Office and consulting rooms

Stairs and mezzanine of an office complex.

Offices and consulting rooms are defined as:

Office: Premises used for administration, clerical, technical, professional or other like business activities. This doesn't include where it's incidental to an industrial use or home office.

Consulting rooms: Premises used by no more than two health practitioners at the same time for the investigation or treatment of human injuries or ailments and for general outpatient care. Examples include doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractor, optometrist and podiatrists, acupunctures, aromatherapy, naturopathy and remedial massage.

Approval process

As a guide, the following approvals are typically required if you are intending to operate on of these businesses:

Step 1 - Identify your Business Site and Zoning

Once you have chosen a business address, please confirm the site's zoning using the City's Online Maps. Zoning can be identified using the Planning and Development Module.

Once a site has been selected, locate 'TPS2 Zoning' in the column on the right-hand side of the screen to identify the zone.

City of Rockingham online mapping

The preferred zone for office and consulting rooms are as follows:

  • Primary Centre (excluding Primary Centre City Living, Primary Centre Urban Living)
  • District Town Centre
  • Commercial
  • Special Commercial
  • Service Commercial
  • Community Purposes
Consulting Rooms:
  • Primary Centre
  • District Town Centre
  • Commercial
  • Port Kennedy Business Enterprise
  • Community Purposes
Step 2 - Development Application

There are exemptions under the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015 for offices and consulting rooms provided that:


Consulting RoomsOffice

Located within a Commercial or City Centre Zone

Located within a Commercial or City Centre zone
No new permanent buildings or structures are proposed
No new permanent buildings or structures are proposed
No more than 60% of the glass surface of any window on the ground floor of the consulting room is obscured glassOffice is not located on the ground floor of a building
The site/land is not a Heritage Protected PlaceThe site/land is not a Heritage Protected Place

The City must be notified within seven days of the office or consulting room commencing operation that it is exempt from the need for Development Approval. To request an exemption, please complete the below exemption letter and attach to your small business enquiry.

Note: Although the proposed office or consulting room may be exempt from the need to obtain Development Approval, Building and Health approvals may still be required.

Development Approval will be required to operate your office or consulting room where it does not meet the exemption requirements.

To apply, please complete the below application form and use our online portal Rock Port, to lodge your application.

Lodge a development application

Step 3 - Building Permit

Standard Building Permit process

In general, any work involving additions and/or alterations will require a Building Permit. In most cases, proposed partitioning works for shops, offices and warehouse fit outs will affect the way the building complies with an applicable Building Standard and will require a Building Permit.

Applications for commercial properties (Class 2 to Class 9 buildings) must be made as an Application for Building Permit - Certified (BA1). The applicant will need to engage in the services of an independent building surveyor to assess the proposal and provide a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3).

An Application for Building Permit - Certified (BA1) is accompanied by a Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3) and can be made for any class of building and incidental structure. The City has 10 business days to determine a permit for a certified application.

A Building Permit application must be accompanied by:

  • A completed Application for Building Permit - Certified (BA1);
  • A completed Certificate of Design Compliance (BA3);
  • Copies of all relevant plans and specifications; and
  • Payment of required fees.

You can use our online portal, Rock Port, to lodge your application. First time users will need to create a new account for the online lodgement of a building application. Existing users can log in with their existing Rock Port account. Alternatively, you can submit your application in person at our Administration Office located on Civic Boulevard, Rockingham.

Submit a building application

Where a simple fit-out is proposed, with cosmetic renovations such as painting and decorating, and only moveable furniture is being installed, a Building Permit will generally not be required.

New or changes to existing signage on the facade of a building or installations over glazing will require a Building Permit.

Visit the Building Commission website to access all building permit application forms.

Building Commission website

Step 4 - Health Approval

Health approval is generally not required for most office and consulting room applications unless the activities involve:

  • skin penetration activities that are not undertaken by a practitioner registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (Western Australia) as indicated in the Health (Skin Penetration Procedure) Regulations; or
  • part of the building becomes a place in which the public may gather for social, educational or recreational activities (for example).

To make an application to conduct skin penetration activities or to operate as a public building, see shops.

Step 5 - Occupancy Permit

An Occupancy Permit must be obtained from the City before any commercial building can be occupied.

It covers circumstances such as:

  • occupying a completed new building or a new part of an existing building;
  • occupying an incomplete building or part of a building on a temporary basis;
  • modifying the current occupancy permit for additional use of a building on a temporary basis;
  • occupying a building or part of a building that has undergone a permanent change of use or classification;
  • authorising and occupying an unauthorised building or an unauthorised part of a building; and
  • authorising a building with existing approval with a new or replacement occupancy permit. This demonstrates that an existing building complies with the relevant building standards and is safe to occupy.

An Occupancy Permit application must be accompanied by:

  • a Certificate of Construction Compliance (BA17) for new buildings including new additions to existing buildings or a Certificate of Building Compliance (BA18) for existing buildings, signed by an independent building surveyor.

Occupancy Permit applications can be emailed to or lodged in person at our Administration Office located at Civic Boulevard, Rockingham.

Visit the Building Commission website to access all building permit application forms you need to submit to us.

We are happy to discuss your project before you commence the process so you are clear on what you need to do. Please lodge a small business enquiry to request a meeting.

Building Commission website

Step 6 - Open your Business

As a new and developing business there is a number of useful resources and information available intended to provide additional support and guidance.

Small Business Development Corporation

The Small Business Development Corporation is an independent statutory authority with its mission to deliver and facilitate relevant, practical support to small businesses and to foster the development of policy conducive to the growth of the small business sector. The Small Business Development Corporation is working towards creating a strong and enterprising small business sector in Western Australia.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA is a member-driven organisation providing quality information, professional services and support for businesses. Its mission is to make it easier to do business in the state and ensure that WA is a place where businesses of all shapes and sizes can succeed.

Australian Government is an online Australian Government resource which provides a wide range of business information and assistance with regard to starting a business, running a business or exiting a business. This site also offers grants and assistance for business owners at all stages of their business timeline.

Australian Business License and Information Service

The Australian Business License and Information Service helps business operators and people considering starting a business to identify the types of licenses, permits, approvals, regulations and codes of practice required or in place for the relevant state, territory, local and Australian government.


Submit an enquiry

If you still have any queries or questions on your small business proposal, or you have a proposal plan that you would like to discuss further, please submit your enquiry or indicative proposal to us.

Submit an enquiry or indicative proposal

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