Nil fees on permits and licensing

As a business-friendly organisation, the City of Gold Coast (City) has reduced all health licensing fees to nil for eligible properties, whilst still maintaining the same level of service to business.

As a result of the fee removal, the City has been streamlining and simplifying the application and renewal process to the benefit of businesses.

To renew a licence (if there are no change of details to be made), use one of the options provided under the drop-down heading, 'Licence renewals (acknowledgements)' on our Payments page.

Since the implementation of the Nil Fee policy, the City has been actively reducing the amount of paperwork required and the costs of business start-up, and is being more flexible in the administration of applications.

By improving it’s efficiency and reducing the cost of providing the community with a regulated business environment, the City is creating an atmosphere which supports and encourages business start-up and growth. This is of benefit to the whole community as an expansion of business creates more job opportunities and enhances local prosperity.

This initiative, which started in 2005-06, has removed fees and charges for more than 100 services including initial applications, renewals, transfers, and amendment fees, thus directly reducing start-up costs for businesses and improving the City's efficiency.

The same standards of service to business have been maintained, and in some areas improved, under this initiative. Services include:

  • information/advice on start-up
  • processing applications to achieve good environmental and public health outcomes
  • ongoing information/advice during operation
  • provision of specifically designed educational tools for various licence types
  • auditing on a systematic risk-based educational program
  • timely response to complaints
  • enforcement and prosecution where considered necessary.

The full cost of providing these services is now recovered through an increase in the tax-deductible rate paid by all commercial premises.

Without fees, this initiative allows all businesses that are required to be regulated to voluntarily register with the City, thus creating a level playing field for all businesses.

It is expected that the standard of compliance will improve further as City officers will have more time to assist in the setting up of businesses and ensuring levels of compliance are maintained. This improvement is due to officers not having to spend unproductive time as debt collectors, as was the case in the previous system. It is anticipated that this change in operation will lead to an improved working relationship between businesses and the City.

The licence and permit types included in this initiative follow:

  • food premises
  • food vehicles
  • temporary food stalls
  • high risk personal appearance (skin penetration)
  • environmentally relevant activities (motor vehicle workshops/boat repairs)
  • commercial swimming pools
  • water carriers
  • campgrounds and caravan parks
  • advertising devices (signs)
  • mobile roadside vending
  • animal and human-powered transport (e.g. horse and cart, pedicabs)
  • commercial vehicles
  • removable fixtures on pavement (umbrellas in roadside dining)
  • rental accommodation hostels & backpackers
  • entertainment venues
  • filming on public land
  • stationary roadside vending
  • keeping of animals
  • heavy vehicle parking
  • helicopter landing on public land.

This initiative means that every business operating out of a rateable property within the Gold Coast will be eligible for a nil fee. Any business operating from outside the Gold Coast will still be required to pay a fee, as they have not contributed to the rate.

Further information

For more information, please contact Environmental Health on 07 5667 5988.

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