treatments, tattooing or skin penetration or piercing)
  • Are you opening an accommodation business such as a hotel, motel, hostel, student dorms, holiday camps, rooming house or residential accommodation?


Apply for your Health Permit                                                Health business information


6. Septic Tank Permit

If you answer yes to the following questions you'll likely need a septic tank permit:

  • Is your building located outside of the Horsham or Natimuk sewerage service areas?


Apply for your Septic Tank Permit                                     Septic tank information


7. Footpath Permit

If you are operating a business within Horsham and wish to place items on the footpath, you may be required to obtain a Footpath Permit.

Footpath permits are required for:

  • Street activation (umbrellas, pots and planter boxes)
  • Display of goods (fruit, veg, flowers)
  • Advertising
  • Outdoor dining

Contact Council on 5382 9777 for guidelines on placement of items on a footpath.

Apply for your Footpath Permit