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    Current alerts 7 December 2023
    • Please note there is no Justice of the Peace service at our Main Administration Centre today, Thursday 7 December. The service will return on Friday 8 December between 11.00am and 2.00pm.

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Business support guide

Mayors Message

Welcome from the Mayor

On behalf of the City of Stirling, congratulations on choosing to start your business journey here in the City. Our Business Support Guide is designed to enlighten our business community about many services and support we can provide.

With well-established business and retail centres, the City of Stirling is the second-largest employment district in Western Australia after the Perth CBD. Strengthening its position as a City of choice to live, work and visit, the Stirling economy generated a total value of more than $15 billion in 2019.

Approximately 80,000 people work in the City across key industries such as construction, retail, health and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical, education, training, manufacturing, hospitality and real estate services.

We have a lot to offer within our 105km2 boundary, such as our beautiful parks, iconic beaches, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander walking trails and history, strong public transport connections and an increased focus on activating our vibrant local centres.

The City is committed to ensuring we are a small business-friendly local government and we look forward to partnering with you throughout your business journey to ensure our Stirling community continues to grow.


To increase prosperity and well-being by encouraging economic investment, supporting local businesses and attracting workers, residents and visitors to the City.

About the City

The City of Stirling is located in the northern suburbs, about eight kilometres from the Perth CBD. With a population of over 220,000, the City of Stirling is the largest local government by population in Western Australia.

Stirling has a number of strategic advantages which make our community an attractive proposition for business development and investment opportunities. Its unique mix of location, cultures, major transport links, beaches, bushland, facilities and services, options for recreation and leisure, high-quality retail and commercial centres, restaurants, cinemas, tourist accommodation and available industrial land make it a natural hub for economic and tourist activity.

You can view the City's economic and community profiles here.

Business support, training and destination marketing

Business and tourism support

The City supports business development and the local visitor economy in many ways. The Economic Development Team works with state and federal government to improve local business conditions and support the business community.

The team engages with the local business community, facilitates access to various services, partners with external organisations to provide business support and training and promotes the City and surrounding region as a visitor destination and business location. It does this by implementing the City’s Economic and Tourism Development Strategy 2021-2025.

The City’s website provides information about what you may need to consider when starting a business in the City of Stirling. The Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) also has a step-by-step guide, checklists, tools and all the resources you need to start a small business. For more information, please visit the SBDC website.


The City engages with the business and tourism sectors by:

  • Conducting regular business surveys to assess the needs and concerns of the business community and identify potential City service improvements
  • Providing opportunities to connect with local business and share information through the City’s Event opportunities website page
  • Producing and distributing the City’s Stirling Business News. The online newsletter highlights advice, support and training services available to local business
  • Sign up to receive the City’s newsletters direct to your inbox
  • Promoting ‘buy local’ initiatives such as Make a Small Change Campaign, and encouraging local purchasing by the City. Small business is big business, accounting for 98 per cent of the 22,000 businesses actively trading in the City, and it is a vital part of our local economy.


The City supports business and tourism sectors by:

  • Facilitating access to business information, state and federal government assistance, planning, building and health approvals and economic data
  • Promoting potential development and leasing opportunities on City-owned or City-managed land and buildings in the City’s website and through the Stirling Business News
  • Providing supplier development training to encourage local businesses to become suppliers to the City and local government across the state and maintain a local business register of interested suppliers. For more details please contact the City
  • Hosting or promoting a range of business events such as workshops, business forums and information sessions which can be found on the Business support page
  • Supporting business start-up and growth through ongoing sponsorship of Stirling Business Association. Local businesses can access business mentoring Momentum Pro with some financial assistance through the City, as well as office space, training rooms and co-working space
  • Providing free access to Stirling grant finder. This initiative gives local businesses access to grant and other funding opportunities Australia-wide. Local businesses can search for opportunities and set up alerts to advise when relevant grants or other funding opportunities are available
  • Providing free access to Localised, the online business directory that assists businesses to build brands; promote expertise, goods and services; and find other local suppliers and businesses
  • The City has listened to small-business owners and has made changes to create more vibrant and liveable commercial centres. For more details on how this could benefit your business, please see the link for Footpath Trading and Activation Permit.


The team partners with other organisations to access services and improve operating conditions for the business and tourism sectors by:

  • Managing the Small Business Friendly Local Governments partnership with the SBDC to address key concerns of small business and reduce red tape. The SBDC supports new and existing small businesses with a range of free and low-cost workshops as well as business advice, including leasing specialists. A range of practical business resources, tools and templates are also available in print and online
  • Liaising with local business associations such as Stirling Business Association and Scarborough Beach Association on local business and tourism issues, supporting business events, attracting visitation and listening to feedback from the business and tourism sectors. The local associations are member-based and provide opportunities for networking
  • Promoting access to federal government support through government departments such as AusIndustry, or through organisations contracting to the federal government. These include Business Foundations (supporting unemployed people to become selfemployed) and Business Station for the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (supporting access to digital solutions and training services).
Destination Marketing

Destination marketing

The City markets itself as a destination of choice by:

Promoting the City and the Sunset Coast region and local hubs to attract visitors. In partnership with neighbouring local governments, Destination Perth and Tourism Western Australia, the City runs destination marketing campaigns to encourage visitation to our region.

