The Six Stages of a Fitout Design and Approval

It’s true that planning a fitout can be an onerous, stressful process. However, with the right understanding ahead of time, you can limit just how difficult it is. You’ll need to know several critical components of the fitout design and approval process before you get started. We’ll run through the six most important below.

Signoff by Your Landlord

If you don’t own your property, and chances are good that you do not, you’ll need to get approval from your landlord before you do anything. Note that you will likely need to speak with your landlord’s retail design manager, as they will have the final say over alterations, changes and the like that you are allowed to make. Be prepared to show the retail design manager any applicable paperwork, designs, schematics and the like, and then incorporate any changes or requirements they have into your overall plan.

Requirements of Authorities

Make sure you get the “consent to lodge” form from your landlord, and then consult the relevant authorities about your fitout design. You’ll need to include a copy of the form with all applications. In some instances, you might be required to obtain a private certification of the work to be performed from an accredited certifier, and you’ll have to provide proof of that certification to your landlord.


Your landlord will need a number of documents from your designer prior to approving your fitout design. In most instances, this will include 3D concept drawings, blueprints, specification documents and the like. You are also responsible for obtaining the licenses and permits necessary for the work to be completed.

Documentation on Preliminary Concept

Preliminary concept documentation is a catchall term for things like material samples, finish samples, floor plans, schematics and designs. These will need to be provided to your landlord so he or she can sign off.

Final Documentation on Design

This final document must incorporate and address all of the comments, concerns, changes and requirements of authorities, your landlord and others involved in the process. It should be full dimensioned, and must also include all key documents. If this is approved, the landlord will stamp it as being both final and approved.

Appointing a Shopfitter

Once you have everything approved by the landlord, you can move on to the final stage – actually finding and appointing a shopfitter. You’ll need to provide the documentation for the project to the shopfitter so they understand the project. They will also need to meet with your landlord and go over all the documentation prior to starting on the project. As a note, make sure your shopfitter is working from the final design document that the landlord approved, and not a previous version of the planning documents.

Ultimately, the process of fitout design and approval can be stressful, but knowing what is involved in each step, as well as how the entire process should work can make things simpler and easier on you.

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