Starting & growing a business

Starting a business

So, you want to start a business in the city of Adelaide? Smart choice! The city of Adelaide is an excellent business location. 

More than 315,000 workers, tourists, students and shoppers visit the CBD and North Adelaide daily and some 25,000 residents call the city home. 

Adelaide also has a strong culture of innovation and collaboration across the business community, so you'll be in good company when your doors open and remember - we're here to talk with you if you have specific questions. 

Before then though, there's important groundwork to cover so you can make informed decisions at every stage of your business development.

This page provides links to key areas of support and information available at Local (City of Adelaide), State (South Australia) and Federal Government levels.

LOCAL

01 Local
  • city economic profile and key data
  • local permits, licences and regulatory requirements
  • practical services, incentives and opportunities

Find out more

STATE

02 State
  • a guide to starting a business in SA
  • business planning templates
  • pros and cons of purchasing an existing business or franchise

Find out more

FEDERAL

03 Federal
  • registering a business name and applying for an ABN
  • licences and permits you may require
  • funding assistance, tax tips and expert advice

Find out more

City of Adelaide support

There's a wealth of excellent resources available to inform your initial planning.

For a broad overview of the city business landscape, visit:

Investing in Adelaide provides a more detailed picture of the city's current and projected economic performance. Head here for:

Wondering what business activity is in the pipeline for the city? 

Search development applications lodged in the City of Adelaide area in the last five months or view proposed major developments on a handy 3D model of the city:

Currently, seven incorporated associations, or Precinct Groups, operate within Adelaide's city limits - each representing the businesses, individuals and institutions in their district. The City of Adelaide supports these groups with funding to deliver economic outcomes.

  • Precinct Groups - contact your association for local knowledge and connecting with other businesses.

Choosing to establish your business in the city is only half your decision made. Now determine where in the CBD or North Adelaide would work best for your particular operation.

Think about where your potential customers are and ask yourself, would I be best positioned:

  • in Rundle Mall, inside a specific city precinct or along a main street?
  • near student campuses?
  • inside an established start-up community like Lot Fourteen?
  • within a coworking space alongside complementary businesses?
  • in a rent-free space provided through Renew Adelaide where I can trial my venture in the short-term?
  • close to parking or a loading zone?

Once you've researched and identified the business you want to run and where, certain permits and licences may be required and regulations applicable, to ensure the health and safety of you, your staff and your customers. What's relevant will depend on the type of business you're starting.

From funding and business incentives to free meeting space, rubbish collection, upskilling opportunities and more, the City of Adelaide can help you start and grow your business in the city through a range of practical essential services, support packages and networking events:

If you have committed to starting a business in the city of Adelaide, or you are an established start-up or small to medium sized business already operating in the city, you are eligible to access the City Business Support Package launched in June 2020.

Being delivered by the City of Adelaide, in partnership with Business SA, this two-year program provides specialised services to support the response of city businesses to impacts of COVID-19, promote business capability and help businesses better position themselves in an increasingly globalised and digitally connected marketplace:

State Government support

The South Australian Government provides a Business information Hub packed with Information, services and resources to help you successfully start or acquire your small business here in SA.

  • Start your business - discover the costs involved in running a business, plus access handy tools and templates for mapping out your business idea and testing its viability.
  • Ways to start a business - explore the benefits and challenges of starting a business from scratch, buying an existing business or franchise, and starting a co-operative.
  • Grants and support programs - find available assistance to support particular activities or objectives.

Federal Government support

The Australian Government has a comprehensive online Business resource with all the essential information you need for planning and starting your business in Australia, including forms and services.

Be sure to visit these key areas:

Never miss an opportunity

Whether it's a chance to expand your business network, access an incentive or you just want to be at the forefront of city business news - let us keep you informed.


Growing your business

Hiring staff? Launching a new product? Exploring overseas markets?

Growing your business raises different challenges to those faced when you're starting out. 

