Why are these health related businesses?
Personal care and body art businesses, and prescribed accommodation businesses are both considered health related businesses because they must comply with public health acts and regulations.
Personal care and body art businesses
Personal care and body art businesses include businesses that offer:
- beauty treatment (including waxing, manicures, pedicures, application or mending of artificial nails, facial or body treatment, application of cosmetics)
- skin penetration procedures (including ear piercing, body piercing, electrolysis and tattooing)
- colonic irrigation
All personal care and body art businesses must register with us under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. They must also follow the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 and the health guidelines for personal care and body art industries.
The guidelines will help anyone who works at a personal care and body art business make sure they are following the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations. The guidelines provide information on how infections can happen in personal care and body art businesses, and how customers and employees can be protected from infection.
We will check hygiene standards in personal care and body art industries by:
- assessing the plans for new businesses
- inspecting the premises
- investigating complaints
The Department of Health has more information on what these businesses need to do to meet hygiene standards.
Different types of prescribed accommodation have to follow different rules and regulations. Prescribed accommodation includes:
Rooming and boarding houses are classified as prescribed accommodation in the Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020.
Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, rooming and boarding houses are properties where:
- one or more rooms are available for rent, and
- there are four or more people staying at the property.
Also, in most rooming houses:
- people staying there share bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and other common areas,
- the owner of the property generally does not live there,
- people living there may have their own rental agreements, rather than a group one.
Starting a rooming house or turning a building into a rooming house can involve many of our services, such as getting a planning permit, building permit or occupancy permit, and registering your business as prescribed accommodation.
For more information, see building regulations.
Motels, hotels, hostels and backpackers are prescribed accommodation and are governed by the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and the Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020.
Caravan parks in Merri-bek have to be registered with us. We only register caravan parks that meet the Residential Tenancies (Caravan Park and Movable Dwellings Registration and Standards) Regulations 2010.
New businesses will need to be registered. If you buy an existing business, you will need to transfer the registration. We strongly suggest that you get a Pre-Purchase Inspection Report from us.
We offer a pre-purchase inspection service for a fee. This service includes an inspection of the business by our Environmental Health Officers and a report that informs you of any rules and regulations that the business is not currently meeting.
After we give you this report, it is the purchaser and vendor's responsibility to negotiate to resolve any issues raised in the report.
Once you've applied, you will receive the Pre-Purchase Inspection Report within 10 business days.
The current proprietor of the health-related business must agree to you making an application for a pre-purchase inspection.
Transferring an existing health related business registration
When you buy an existing health related business, you need to apply to transfer the registration from the previous owner of the business to you.
Our Environmental Health Officers will assess the business and let you know if the registration transfer has been successful. There may be conditions that you have to meet before the registration can be transferred.
For businesses that are hairdressing and/or temporary make-up only, it is not possible to transfer the registration. Please apply for a new one-off registration.
You can contact us for more information about transferring a health related business registration.
Before starting a new health related business, it's a great idea to contact us to discuss your plans. We can give you advice about your business to help you meet the required standards.
Business Approvals Merri-bek is a service for new businesses which involves a meeting with Merri-bek staff to discuss your business.
It’s important to understand what permits your business might need. Complete this survey from the Australian Business Licence and Information Services to work out which permits you may need.
You may need a planning permit and/or a building permit before you can start your new business. For example, if you want to operate your health business from home, you need to follow our guidelines for working from home. You may also need permits if you want to renovate or extend a building. It is your responsibility to make sure you have these permits. More information about permits for businesses.
If you are buying an existing health related business, see buying or transferring a health-related business.
Registration runs from 1 January to 31 December each year. There is an annual registration fee to pay, and you will be sent reminders each year to renew your registration.
If your business offers hairdressing and/or temporary make-up only then your registration is a 'one-off' registration' and does not need to be renewed each year. A one-off registration is not transferable.
When registering a new food business, we recommend that you submit your plans and requirements to us, along with the details of the type of business you wish to operate.
The plans submitted should include:
- a layout of the proposed business - you can use our Example of plans and elevations for food businesses (DOC)
- dimensions and details of fixtures and fittings, including location and elevation
- details of the materials to be used on surfaces and finishes
You can register your business online on our eServices website. To do this follow the steps below:
- Select the class of food related business from the list of 'Environmental Health Licences'
- As part of the online registration process, upload digital files and pay the fee by Visa or MasterCard.
If you need help submitting your application, you can:
- use our Guide to Merri-bek Council online services for environmental health customers (DOC)
- get in touch with us for assistance using the details on our Contact us page.
After you submit an application you will receive an automated email confirmation when we receive your application.
Your application will be allocated an application number and assigned to an environmental health officer, who will begin the assessment process. You'll be notified of the application number and the officer's name and contact details.
When we have assessed your application and inspected your premises, we will let you know if your registration has been granted, granted with conditions, or refused.
There is a fixed registration period that runs from 1 January to 31 December each year. The annual registration fee is set by us.
We send an annual renewal notice to all registered health-related businesses. You can pay the renewal fee by Visa or MasterCard on our eServices website.
Fees for health related business registration and renewal
When you register or renew your health related business, you will need to pay a fee. You will pay less when you renew your annual registration after your first year.
With your registration fee, you will receive:
- assessment of your plans by Environmental Health Officers
- two progress inspections
- a final inspection and certificate
- an inspection within 3 months of opening to ensure everything meets rules and regulations.
All fees include GST and must be paid at the time you submit a request for registration. Applications or requests submitted without the correct fee will be returned to you.
If you are a charity or community group, you can get a discount of 25% off the registration fee.
- Hairdresser only (may include temporary makeup) - $934.25 (one-off registration, no renewal required)
- Personal care (tattooists, skin penetration, beauty parlours) - $809.05
- Prescribed Accommodation - $1053.40
- Hairdresser only (may include temporary makeup) - No fee
- Personal care (tattooists, skin penetration, beauty parlours) - $214.35
- Prescribed Accommodation - $340.80
Health related businesses (excludes hairdressers) - $357.00
Pre-purchase Inspection Report
All health related businesses - $471.55
Pay your business renewal fees
You can pay your renewal fees (excluding new health related business fees)
- Pay a renewal fee online by Visa or MasterCard.
- You need the 'Application number' located on your invoice or renewal notice.
You can register as a user and sign in to Council Online Services to access My Accounts. As a registered user, you can keep track of requests and applications on any device and don't need to re-enter your personal information.
You can pay your renewal fee with a Visa or MasterCard over the phone 24 hours a day using Council's secure automated system.
To make this payment you need to:
- Phone 9240 1111 and press 1 to make a payment. Then press 7 to pay 'licencing tax invoices' and follow the voice prompts.
- Provide the ‘Application number' located on your invoice or renewal notice and your Visa or MasterCard details.
To pay your invoice by post you need to:
- Separate the payment slip at the bottom of your invoice or renewal notice and mail it with your cheque or money order to Merri-bek City Council, Locked Bag 10, Brunswick 3056, before the due date.
- Make the cheque or money order payable to ‘Merri-bek City Council’ and cross it 'Not negotiable'. Do not include cash in the mail.
We do not provide a receipt for payments received by mail. Please keep the top section of the notice for your records.
You can pay your business renewal fee in person by bringing your notice to one of our Council Customer Service Centres before the due date. The locations of these centres are on our Contact us page.
You can pay by Visa or MasterCard, EFTPOS, cheque, money order and cash. The minimum payment for all card transactions is $10 and there is no cash out facility.
Complaints about health related businesses
Sometimes, members of the community may submit a complaint about the safety practices at a health related business. Find out more about these situations on our public health and safety page.