Consider your options and business needs

When you're researching a location, and to help your business succeed, research these questions early on in the decision making process:

  • Will the local council let me run this business in this location?
  • Can I get a permit to extend, modify or renovate the premises?
  • Could future development plans make the location unsuitable?
  • How close do I need to be to my customers, clients and suppliers?
  • How much competition is in the local and surrounding area?
  • Are the transport, parking and delivery facilities adequate?
  • Does the location reflect the image my business is aiming for?

There are many tools and services to help you make an informed decision before signing your business lease, or buying a premises.

Ask your local council about zoning, building and planning permits

Learn more about how to gather this information for your prospective premises by reading our page on business permits, zoning and approvals, which covers business zones, heritage listing, council planning help and permit applications.

You can also get a free basic property report from the Land Victoria website with planning zone maps, planning provisions and more.

Do your own market research

Look at where your competition is located, and decide whether it's beneficial to be close to your competition, or to set up in a new area that's demonstrated a need for your service or product.

Discover more by reading our page on market research.


MyVictoria is an open source data project that can help you plan your business. Explore interactive maps and leverage demographics and industry data to build a comprehensive snapshot of your market.

Visit your preferred locations

Many businesses fail because:

  • there's not enough passing foot traffic
  • the shop is difficult to access
  • there's nowhere to park

As part of your research, take the time to observe a location to make sure there are potential customers, and the site is accessible. Your personal observations will be more reliable than real estate advertisements that make claims such as 'prime location'.

When you visit a location, keep an eye out for:

  • parking meters
  • access to bus stops
  • any free parking in the area
  • clearway zones during peak hours of traffic and business

Setting up business from interstate or overseas?

If you're overseas or interstate, and thinking about Victoria as an option for your business, Invest Victoria has some up-to-date data on why Melbourne is a great choice.