Thankfully, there's plenty of support available for businesses based in the city of Adelaide - regardless of whether you have a specific growth goal or are searching for ideas on ways to expand.

This page provides links to key areas of support and information available around growing your business at Local (City of Adelaide), State (South Australia) and Federal Government levels.

LOCAL

01 Local
  • marketing activities and upskilling resources
  • networking opportunities
  • grants and tender processes
  • incentives to reduce your energy costs

Find out more

STATE

02 State
  • recruiting and retaining staff
  • boosting your customer base
  • exporting goods overseas
  • tenders and government contracts


Find out more

FEDERAL

03 Federal
  • 'Growing your business checklist'
  • funding assistance
  • events and training opportunities
  • expert advice

Find out more

City of Adelaide support

The City of Adelaide is committed to helping businesses across the CBD and North Adelaide flourish well into the future.

The following support is available to help your business grow:

Understanding the current economic profile of the city and the direction for future growth can help inform decisions around when, where and how you expand your business. 

There are numerous ways to equip yourself with the latest city business news.

The City of Adelaide Economic Profile gives a broad overview of the city business landscape including key economic statistics for Adelaide.

Investing in Adelaide provides a more detailed picture of the city's current and projected economic performance. Head here for:

Wondering what business activity is in the pipeline for the city - within your precinct or on your street? 

Search development applications lodged in the City of Adelaide area in the last five months or view proposed major developments on a handy 3D model of the city:

The City of Adelaide has a team available to help grow business and industry across the CBD and North Adelaide by assisting you with:

  • latest data insights
  • business connections
  • details of new developments and projects
  • business incentive opportunities
  • informing and supporting your investment decisions, including site selection.

So, get in touch, we’re here to help.

Our support is backed by our partnership with Business SA to provide businesses within metro Adelaide with free professional advice and knowledge on the various State, Federal and Industry Associations that can also assist you.

    Established start-up or small to medium sized businesses operating in the city are eligible to access the City Business Support Package launched in June 2020.

    Being delivered by the City of Adelaide, in partnership with Business SA, this two-year program provides specialised services to support the response of city businesses to impacts of COVID-19, promote business capability and help businesses better position themselves in an increasingly globalised and digitally connected marketplace:

    Online or in person, there are different courses, training sessions, workshops and webinars available to help you gain new knowledge and grow your networks. Access these through:

    • City Business News - sign up today to be alerted to business activities hosted or delivered by the City of Adelaide.
    • What's On - search for business-related events delivered in the city by third parties by ticking the Business category in the Filter Menu.
    • Enhance your business skills - a handy guide to help you locate relevant advice and training programs for you and your staff.
    • SA Small Business Commissioner - events and programs to build businesses' capacity and services to resolve small business disputes.

    Want to run your own event? Let us help you deliver an event that's not just good, but great for the environment too.

    • Sustainable events - download Council's Sustainable Event Guidelines for practical ways to reduce the environmental footprint of your business event.

    Keen to cut back on office waste and channel that money elsewhere?

    Are you operating inside a heritage listed or historic character property that needs re-pointing?

    Depending on your business, its needs and location, you may be eligible for various funding or assistance packages offered specifically by the City of Adelaide. The current offering includes:

    • Heritage Incentives Scheme - assess if you're eligible to apply for a HIS grant to help with costs of conservation work, expert advice or documentation.
    • CitySwitch Program - join like-minded local businesses looking to implement sustainability initiatives and access resources, rebates and more.
    • Sustainability Incentives Scheme - explore rebates available to help you reduce your running costs.

    There are also several websites that outline funding assistance and grant opportunities at the State and Federal Government level, that could be relevant to your business. Find these listed at:

    The City of Adelaide champions the benefits of low-carbon living and your business can benefit from our commitment to supporting community investment in sustainable technologies.

