Licences, Regulations, and Insurance

You may think you already have enough to think about, but don't forget you need to consider your statutory and protective requirements too. Most businesses need to comply with various government regulations to operate in Western Australia. Time spent getting these licenses and regulations issues identified and sorted out at the planning stages will save you time, money, and potential grief down the track. 

How to find out about business regulations

Agency Detail
Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) Use the SBDC's Business Licence Finder to help you find any licences and permits you may need to run your business. Or, contact them on 13 12 49 to ask for a licence pack to be emailed or posted to you. 
Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Have you spoken with the Australian Taxation Office and investigated what your potential taxation obligations may be?
Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)

Have you registered your business or company name? You register both with ASIC. If you are going to be registering a company name, we recommend that you speak with your accountant to ensure you choose the right company structure for your business needs.

Domain Name Administrator These days it's pretty difficult to be in business without a website. Have you checked to see if the Domain name you would like to register is available? You can check this through the Australian Domain Name Administrator.



Below are some of the most common tourism industry licences and which agencies issue them. For more detailed information and to create a licence search tailored to your business, go to the Business Licence Finder.

Land based activities

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) has the responsibility of managing Western Australia’s national and marine parks, regional parks and state forest recreation areas. If you conduct or are planning to conduct a commercial tourist activity on lands or waters managed by DBCA, you will need a permit. Activity on Aboriginal land requires an entry permit from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA).

Water based activities

Licences for water based activities are commonly issued by the Department of Transport, Marine division. There are two general classifications of water related tourism businesses - Hire Drive Operations and Passenger Carrying Vessels.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has produced a Marine Tour Operators Handbook which details activities which can be carried out in a marine park.

Tour operations

The Department of Transport On-Demand Transport division is responsible for licensing all transport and tour operations, also called ‘omnibus’ licensing. 
An ‘omnibus’ is a passenger vehicle operating for reward, that is not a taxi. 



There are many different types of insurance available for your business. The insurance that is right for you will depend on many things, such as the nature of your business and whether you employ people.

Insurance can be divided into protection for three main categories:

  1. Assets and revenue,
  2. Liability, and
  3. Employees.

Many insurance providers will offer several types of insurance bundled in a package.

Did you know?

  • Most booking agents will not sell tourism products on behalf of operators unless the operator can prove they have current public liability insurance and all the relevant permits for their business.
  • If you are purchasing or using any plant, equipment or property for your business, and do not insure it, you are putting your investment at great risk.
  • Income protection insurance can protect your income in case of accident or illness.
  • By law, if you are employing staff you will need to take out workers' compensation insurance.
  • If you don't have the right level of cover you may be out of pocket after a claim.

To find out more about insurance visit the SBDC website