Starting, Expanding or Buying a Business

Thank you for choosing the Mansfield Shire as a place to start or grow your business. Whether you have plans for a new business and want to get started, or are taking over or expanding an existing business, you may need permission from Council to operate. We understand that it can be difficult to know where to start. We have developed this information as a roadmap to help you understand the permit application process, and the impact of regulations on your plans.

What types of permits might my business need?


There are a range of permits or registrations your business might need including:

  • Planning - includes permits for subdividing land, use of land, use of building for business, displaying signs, street trading and other statutory planning requirements.
  • Building - includes building permits that relate to the method of construction of a building or development, and the use of the building to ensure it meets relevant building codes.
  • Health - includes registration and certificates required for wastewater and septic systems, food premises, accommodation premises, hairdressers, beauty premises and tattoo premises.
  • Community Safety - includes traders' parking permits, domestic animal business permits, and footpath trading permits for furniture, display items, sandwich boards or “A frames” placed on the footpath or on council land.

Business permit checklist

We have developed a checklist to help you understand which permits you may need to apply for:

Business Permit Checklist



How to apply overview

Getting started

Get started by reading the Prepare section below before you commence your application's activities.


Spend time now preparing to get your application right. Providing the right information and using the professional assistance of a quality draftsperson or planning consultant (if required) can save time on the assessment and may get the doors to your business open sooner.

What is your business idea?

Start by writing down what you know about your business proposal. You will need to be able to describe the type of business you want to set up and how it will operate in some detail. 

Background research

These links below provide you with a range of advice and tools to assist your business preparation:

What permits do I need?

The Business Permit Checklist is available to help you understand the types of permits you may need for your business. It will take around three minutes.  Once you have completed the checklist, you will be able to request contact with a team member who will discuss the permits that you will likely need and what your next steps are within the applications.

Permit support meeting

If you need multiple permits, the Economic Development Team can arrange a meeting with you and the relevant Council departments to get advice on what information you'll need to include in your application. Simply complete the Business Permit Checklist above, or provide your details here and we will contact you to arrange a meeting. These meetings are free.

You are ready to apply!

Once you have your business proposal and you know which permits you need to apply for and what information you need to provide, you are ready to apply!


Once you have completed the Business Permit Checklist (see the Prepare section above) and spoken with our team to confirm which permit(s) apply to your business, you are ready to apply.

Find out more about the permits required for your business:


Once your permit application form has been submitted, we will begin assessing your application.

Receiving the application

A team member from each relevant department will be assigned to your application, and they will contact you to advise the expected timelines to assess your application. You are welcome to contact them to check on the status of your application. The Economic Development Team also will be available as a point of contact throughout this process.

Permit payments

There are standard fees that apply to all permit types. The details of your application will determine the exact fees and charges. A team member from the relevant department will contact you after you submit your application, to confirm the final fee and payment details.

Requests for further information

You may receive a request for further information during the assessment phase. Please be prompt in responding to any requests as a slow response may delay a decision on your application.


Once we have finished our assessment, we will be in touch to confirm our decision.

If your application is approved, we will email you a copy of your permit or registration and, where appropriate, hard copies will also be mailed to you.

When you are ready to open the doors, our Economic Development team will assist you to hit the ground running by flagging services that will help your business to grow and succeed.

Thank you for choosing Mansfield as a place to start or grow your business.


Support - Economic Development Team

Our Economic Development team are available to provide advice and support for businesses. We're your first point of contact before you apply, during the application process, and after you open the doors.

We can provide information up-front and discuss the steps you'll need to take to open your business. We'll clarify who to speak to and the support available from Council or other organisations, based on your circumstances. At any time, we're here to give you the right information before you sign a lease or purchase a property, to avoid you making costly mistakes. 

Learn more about the Economic Development team, call us on 03 5775 8555 or email us or provide your details below and we'll call at a time that suits you. This is a free service.

Contact Business Unit