    From Solar PV systems, to electric vehicle charging or rainwater tanks - there are a range of rebates available for projects that can help you to generate, manage and share electricity, improve your building’s energy or water performance - all while making your building cheaper to run and an even better place to work.

    The City of Adelaide delivers a range of marketing activities throughout the year, aimed at supporting the city’s events, attractions and local businesses. As a city-based business you can harness several promotional opportunities to help support your business or event.

    Free marketing channels available through the City of Adelaide to help you grow your business include:

    • Adelaide Visitor Information Centre - attracting around 92,500 visitors a year (at last count) our Centre is located at 25 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Council's knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers ensure visitors from near and far make the most of their time in Adelaide and South Australia by helping with journey planning and directions, as well as providing brochures, maps and event guides. If you run a tourism business, the Centre's team can help promote it through:
    1. brochure distribution - if you've registered your tourism business on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) and meet our brochure display policy requirements our volunteers can distribute your promotional material (programs, postcards, flyers) from the Centre as well as our City of Adelaide Customer Centre in Pirie Street;
    2. education - what better ambassadors for your tourism business than Council's 100-strong team of volunteers working across our tourism services? Tap into their valued voice by presenting information about your business at a monthly training session, providing our volunteers with the chance to experience your tourism offering through an onsite briefing or information session or featuring your business in our monthly Volunteer Newsletter.

    Email us to find out more about taking up any of the distribution or educational opportunities.

    Other free marketing channels available through the City of Adelaide include:

    • What’s On - list your event on our website utilising the ATDW and it could be promoted on any of our multiple digital platforms including Council's weekly What’s On e-newsletter, which reaches more than 24,000 people.
    • UPark Plus Rewards - register your city business and promote your exclusive special offers to over 10,000+ UPark Plus customers who work and shop in the city.

    The following marketing activities require the support and consent of the City of Adelaide and attract a fee:

      • Promotional flag poles - find out conditions and costs connected with hiring a flag pole to promote your city-based event, festival or conference.
      • Free samples and business promotions - from mini-activations to handing out flyers or offering free samples, get the lowdown on what you can and can't do, and apply for an on-street activity permit.
      • Objects on footpaths - find out the ins and outs of setting up A-frames, display tables and planter boxes to attract customers, including costs and how to apply for a permit.

      Building your client base is a great way to grow your business.

      The City of Adelaide requires a large variety of goods, works and services to fulfil the day to day operational requirements of the city and achieve our strategic objectives.

      Successfully bidding through a tender process is one way of winning work with Council:

      Find out more about the procurement policy which guides the supply of goods, works and services, and read purchase terms and conditions which govern doing business with the City of Adelaide.

      Like the idea of helping build Adelaide's global presence, all while growing your own domestic and international business connections?

      The City of Adelaide runs a dedicated advocacy program designed to help promote Adelaide and our city's many selling points - to the world.

      The International Promoters Program welcomes established business operators with strong global connections across key market sectors, who want to see their associates engage even more with our city.

      Find out more about becoming an IPP member.

      State Government support

      The South Australian Government provides a Business information Hub packed with information, services and resources to help you successfully run and grow your small business here in SA.

          Federal Government support

          The Australian Government has a comprehensive online Business resource with excellent advice and information around growing your business in Australia.

          Be sure to visit these key areas:

          • Change and growth -  review the 'Growing a business checklist' to understand the main steps and common issues when expanding, plus discover how innovation can help your business grow. 
          • Expertise and advice - chat online or in person with a business adviser or expert.

          Need more information?

          The Adelaide Economic Development Agency is proud of its track record of helping businesses open up in the CBD and North Adelaide - and we're here to help you grow.

          Contact us for help with:

          • information on incentives to help offset various establishment costs eg: improving energy efficiency
          • a single point of service to facilitate connections with government bodies
          • comparative information to assist in your decision-making
          • customised site selection assistance and relocation advice
          • access to local business information and industry development

          AEDA's Business and Investment team

          08 8203 7718