Starting a business in Adelaide

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.


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



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



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


City of Adelaide support

Understanding the ins and outs of the region you're intending to establish your business in, gives you the tools to make smart decisions from the get-go.

As part of your business research, ask yourself the following questions:

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

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

Invest 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:


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.

Subscribe to City Business News today

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:

Need more information?

Contact our Customer Centre 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

City of Adelaide Customer Centre

08 8203 7203