Small Business Portal

Building Approvals for Small Business

Have you recently been granted approval from the Shire for your business or are you intending to refurbish an existing commercial premises? 

You may require building approval from the Shire before you can begin to operate. 

Will there be internal fit-out work done? 

Fit-out refers to the process by which the interior of a commercial premises is renovated, built, decorated or furnished to meet the tenant's occupancy requirements. Fit-out work includes installation of:

  • Artificial lighting system
  • Floors and ceilings
  • HVAC systems
  • Fire protection systems 
  • Toilets
  • Partitions

If a proposed fit-out includes the above-mentioned work, a Building Permit is required. 

Why is a Building Permit required?

There is a common misconception that if fit-out work is not structural in nature, a Building Permit is not required. 

Building Permit requirements for fit-out work apply to both new and existing commercial buildings.

In most instances, some of the reasons why a Building Permit is needed include:

  • Partitions can affect the path of egress to an exit by occupants during an evacuation in a fire emergency. 
  • HVAC systems and fire protection systems including exit signs and emergency lighting have to comply with the requirements of the relevant Australian Standards and Building Code of Australia (BCA).
  • The layout of the premises may affect access to and within the building by a person with a disability. Most buildings are required by law to provide access for people with disabilities.
  • Premises that are required to provide universal accessible toilets for people with disabilities must ensure that the toilets satisfy the requirements of the BCA and Australian Standard AS 1428.1.

How do I submit a Building Permit application?

As it is a commercial property, a certified building permit application is required to be submitted. 

The completed application can be emailed to with a Building Credit Card Authorisation Form.

Occupancy Permits

Under the Building Act 2011 (the Act), an owner or occupier of a completed building must not occupy or use, or permit the occupation or use of the building unless an Occupancy Permit is in effect for the building. It is an offence under the Act to occupy a building without a valid Occupancy Permit. Substantial penalties apply under the Act and Building Regulations 2012 for non-compliance with this requirement.

What is an Occupancy Permit?

An occupancy permit grants approval for a building to be occupied or used. Details of the Occupancy Permit or a copy must be displayed at or near the main entrance to the building, clearly visible to occupiers and visitors to the building. 

More information can be found here.

When do I need to obtain an Occupancy Permit?

Before a Class 2 to Class 9 building can be occupied, an Occupancy Permit must be obtained from the Shire. The following circumstances will require an Occupancy Permit:

  • To occupy a completed new building or a new part of an existing building
  • To occupy an incomplete building or part of a building on a temporary basis
  • To modify a current Occupancy Permit for additional use of a building on a temporary basis
  • To occupy a building or part of a building that has undergone a permanent change of use or classification
  • To authorise and occupy an unauthorised building or an unauthorised part of a building
  • To authorise a building with an existing approval with a new or replacement occupancy permit.

Occupancy Permits for new buildings

To apply for an Occupancy Permit for new completed buildings, the following must be submitted:

  • BA9 - Application for occupancy permit
  • A Certificate of Construction Compliance (Form BA17) signed by a registered private building surveyor
  • Evidence of approval from various authorities under written law as relevant to the building or incidental structure
  • Prescribed fees, refer to schedule of fees 

Occupancy Permits for existing authorised occupied buildings

Before an Occupancy Permit can be issued for an existing authorised building, the following information must be submitted:

  • BA9 - Application for occupancy permit
  • A Certificate of Building Compliance (Form BA18) signed by a registered private building surveyor confirming that the existing building has been inspected and it complies with all applicable building standards it was approved under
  • Prescribed fees, refer to schedule of fees

Occupancy Permits for existing unauthorised buildings 

To enable the Shire to issue a retrospective Occupancy Permit for an existing unauthorised building and/or change of use, the following information must be submitted:

  • BA9 - Application for occupancy permit
  • A Certificate of Building Compliance (Form BA18) signed by a registered private building surveyor confirming that the building has been inspected and it complies with all current applicable building standards
  • Prescribed fees, refer to schedule of fees 

Submit an Occupancy Permit application

A building must be completed with all services (i.e. electrical, mechanical, fire and hydraulic services) installed and operational before an Occupancy Permit application is submitted to the Shire. Please note that technical certificates from specialists and trades may be required to be lodged with your application. Please consult with your registered private building surveyor.


The Shire has 10 business days to make a decision on an Occupancy Permit application. In some instances, a further information request letter will be sent to the nominated builder or applicant if the Shire determines that additional information is required. The builder/applicant has 21 calendar days to provide the requested information. The Occupancy Permit application will be put on hold pending the submission of the requested information. If the additional information is not received within the 21 day time frame, the Shire has the right to refuse the application and retain the application fee.

Building Application Fee Calculator

To determine the fees payable for your application for a Certified or Uncertified Building Permit, or Occupancy Permit, please use the calculator below.