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City of Bunbury


What Approvals Do I Need to Start My Business?

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Before you start or change your business, you will need to check whether you will need approval from the City. Many businesses will need one or more of the following approvals from the City of Bunbury.


Planning approval is required for most developments within the City of Bunbury and may be required for the type of business you wish to operate.

Additionally, you may require planning approval if you are changing the type of business that is currently on the property (for example if you are wishing to change from a hair salon to a restaurant).

Planning approval may also be required for any external works proposed to a property, including advertising signage.

To determine whether you require planning approval to operate your business it is recommended that you contact the City’s Duty Planner.


Building approval is separate from planning approval.

Generally, a building permit is required before any building work can be carried out. In most cases, a building permit application will be required if your business idea/ proposal includes the construction, renovation, alteration, or improvement of a building.

Additionally, all works that require a building permit are required to submit a notice of completion. The notice of completion must be given to the relevant permit authority within seven days of completion of the work, or the stage of work, for which the permit was granted.

An occupancy permit must also be obtained before a building can be occupied. The occupancy permit is an important document because it sets out the approved use of the building and its classification under the National Construction Code.

For more information, you may wish to look at this guide that has been produced by the Building Commission. It provides a general overview of the process for building approvals in Western Australia.

To determine whether you require building approval to operate your business it is recommended that you contact the City’s Building team.


Depending on the type of business you wish to operate, you may require certain types of health approval.
This applies to you if you are considering opening a café or restaurant, home-based food businesses, street trading, accommodating people, hairdressing services and personal beauty service businesses such as offering waxing and skin penetration.
Additionally, all food businesses within the Bunbury must register their food business with the City of Bunbury.
If you are proposing to change or install a grease trap or septic tank as part of your business and are not connected to sewer you will be required to apply for health approval.
To determine whether you require health approval to operate your business it is recommended that you contact the City’s Health team.

External Agencies

Approvals may also be required from external state government agencies for things such as the provision or selling of liquor and gambling or disposal of trade waste.

How to Find Out What Approvals You Will Need

If you are wondering what approvals you need to operate your business in Bunbury, give us a call on 9792 7000, email us on or come in and see us at our main administration building.
You may also like to visit the Small Business Development Corporation, who provide the Business Licence Finder, to help you discover the licences and permits you may need to run or start a business in Western Australia.