Promoting tourism through sponsorship of a range of events to attract visitors to the City and to encourage overnight stays that support the hospitality industry. This includes sporting events and regular attractions throughout the summer such as the Inglewood and Scarborough Night Markets.

For enquiries please contact the City at economicdevelopment@stirling.wa.gov.au or (08) 9205 8555.

Planning and building approvals process

To understand how planning, building and health approvals are linked and might affect your application, please view the Approvals processes and timelines.

To find detailed address information and relevant applications for your residential project, commercial development or business, please view the Address and Application Assistant.

Need general advice?

For general advice on planning and building, please refer to the City’s website or call (08) 9205 8555. The City has duty planners and building surveyors available from 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday, to discuss general development matters.

Planning approval

The City’s Local Planning Scheme No.3 outlines what development can take place within the City’s boundaries.

How do I know if I need approval?

A development application is required for works that are not exempted under the City’s Planning Framework. For further information on development applications please contact the City’s planning officers or call (08) 9205 8555.

How long does a planning approval take?

General time frames for the assessment and determination of development applications are set by the state government. The City has 60 days after lodgement to determine non advertised applications and 90 days after lodgement for advertised applications. Applicants have a right of review through the State Administrative Tribunal if the City has not determined an application after these dates. The City endeavours to assess and determine development applications in a timely manner and in many cases determines applications well before the required time frames.

Need advice prior to lodging a development application?

The City provides the opportunity for customers to obtain pre-lodgement advice prior to lodging a development application.

Want to look for yourself?

The City’s planning legislation and documents and planning checklists and information sheetsare available online.

Want a visual guide?

Access the City’s mapping system to search your property, its zoning and other useful information.

How do I lodge?

Development applications can be lodged with the City online or lodged in person at the City’s Administration building.

What do I need to provide when I lodge?

For further details, view the City’s development application checklist.

Building approval

The Building Act 2011 and the Building Regulations 2012 provide a comprehensive system of building control and sets standards for building work in WA.

Do I need building approval?

Most building works require building approval prior to any works being undertaken. There are some exemptions that do not require a building permit and this information
can be found within the Building Regulations schedule 4, or you may wish to contact the City for further information.

How long will it take to get my approval?

The following assessment timeframes are in accordance with the Building Act 2011:

  • Certified building permit applications (BA1 Form): 10 business days (excluding public holidays)
  • Uncertified building permit applications (BA2 Form): 25 business days (excluding public holidays).

Click here for further information on the type of building applications.

What documents do I need to provide?

As the building works will be completed within a commercial building, you need to speak to a Building Surveyor Contractor. A list of private contractors can be found here. Your surveyor will advise what documents they require prior to lodging your full application with the City.

How can I lodge my application?

You may lodge your full application electronically here, or in person at the City’s Administration building.

Health approvals process

All proprietors and food handlers are required to have skills and knowledge relevant to the tasks they carry out at the food business. To assist food businesses, the City
provides a free online food safety training course called ‘I’m Alert’. Please visit the I’m Alert website.

The same legal requirements apply for mobile, temporary and home-based food businesses. If you are handling food for sale you must obtain a Food Act registration.

Food businesses

Food businesses

The City of Stirling is home to a vast array of food businesses of varying types and sizes. Under the Food Act 2008, any business or activity that involves the handling of food for sale is required to be registered by the City. Prior to receiving a registration certificate, applicants must:

  • Complete and submit a Food Premises Notification form and pay the relevant fees
  • Provide scaled floor and sectional elevation plans showing the position of all fixtures and equipment. Plans should include details of wall, floor and ceiling finishes, water supply and wastewater services, toilet facilities, mechanical ventilation, any grease traps and bin storage enclosures
  • Receive a site visit by a City environmental health officer to confirm that the premises complies with the Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code - see Food Safety Standards.

Ongoing assessment

Once issued, a registration remains valid until a food business is sold or closes. Environmental health officers conduct routine assessments of all food businesses on a frequency determined by risk and performance history. Most assessments are unannounced and the outcome will be communicated to the food business via email. Once registered, a food business will be charged ongoing annual fees by the City.

What if I’m buying an existing business?

Prospective purchasers are strongly encouraged to discuss the assessment history with the current owners and request copies of previous assessment reports. Registration does not transfer to a new owner, so prior to settlement, a Food Premises Notification form should be completed and submitted to the City. In most instances, an environmental health officer will also conduct a site visit to meet with you and discuss the premises’ current condition and food safety requirements.

Personal care businesses (eg, hairdressing and beauty therapy services)

Businesses providing personal care services are also popular in the City and are required to meet specific health requirements. Hairdressers and businesses conducting skin penetration activities (such as beauty therapy and tattooing) are required to submit the following:

  • Complete and submit a Notification of Hairdressing Premises form or Notification of Skin Penetration premises form

  • Provide plans showing the location of basins, floor, wall and ceiling finishes, fixtures and fittings, and number of work stations
  • Receive a site visit by a City environmental health officer to confirm that the premises complies with relevant legislation.

Ongoing assessments are conducted by the City on a frequency determined by risk and performance history (usually once per year). During these visits the structural compliance, cleanliness and operating practices of the business are assessed.

For more information, please contact one of the City’s environmental health officers via email environmentalhealth@stirling.wa.gov.au or call on (08) 9205 8555.