How we can help your business

A man and woman, both wearing aprons, behind the front desk at a cafe checking information on a tablet.

Lismore and its rural villages offer natural beauty and a variety of services for businesses of all types. Lismore City Council is committed to engaging with our local business community to ensure they have the right resources available to establish, grow and diversify. The Destination and Economy team focus on delivering: 

  • Business advice to new and existing operators (approvals, licences and permit requirements)
  • Engagement and networking opportunities
  • Business precinct activation

The Manager Destination and Economy is an excellent first point of contact for businesses to connect with government agencies, receive due diligence advice, and navigate Council policy and regulations. The Destination and Economy team work to assist businesses in opening quickly and advocate for initiatives to help businesses innovate and remain competitive.

For help developing your business or development project contact the Manager Destination and Economy on (02) 6625 0500 or email

Finding the right property

Finding the right property for your business can be a challenge. It is important to consult with Council staff early to ensure the location meets your needs and the property has necessary permissions for your intended activity.

Information on Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans can also aid in making the right decision.

The NSW Planning Portal provides a property report through the ePlanning Spatial Viewer for community, industry, and government to understand and meet their obligations under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Council’s Duty Planner Service is available either:

  1. In person at our Corporate Centre anytime between 8.30am and 10.30am on Tuesday and Thursday; or
  2. Over the phone during business hours on Tuesday and Thursday via (02) 6625 0500.

For help developing your project contact the Manager Destination and Economy on (02) 6625 0500 or email

Do I need approval?

Obtaining permits, consents, or approvals is often necessary when starting or growing a business.  These may be required for changes in business type, trading hours, liquor licenses, signage, or work on heritage listed buildings.

The Destination and Economy team can guide you through the process and provide advice on what is needed to open your business or you may wish to access Council's Duty Planner Service available either: 

  1. In person at our Corporate Centre anytime between 8.30am and 10.30am on Tuesday and Thursday; or
  2. Over the phone during business hours on Tuesday and Thursday via (02) 6625 0500.

For complex operations, it may be beneficial to seek assistance from a qualified Planning Consultant to develop documentation and communicate with Council on your behalf.

Who else can help?

  • Australian Business Register: Access the Australian Business Register website to apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN), update your details or access Tax professional services.
  • Australian Trade and Investment Commission: Austrade accelerates the growth of exporters, attracts foreign investors and stimulates the visitor economy.
  • Business: Helping connect you to information, grants, registrations and support to help your business succeed.
  • Business NSW: Business NSW actively advocates for positive change on behalf of members at a local, state and federal level.
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) promotes and protects Australia’s international interests to support our security and prosperity.  They work with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.
  • Fair Trading: Information for running businesses across various industries.
  • NSW Department of Planning and Environment: Providing a variety of information to support including investment, business growth and export opportunities to boost business.
  • Regional Australia Institute: The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) is a think tank devoted to issues concerning regional Australia. The information gathered is readily accessible to people all around the country.
  • Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers: Regional Development Australia – Northern Rivers is a not-for-profit, community-based organisation funded through the Australian Government’s Regional Development Australia Initiative. They have an active role in the Northern Rivers community with a clear focus on growing strong and confident regional economies that harness our competitive advantage, seize on economic opportunities and attract investment.
  • Small Business Commissioner:The Small Business Commissioner is an independent voice. The Commissioner is a passionate supporter and advocate of small businesses whilst striving to resolve any issues impacting their day-to-day operation.

Lismore has two Chambers of Commerce:

  • Business Lismore: Business Lismore has a goal to create a strong, united and thriving business community.
  • Nimbin Chamber of Commerce: The Nimbin Chamber of Commerce promotes the interests of its members and community by fostering the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of the Nimbin area.

Service NSW: A free service offered by the NSW Government to support you to start, run and grow your business, and adapt and recover in times of change.

  • Business Connect Get independent advice, practical insights and business skills raining on a range of topics for your small business.
  • Business Concierge team Receive free, one-on-one support for new or existing businesses.

In good company

The Northern Rivers of NSW is an amazing place to be in business.  We have innovative, spirited and sustainable business acumen that is unrivalled.

In Good Company is a Northern Rivers project developed to keep and attract business in the region. You're invited to be part of the project to celebrate, connect and collaborate to enhance business opportunities and facilitate economic development. 

Read the stories of more than 40 Northern Rivers businesses to explore our entrepreneurial landscape from small retailers to global manufacturers.