What is it?

An outdoor dining permit allows you to put tables and chairs on the footpath (footpath trading permit) or in an on-street car parking space, or spaces, (a business parklet permit) outside your business for dining.

Business parklets can be used to provide seating and green spaces. Parklets and footpath dining:

  • encourage people to spend more time enjoying our streets
  • improve the look and atmosphere of our streets
  • support businesses by extending their floor space.

What types of businesses can apply?

Food or hospitality businesses, like cafes and restaurants can apply. Your business can apply for either, or both, types of outdoor dining permits.
You can also apply for a business parklet permit if you’re organisation is a:

  • community organisation
  • not-for-profit organisation
  • business outside of hospitality.

These business types cannot apply for a business parklet:

  • stand-alone bottle shops
  • tobacco shops
  • venues with electronic gaming machines or other gambling components
  • businesses located on arterial roadways.

Will I need more than one permit?

Businesses running outdoor dining services can need other permits. Depending on your business, you may need to apply for:

If you think you may need more than one permit, use our Business Permit Finder to determine the permits you need.

Fees for permits

Footpath trading

Permits are valid from 1 July to 30 June each year. If your permit starts after 1 July, it will still expire on 30 June.

Permit fees are calculated based on your business location. All applications have a non-refundable application fee. You can apply for a payment plan. For more information, contact the City Permits team.

Check the Footpath Trading Fees 2023/24 (PDF 215 KB) for your area.

Check the maps to find out what area your business is in.

Before you apply

Your application will need detail of furniture and structures you want to use.

We recommend reviewing the Footpath Trading Guidelines and Outdoor Trading (Dining) Policy 2022. These contain all the information you need to help make your application a success.

You can also talk to us about your application.

Business parklet

Fees are calculated based on the location and size of the parklet.

All fee information and how fees are calculated are in the Business Parklet Fee Schedule 2023/24 (PDF 268 KB).

Business parklet permits are effective from:

  • 1 October to 30 September (annual permits)
  • 1 October to 30 April (seasonal permits).

Before you apply

To help you determine if a parklet is right for your business, consider the following:

  • the design of your parklet
  • requirements from Council
  • assessment process
  • your responsibilities
  • costs associated with business parklets.

The Business Parklet Guidelines (PDF 2.4 MB) show all the steps to set up a parklet.

Other outdoor trading options include:

Moving public infrastructure

When you apply for a permit, you can ask us to move public infrastructure, like:

  • litter bins
  • bench seats
  • bicycle hoops.

But you will need to show how the proposal benefits the community. You’ll also be responsible for the costs. This includes relocation and reinstatement costs.

Read our Relocating Public Infrastructure fact sheet for more details, or talk to a member of our team.

Apply for a permit

Follow these steps to apply on My Port Phillip:

Step 1. Register or log in if you've already registered

Step 2. Select apply for a permit

Step 3. Select permit type - outdoor dining

Step 4. Enter your business address

Step 5. Complete all required details

Step 6. Confirmation - accept terms and conditions of use

Step 7. Review the summary and attach any required documents

Step 8. Lodge your application

Step 9. Pay the application fee via the secure payment gateway. A card payment fee applies.

You can apply for a business parklet using the Application for a Business Parklet Permit form (765 KB). You must provide all required documents. You can submit via email or post. If your application is approved, the fee (if applicable) must be paid before the permit can be issued.

What happens next?

During the application review, we may contact you to provide more information about your application. We’ll work with you to ensure your application meets our guidelines.

Footpath trading permit assessments can take 20 business days. Business parklet applications take a minimum of 20 business days. This is from the time you submit a finalised application.

The time used reflects how complex the application is.

If your permit is approved, you’ll receive:

  • a letter confirming your approval and permit details
  • an approved plan showing the area you can use and patron numbers allowed.

You can now set up your outdoor dining area or install and operate your parklet. This includes all approved furniture and structures. Council officers inspect all outdoor dining precincts to ensure businesses are following their permits.

If your application is not approved or you have any concern with the decision, you can ask for a review. Reviews are considered by the City Permits Panel (DOCX 43 KB).

What happens when your business parklet permit expires?

When your permit expires, you must:

  1. remove the business parklet structure and furniture
  2. return the space to its original condition.

Contact us

Our Footpath Trading team is here to help.

Send us a message on My Port Phillip

Email: footpathtrading@portphillip.vic.gov.au

Phone: 03 9209 6844