City of Swan

Rules and Regulations

As a business owner, you may have responsibilities for the safety and welfare of your customers, employees and the communiuty. There are also statutory obligations which businesses have to observe. The information below covers some of the obligations you are required to observe.

Animal Welfare

The City of Swan has a team of multi-skilled Customer Advocates with a diverse range of knowledge about the City. They assist in the provision of services in the City's Place Areas and coordinate the management of customer expectations. If you require advice on regulations relating to dogs, cats and livestock, visit our Animal Welfare page. Alternatively, you can contact us on 9267 9267 between 7.00AM - 8.00PM seven days a week. Outside of office hours, this number diverts to the City's after hours service provider who will pass your requests and/or enquiries through to our Customer Advocates.

Building Regulations

The City of Swan adheres to the Building Codes of Australia for all building specifications.

Employment Law

If your business employs staff, you need to be aware of your obligations under common law, as well as State, Territory and Federal law. You'll also need to understand the obligations that exist between you and your employees. For more information, including employment contracts, awards and agreements, please view the following websites: 
- Employing People

Department of Commerce
- Labour relations

Australian Taxation Office
- Paying Staff

Food Act

The City of Swan has dedicated Environmental Health Officers who work closely with local business and community groups who prepare food for sale to ensure compliance with the Food Act 2008 and the production of safe food.

The Department of Health (WA) maintains a list of all food businesses and individuals who have been convicted of an offence under the Food Act (2008) and its subsidiary legislation relating to the handling of food. The purpose of the list is to provide consumers with information to enable them to make an informed decision about where they buy food. Under the Food Act (2008), the City of Swan must forward details of any prosecutions to the Department of Health.


Insurance is an important and necessary aspect of running any business. As well as insuring your premises, there are numerous types of insurance that you need to consider, some of which are compulsory for all businesses. To find out more about insurance and whether you can claim tax credits on your premiums, visit the website.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS)

No matter how small your business or your type of business activity, safety in your workplace is crucial. Even if you're operating as a sole trader with no employees, it is compuslory to ensure that your business is not a health and safety risk to your customers and the general public. For an understanding of your obligations under OHS laws, please view the following websites for more information:
- Occupational Health and Safety

Safe Work Australia
- Safety in your workplace

Department of Commerce
- WorkSafe


High calibre employees are vital to the success of any business so it's important that you recruit the best people for the job. There are many privately run employment agencies that may be able to assist in your search for employees. If you need advice and/or assistance with recruitment, you might find the following websites useful:
Employing people 

JobSearch Australia
- JobSearch WA

Selling or closing your business

There may be certain obligations that you need to consider if you are selling, closing or planning for your children to take over your business. Whatever the motivation to close your business, it will be less stressful if you have an exit strategy in place. For more information and guidance, please view the following websites:
- Exiting a business

Australian Taxation Office
- Selling or closing your business


There are different types of taxes involved with running a business and while nobody likes forking out money, ensuring you understand your obligations can actually save you money! You might also be entitled to some exemptions. Find out about your potential tax liabilities, reporting requirements, registration and much more by viewing the following websites:
- Taxation

Australian Taxation Office
- Tax for business

Trading Hours

Many businesses in the same industry or sector have similar operating hours. However, it's best to contact a particular business directly to confirm individual opening hours. For more information about trading hours for Western Australia, please visit the Department of Commerce website.

Western Australian Legislation

The City is responsible for applying planning, building and heritage controls through the approvals process to ensure that development in the municipality is suitable, safe, sensitive to the environment, and preserves significant heritage areas.

Western Australia has an extensive range of legislation (Acts of Parliament) which may (or may not) affect the way in which you conduct your business. Many Acts also have subsidiary legislation attached to them in the form of regulations and/or rules. For example, the subsidiary legislation made under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 is the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996. Similarly, the Liquor Control Act 1988 has fifteen separate regulations relating to restricted areas within WA as well as the Liquor Commission Rules 2007 and the Liquor Control Regulations 1989.

As a business owner, you should be familiar with the particular legislation that affects you and your business. Whether the legislation is 'in force' or 'ceased', you will find all Acts readily available for viewing or download from the State Law Publisher website where they are listed in alphabetical order. The list below provides a sample of some Acts that may affect your business.

The City of Swan also has a number of schemes, local laws, bylaws, guidelines, policies, standards and specifications that may affect your business. These are readily available for viewing or download from the publications page on the City's website.

Last Update : 17/03/2014
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City of Swan Administration Centre, 2 Midland Square, Midland, Western Australia
Tel: +61 (08) 9267 9267    Email:
National Relay Service: SSR: 1300 555 727 | TTY: 133 677