Opening and operating a shop
If you would like to set up a shop, use this page to find out if your project needs planning approval.
Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) defines a shop as 'the use of premises for the display, sale or hire of goods or the provision of personal services or betting to the public'. Examples of shops include:
- liquor store
- department store
- discount department store
- discount variety store
- betting agency
- corner store.
A shop does not include the following activities, which are all separately defined in City Plan:
- outdoor sales
- hardware and trade supplies
- garden centre
- adult store
- agricultural supplies store
- bulk landscape supplies
- food and drink outlet.
Shops are also encouraged in commercial character buildings.
Not all shops need Brisbane City Council approval. To determine if your proposal requires Council approval, you can phone 07 3403 8888 to speak to a Town Planner.
If a development application is not required, this is proof that you have established your business lawfully. If the nature of your business changes over time (e.g. you change the way you operate), you may need to reconfirm whether a development approval is required.
Building approval is separate from planning approval. Licensed private building certifiers or building consultants can provide advice regarding:
- building work for an existing shop or a new shop
- if any building approval is required.
You can find private building certifiers and building consultants using the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's website.
Other approvals to consider
If your proposed shop requires planning approval, or your property is located within a neighbourhood plan area or overlay area, contact Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation.