Setting up an office

If you would like to set up an office, find out if your project needs planning approval.


Brisbane City Plan 2014 (City Plan) defines an office as the use of a premises for an administrative, secretarial or management service or the practice of a profession, where no goods or materials are made, sold or hired and where the principal activity involves:

  • providing business or professional advice
  • service of goods that are not physically on the premises
  • providing office-based administration for an organisation.

Examples of an office include a bank, real estate agent and an administration building.

It does not include a home based business.

Preferred locations

City Plan encourages office uses to locate in the centre zones (principal centre zonemajor centre zonedistrict centre zone or neighbourhood centre zone).

City Plan encourages office uses in commercial character buildings.

Planning approval

Not all offices need Brisbane City Council approval. To determine if your proposal requires Council approval, phone Council on 07 3403 8888 to speak to a Town Planner.

If the nature of your business changes over time, you may need to reconfirm whether you require a development approval as a result.

Building approval

Building approval is separate from planning approval. Licensed private building certifiers or building consultants can provide advice regarding:

  • building work for an existing office or a new office
  • if you require any building approval.

Private building certifiers and building consultants are available using the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's find a local contractor search.

Other approvals to consider

More information

Phone Council's Business Hotline 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation if:

  • your proposed office requires planning approval, or
  • your premises are within a neighbourhood plan area, or overlay.
Last updated: 31 August 2020

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