Commercial Premises Opening Soon?

Avoid a $200,000 fine

Plan well ahead when intending to open commercial premises on a particular date.

Premises, or a part of premises, undergoing consented building work, cannot be opened for public use without a legally required certificate: a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) or a Certificate for Public Use (CPU).

The Building Act, Part 5 makes it an offence to allow the public to use such premises without one an issued for it.

It is the responsibility of anyone that owns, occupies or controls premises.

The fine is up to $200,000, and up to $20,000 per day the offence continues.

Additionally, there are potentially:

  • Public Relations (PR) consequences of being featured negatively and repeatedly in the media
  • Costs and potential penalties incurred by contractors and owners
  • Losses of income by those leasing and intending to start operating

Prepare well ahead

No CCC or CPU. No opening. Simple.

Leaving things late will mean delays to the preferred opening date.

Work back from this date. If internal project waypoints are being missed, avoid getting locked into an advertised opening date too early, and then having to readvertised another last minute.

Whichever method chosen, allow more than enough time for application processing.

There is no excuse for leaving this late.

Two Ways to Approach Opening

a) Apply for and obtain a Code Compliance Certificate (CCC)

  • Download the latest application version from this site. The application form attached to the original Building Consent is likely an older version
  • Complete and submit the application form and check sheet, with required information and documents. Collect and manage documents early
  • A complete CCC application is required to be submitted and initially screened for processing before a Final Inspection can be requested to be booked

b) Apply for and obtain a Certificate for Public Use (CPU) first, prior to applying for a CCC

  • Complete and submit the application form and check sheet, with required information and documents. Collect and manage documents early
  • A CPU inspection will need to be done and passed to ensure the premises are safe for the public to use
  • A CPU inspection cannot be requested for booking until the application has been processed

If applying for a CPU, a CCC can be applied for whilst it is being processed.

How long does processing take?

Submit complete applications well ahead of 20 working days before intended soft launch of premises.

Under the Building Act, QLDC has 20 working days for processing of both application types - if all the documents, information, detail and certificates required are present.

High demand for commercial projects means the entire 20 working days usually has to be used.

How to avoid delays?

Applications are sent back at initial screening due to incompleteness. This means the clock has not started on processing.

Once accepted for processing, if a Request for Information (RFI) is sent out by QLDC, the clock on processing stops, until complete required information is received.

More information and applying

Further Code Compliance Certificate (CCC) guidance is here.

Further Certificate for Public Use (CPU) guidance here.