Starting, expanding or buying a business


Are you starting, expanding or buying a business in the Swan Hill Region? Council is here to help guide you through each step of the process.

You may need approval from Council to conduct certain business activities. This can include specific business permits or registrations for your business type.

Your business

Step 1.Prepare

  • Develop a business plan
  • Research how and where you want to operate

Step 2.Complete the questionnaire

Complete our business questionnaire and a member from the Business Support Team will be in contact with you. Once we’ve reviewed the information, depending on the complexity of your proposal, you may be invited to a face to face ‘pre-application’ meeting with relevant Council departments e.g. planners, engineers and health officers. This will be arranged by Council’s Business Support team.

Complete the questionnaire

Step 3.Apply

  • Prepare and lodge your applications

Step 4.Assessment

Your business plans determine which permits you need and depending on the intended business activities, you may need more than one of these permit types:

  • Planning (2-24 Months*)
    May be required to operate a home business, change the use of a premises, adding signage or other external modifications and trading of liquor.
  • Building (1-2 Months*)
    May be required when your business is structurally altered or modified internally.
  • Engineering (1-2 Months*)
    May be required for stormwater management or traffic entrance / exit management.
  • Environmental Health (1-3 Months*)
    Will be required for business involving the sale of food, health and beauty, tobacco, wastewater, septic systems and prescribed accommodation.
  • Local Laws (2-3 Weeks*)
    May be required to approve outdoor use of tables and charis, animal business, A-Frame signage or use of Council land.

*Timelines are indicative and can depend on whether Council needs to request further information, advertise your plans to the public and/or refer to Victorian State Government regulators.

Step 5.Outcome

  • You will be provided with a copy of the outcome of your permit and/or registration application(s)
  • Once you have been issued with the correct permits for your business you can start operating

Step 6.Ongoing Support

  • Stay in touch with Council for ongoing business support

Business Victoria provides a range of information to assist your business: