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Other business requirements to consider
Where will you operate from?
You will need a Development Application to build new premises. New buildings may also require rezoning and/or development applications. You may also be required to advertise the redevelopment site. Contact your council for further information.
You may need a Development Application if you are going to renovate the premises. If the premises are not already used by a business industry of your type, you may require a Change of Use Development Application. You may also be required to advertise the redevelopment of the site. Contact your council for further information.
Working from home
You may need an Operate from Home Permit. If the premises are not already used by a business industry of your type, you may require a Change of Use Development Application. You may also be required to advertise the redevelopment of the site. Note: Some councils have a policy for home-based businesses which must be complied with. Contact your council for further information.
Learn about the different types of business premises in Queensland.
Taking over and renovating existing business premises
You may need a Development Application. Renovations involving the structure of the building or plumbing require council approval. Contact your council for further information.
If you buy an existing business you may choose to buy or lease the building from which the business operates. There are no licensing requirements for buying or leasing premises, however, you should consider solicitor fees, costs of rent and real estate agent fees. Note: Some councils conduct inspections of existing businesses before they are sold so be sure to contact your council for further information.
Learn more about leasing premises.
Buying a business
If you are buying a business or taking over an existing business you may need to pay transfer (stamp) duty on the transfer of business assets.
Learn more about buying a business.
Putting up new signs or amending an existing advertising signage
You need Advertising Signage Approval from your council. This may include A-frame signs on the footpath. Regulations vary so check with your local council for further information.
Using or obstructing the footpath outside your premises
You will need a Footpath Usage/Obstruction Permit. Some councils do not regulate this form of permit. Check with your local council. This permit remains in effect only for the designated address and operating hours.
Discharge trade waste into the sewerage system
You need an Application for approval to discharge trade waste. If you discharge any liquid other than domestic sewerage, then you discharge trade waste. Some councils do not regulate this form of permit. Check with your local council. Note that this permit is not transferable.
Using business vehicles
If you have a business vehicle you may need a:
- Commercial vehicle registration – managed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads. This is an annual registration that all commercial vehicles must have. Vehicles used for commercial use should be recorded as commercial for both registration and compulsory third party insurance.
- Commercial vehicle permit – managed by your local council, this is the permit that allows your vehicle to be parked in loading zones and other regulated parking spaces. Fees vary and it can take up to 4 weeks to get the permit. Note that some councils do not regulate commercial vehicles.
Playing radio, recorded music, digital music videos or TV
If you play radio, recorded music, digital music (streaming), videos or television to customers or staff in your business, you will need a Public Performance Music Licence from OneMusic Australia. OneMusic Australia collects revenue for all copyright music, sound recordings and music videos used in public performance.
Engaging live or featured recorded music performers
If you host a live artist performer or a DJ playing curated recorded music or a combination of both (even if you pay them a performance fee and even if they are playing their own music) for customers or staff, you will need a Public Performance Music Licence from OneMusic Australia. OneMusic Australia collects revenue for all copyright music, sound recordings and music videos used in public performance.
Queensland tobacco laws affect most people running a business. There are penalties for non-compliance, mandatory employee training for retailers, and bans on smoking in enclosed places such as indoor areas (for example, dining areas while meals are available or consumed, workplaces, workshops, factories, shopping centres, home businesses while an employee is present, work vehicles). Get more information about tobacco laws from Queensland Health by phoning 13QGOV (13 74 68).
- Use the business startup guide to find out how to improve your chances of business success.