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Permits & licenses


Business owners and managers are responsible for ensuring they comply with Federal, State and Local legislation and regulation. Each level of government has regulations that may apply to your business. In order to be sure that you understand your regulatory obligations, you should seek information from each level of government. This section provides an overview of your responsibilities and where to go for assistance.

Further information is also provided in the new business section.

Business names and Australian Business Numbers

To operate a business in Australia, you are required to register a business name and apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) ). You can do this through the Australian Government Business Registration service here

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Business licences

The online Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) is designed to help people who wish to start or operate a business. ABLIS provides information about licences, permits and other regulations that you might need in order to run a business in Australia.

Using ABLIS you can search for and obtain information about a broad range of  Federal and State Government Regulations relevant to your business. You can select which documents, forms, handouts and information sheets you need and download them or have them sent to you by post, email or fax.

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Business use of the footpath 

Outdoor dining and use of footpaths is increasing across the City of Canada Bay as local businesses prosper and look for opportunities to create more vibrant and interesting shopping areas. In order to ensure consistency, control and fairness, there is a policy that applies to business use of footpaths across the City of Canada Bay. In some instances footpath dining is not permitted. Please ensure you review the policy and if in doubt, contact the City of Canada Bay's Property Team on 9911 6555.

To assist local business owners, fees are maintained at a fraction of the cost per square metre of retail space. Businesses that would like to use public footpaths for business purposes must lodge a Business Use of Footpath Application Form with the City of Canada Bay, together with a plan showing the dimensions of the footpath area required and any permanent or temporary structures they wish to install.

The application will be assessed to ensure compliance with the policy and that awnings are structurally sound and in keeping within the existing streetscape. Prior to purchasing or leasing a commercial property or making a Business Use of the Footpath Application, it is recommended to contact the Property Services Team to discuss the policy and what is permitted on the proposed site. Unlicensed use of public footpath will be fined in accordance with the City of Canada Bay's Enforcement Policy.

Filming and photography

The City of Canada Bay supports filming and photography in the local area and has hosted all manner of filming customers, ranging from small student films to large scale network productions. We have a responsibility to our residents, businesses and the local environment to ensure these activities are carried out in a way that minimises disruption and inconvenience.

Please consult the filming & photography section of this website for further information.

Environmental health

The City of Canada Bay is committed to its Food Safety Surveillance Strategy and Skin Penetration Surveillance Strategy, which aim to reduce the risks associated with these activities. Every business selling food or undertaking skin penetration procedures (e.g. waxing, piercing, tattooing and other beauty treatments) must be registered with the City of Canada Bay prior to commencing their business operation.

The City of Canada Bay officers regularly inspect these businesses for compliance with applicable legislation. These inspections attract compulsory fees. Other businesses which are required to register with the City of Canada Bay and incur inspection fees include mortuaries, funeral parlours, shared accommodation, adult premises, public swimming pool operators (including swim schools) and businesses with cooling towers.

Home based business

Operating a home business or home industry is exempt development (Subdivision 22) under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (SEPP) when it meets the code. The home business or home industry must not involve the manufacture of food products or skin penetration procedures. The use of the home to operate a business to be considered exempt development within the SEPP must not involve a change of building use and utilise no greater than 10 per cent of the total floor area (internal).

Under the Building Code of Australia, a change of building use involving a floor area greater than 10 per cent of the floor area of a building would cause the building to contravene the development standard. In addition, your home business must comply with clause 5.4 of the LEP.

Please liaise with the City of Canada Bay's Duty Planner on 9911 6555 between 8:30am and 1pm Monday to Friday regarding whether your anticipated home business will meet the requirements of the SEPP and if not, the recommended procedure to undertake.

NSW legislation

Parliamentary Counsel's Office (PCO) maintains State legislation including acts, regulations and planning instruments. The site contains legislation relevant to business including the Fair Trading Act 1987, Retail Leases Act 1994 and Food Act 2003.

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Parking permits

To find out more about this scheme and to determine if you are eligible for a permit, please go to the parking permits section.

Personal trainers

Personal trainers using public spaces in the city are required to register and pay the relevant fee to the City of Canada Bay. The objective of the registration fee is for the City of Canada Bay to be able to maintain an up-to-date registry of trainers using its facilities and to ensure they have appropriate insurance and professional qualifications and affiliations. For more information, please view the Personal Fitness Trainers Registration Fact Sheet or if you would like to register, please fill out the Personal Fitness Trainers Registration Form.