Trading outdoors in Queensland

To expand your business, you may like to consider trading outdoors. Outdoor trading can:

  • help to create vibrant public spaces
  • attract interest in your business
  • help you to serve more customers.

Consider the best outdoor option for your business, and what's permitted in your local area. Different options will have different local government requirements, and it may be faster, simpler, and more affordable to set up some types of outdoor trade than others.

Options include:

  • private land—for example, converting a rooftop, courtyard or on-site car park to a trading area
  • expanding to the footpath outside your business, or creating a built structure (e.g. with awnings and a roof for outdoor dining)
  • other public spaces such as civic squares, public parks, and pedestrian laneways—or your local government may support parklets, which are parking bays safely repurposed for outdoor trade
  • roadside vending or operating a mobile business such as a food truck.

Businesses should engage with their local government at the outset and throughout the process of establishing outdoor trade.

Steps to take before you start trading outdoors

Before your business starts trading outdoors, you need to know what outdoor trade is permitted and understand which licences and permits you may need.

Consider these steps:

Safety for customers and staff is a priority in any business location.

  • Think about how you will provide protection from the weather, including sun and rain. Review information about sun and shade to help keep your staff and customers safe.
  • Consider how your outdoor trade premises may be affected by a severe storm, flood or fire. Use the small business disaster hub to find disaster information for your industry.

There are a number of factors to consider when you design your outdoor trade area.

  • Consider the visual appeal of your proposed outdoor trading site so that it makes your business look attractive and meets any local government requirements, for example, regarding local character.
  • Engage with local government to understand any requirements for additional development approvals, to protect heritage, and to minimise environmental nuisance.
  • Ensure all building works and built structures comply with the required building laws, codes and standards
  • Read about the required forms, approvals and inspections for building work.
  • Review information on building access standards for people with a disability.
  • Review your local government's advice on keeping pathways free for all users.
  • Consider any barriers to access your outdoor space could potentially create, and ways to address these. Examples of barriers could include
    • bright lights and loud sounds
    • lack of or inaccessible pathways
    • lack of accessibility features on outdoor signage
    • lack of adjacent accessible parking or accessible restrooms
    • covered benches that do not allow for a wheelchair or other mobility device.
  • Review fact sheets on creating inclusive and accessible venues and events.
  • Consider creating your own access key, to provide accurate and convenient information about accessing your venue or event for all people, regardless of ability. Learn more about access keys from Access Ability Australia.

Plan for how to manage outdoor activities to meet all compliance requirements as advised by your local government or other government agency, for example:

  • compliance with laws and any relevant council policy
  • managing noise and nuisance behaviour
  • disposing rubbish and recycling
  • cleaning and maintenance
  • requirements for liquor, smoking and patron behaviour.

Business support for outdoor trading

Learn about support for small businesses to trade outdoors:

Also consider...