To place items outside your shop or business, you need a footpath trading permit. This is to make sure footpaths are kept clear for pedestrians and that traffic or access to properties isn't obstructed.

If you already have a footpath trading permit, you can apply to make your footpath trading space larger if:

  • Your neighbouring businesses are happy to support your application in writing.
  • The footpath is wider than the legal minimum of 2.9 metres. 
  • Your street furniture is clear from loading zones, accessible parking, and tram and bus stops.

To apply, complete the application form then email it to [email protected].

Download application to make your footpath trading space larger

Rules for using the footpath

To trade on the footpath, you must follow our Commercial Street Furniture Guidelines. The guidelines provide more information about footpath trading rules and restrictions. These include:

  • minimum kerb clearances
  • correct ways to arrange and display your items
  • standards for portable and real estate signs
  • rules for temporary cafe and community barbecue.

The image shows where the trading zone is in relation to your premises.

The pedestrian zone is a 1.5 metre wide strip between the edge of your premises and the trading zone.

The trading zone is between the pedestrian zone and the kerbside zone. It is where you sell goods such as clothing or place furniture such as tables and chairs. No cash registers are allowed in the trading zone. The maximum height of any display is 1 metre.

The kerbside zone is a 600 mm wide strip between the trading zone and the road. The kerbside zone needs to be wider in front of some parking bays:

  • 800 mm wide for 90 degree parking
  • 1000 mm wide for accessible parking bays
  • 1000 mm wide for loading zones

Some Council assets may affect where you can put your goods and furniture. These assets include:

  • street seating
  • parking meters
  • rubbish bins
  • kerb lines at intersections.

When can you start using the footpath?

If your application is approved, you can place your items on the footpath subject to COVID-19 health orders. We will contact you if there are any additional requirements for how to place your street furniture. 

Apply for a long term footpath trading permit

Step 1: Submit your application

Complete the application form then email it to [email protected] with "Footpath trading permit - local laws" in the subject line.

In your application include:

  • a current business registration certificate
  • a current certificate of public liability insurance for a minimum of $20 million

Applications may take 10 business days to process.

Step 2: Review and design

When we’ve received your application, we will calculate the trading zone area and help you design an outdoor floor plan. This plan will ensure that your items and their placement meets the guidelines.

Step 3: Approval

If your application meets the guidelines, we will send you the permit in the mail.

You must clearly display your permit on the front door or window of your business.

Permit renewals

We'll post you an option to renew your permit before your permit is due to expire.

Outdoor trading on private land 

You may have space on your property that can accommodate outdoor dining, like a courtyard or onsite car park.

Businesses can often use or set up temporary buildings in these spaces without needing to apply for or change an existing planning permit.

In some cases the law requires a planning permit, for example if the property is within the Heritage Overlay.

To find out if you need a planning permit, contact our Planning team on (03) 9278 4888 or email [email protected].

More information

For more information please email [email protected] or call (03) 9278 4444.


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