Licensing, approvals, safety and regulation. There is much more to opening and running a business.

We hope this information assists you to navigate some of the planning, development, regulation and compliance issues you may encounter.

Starting or expanding ?

Easy to do Business is a free service for business owners that offers personalised support and step-by-step guides for government licensing, approvals and regulations.

What licences do you need?

Use the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) to help find what licences and permits you may need for your business.


Online Certificates

Cessnock City Council's Online Certificates program removes the potential delays associated applying for certificates via post and email.



Food legislation and guidelines

Guidelines, current legislation, & codes of practice for food businesses, temporary events, as well as establishment and fitout and construction.

Building and Fire Safety

Cessnock City Council implements the guidelines of relevant NSW legislation to ensure buildings are maintained with appropriate fire safety measures.


I'm Alert Food Safety Training

This is a free online food safety training package to assist food businesses in training staff ensuring that food is handled in a safe and hygienic manner.

Council Building Inspections

Cessnock City Council provides professional Building Certification services and aims to provide efficient and cost effective building approvals, building certification and building inspection services.

Skin Penetration and Beauty Premises

The types of businesses that Council inspects include Beauty salons, Tattoo parlours, Premises conducting body piercings.

Registering your food business

All retail food businesses operating within the Cessnock LGA must register their details with Council. This includes businesses operating at temporary events, mobile food vendors, child care centres, school canteens, cafes, restaurants, takeaways, hotels and home food retail businesses.

All the building and regulation forms

Linking you to all the relevant building and regulation forms you might need in your business.


Change of use?

Changing the use of a building may not need planning permission if the proposed change meets the requirements set out in the SEPP. Moving into a new commercial space and not sure of your obligations, use this link.

Need Approval?

Before formally submitting a Development Application it is recommended that you visit Council’s Customer Service Centre at Council to discuss your proposal with the relevant Duty Officer. Duty planners, duty building surveyors  and general advice can be provided.

Want to alert council or make a complaint?

Cessnock City Council is committed to providing residents and visitors with more accessible and convenient ways to conduct business. The e-Services portal allows customers to connect with Council and make requests online.

Regulated premises

Council’s Environmental Health Officers undertake approximately inspections each year of businesses such as beauticians, food businesses, cooling towers and tattoo parlors. These inspections provide advice, educational material and information on best practice techniques to prevent the spread of diseases.