Opening and operating a shop | Brisbane City Council

Opening and operating a shop

""If you would like to set up a shop, you can use the following information to find out if your project needs planning approval.


Brisbane City Plan 2014 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 include:

  • hairdresser
  • liquor store
  • department store
  • discount department store
  • discount variety store
  • betting agency
  • supermarket
  • corner store.

A shop does not include the following activities, which are all separately defined in the City Plan:

Preferred locations

The City Plan encourages shop uses to locate in the Centre zones (Principal centre zone, Major centre zone, District centre zone or Neighbourhood centre zone).

Shops are also encouraged in Commercial character buildings.

Planning approval

Not all shops need Brisbane City Council approval.

A PD Online property enquiry can help you determine if the proposal requires Council approval. You can also phone 07 3403 8888 to speak to a town planner. 

If no development application is required, this is your proof that you have established your business lawfully. If the nature of your business changes over time, for example you change the way you operate, you may need to reconfirm whether a development approval is required or not as a result of these changes.

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 shop or a new shop
  • if any building approval is required.

Private building certifiers and building consultants can be found using the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's Find a Local Contractor search.

Other approvals to consider

More information

If your proposed shop requires a planning approval or your premises are 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.

If you wish to find out more, Council's fact sheets Making it easier to do business in Brisbane and Centre, mixed use and specialised centre zone can provide additional information.

19 August 2015