Footpath Trading permit

A footpath trading permit is required to place items on the footpath including outdoor dining furniture, advertising boards and displayed goods for sale.

You may need to apply for multiple permits including a Planning permit. To find which permits you need and make a single application, or to talk to our Business Concierge, visit the business permits page.

The many competing uses of our footpaths, including pedestrian access and safety, alongside the economic benefits to business and the vibrancy of our city are all balanced in the Footpath Trading Guidelines.

COVID-19 and footpath trading

Earlier this year as part of Council's Emergency Relief package to support businesses, we issued rebates of all footpath trading fees from 1 April 2020 until 30 June 2020.

At the meeting of Council on 19 August 2020 it was decided that this financial support to businesses will be extended. These fees have now been waived until 31 December 2020.

Current permit-holders can continue to trade on the footpath under their existing permit conditions, provided public liability insurance is current for $20 million.

We will contact all current permit-holders later this year to advise of fees from 1 January 2021.

Extending an existing outdoor dining area

You can apply to extend your existing footpath trading area in front of a neighbours business.

Contact the Footpath Trading team on 03 9209 6844 for initial advice.

If you choose to proceed, obtain a letter from the owner or operator of the neighbouring property supporting your use of the footpath in front of their business. If the property is vacant, try the real estate agent.

To make an application:

  • download and complete the application for extended footpath trading (PDF 157 KB)
  • provide a plan detailing the area of footpath you want to occupy including the dimensions of your items, such as tables, chairs and A-frame sign, and any other infrastructure, such as bins, benches, poles and parking signs
  • provide a current copy of your public liability insurance in the form of a Certificate of Currency, for $20 million detailing coverage that extends to all items placed on footpath.

Submit your application and information to footpathtrading@portphillip.vic.gov.au

We aim to provide you with a decision within 3 business days if no public infrastructure is impacted.

If your business has a liquor licence and you want to serve alcohol in the extended footpath area you must:

Apply for advertising board permit

A-boards give businesses the opportunity to advertise goods and services. The Footpath Trading guidelines considers the safe placement of advertising boards and details requirements to help protect pedestrians and road users.

For more information, refer to the A-boards fact sheet (PDF 133 KB).

To apply, please use the A-board Application form (PDF 104 KB).

Apply for outdoor dining permit

Complete the Footpath Trading Application form.

Alternatively, you can apply for a temporary permit using the Footpath Trading Temporary Permits Application Form (PDF 88 KB).

For the fees involved, refer to the Footpath Trading Fee Schedule (PDF 527 KB) and Policy (PDF 830 KB) and the relevant precinct map: 

If you would like to pay the fees in instalments, contact the Footpath Trading Unit to discuss the options available.

Application fees are invoiced when your application is received by. A card payment fee applies.

Assessment time

  • A-boards or goods on display assessment may take 10 business days
  • Outdoor dining and other furniture may take 20 business days

It is important that you submit all required information to avoid delays. The time required to assess your request will vary where complexities are involved.

Decision process

If a footpath trading permit is approved, you will receive:

On receipt of the fees paid, a permit sticker is issued and must be clearly display and visible from the footpath.

If your application is refused or you are dissatisfied with the permit decision, you can email or write to Council to request a review. You will then be provided with a date to attend a Footpath Trading Panel (PDF 257 KB).

Public infrastructure

Public infrastructure includes litter bins, bench seats and bicycle hoops. Council must balance the ability to trade on the footpath with the communities needs to access these assets. The relocation of public infrastructure may be possible but this should result in an equal, if not a better, outcome for the community.

For more information refer to the Relocating Public Infrastructure Fact Sheet (PDF 197 KB).