How much does a commercial office fit out the cost per square metre in Australia? Are fit-out costs tax deductible?

If you’re planning a commercial office fit-out in Australia, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the many costs involved. In this blog post, we’re going to look at the average cost per square metre for a commercial office fit-out in Australia. We’ll also look at whether these costs are tax deductible, including other important questions, such as how long a fit-out should take, what steps are involved in the process, and more. Let’s get straight into it! 

What is a commercial office fit-out?

A commercial office fit-out, simply put, refers to the process of customising and transforming an office space to meet your specific needs and requirements. 

It involves designing and constructing the interior of the office itself, including any partitioning, installing fixtures and fittings, and optimizing the intended use of space. 

A well-executed office fit-out can enhance employee productivity, create a functional workspace, and ultimately reflect the company’s brand and culture.

Interior Empty Modern Loft Office open space modern office footage.Modern open concept Lobby and reception area meeting room design.3d Rendering .

What are the different stages of an office fit-out?

An office fit-out involves key several stages, each one being crucial to the successful completion of the project. Here are the main stages involved, for your reference:

  1. Planning and design: The planning and design stage involves understanding your requirements, space planning, and creating a flawless design concept that aligns with the company’s brand and business objectives.
  2. Pre-construction: During this early stage, detailed plans and specifications are developed by professionals, and the necessary permits and approvals are obtained. It also includes selecting the appropriate materials, finishes, and fixtures.
  3. Construction: The construction stage, as you may have guessed, involves executing the fit-out plan. This includes any structural modifications, the installation of partitioning, electrical and plumbing works, and fitting fixtures, fittings, and furniture.
  4. Completion and handover: In this final stage of the process, the fit-out is completed, and any necessary adjustments or touch-ups are then made. The project is then handed back over to you, ready for occupancy.

What services are required in a commercial office fit-out?

A successful commercial office fit-out requires a number of different services to bring the design concept to life. Here are some common services involved:

  • Space planning and design: This includes assessing the available space, developing a layout, and creating a design concept that meets your requirements.
  • Partitioning and walls: Partitioning involves creating separate work areas within the office space, such as individual offices, meeting rooms, and break areas. This may involve installing glass partitions or drywall construction.
  • Electrical and data: This essential service includes installing all of the necessary electrical wiring, power outlets, lighting fixtures, data cabling, and networking infrastructure to support the office’s technological needs.
  • Plumbing: If there are kitchenettes or bathrooms in the office, plumbing services will be required for the installation of sinks, toilets, and the other necessary fixtures.
  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning): HVAC services ensure optimal temperature control, air quality, and ventilation within the office space. This may involve installing ductwork, air conditioning units, and indeed ventilation systems.

How much does a commercial office fit out the cost per square metre in Australia?

Now let’s move on to the important question: How much is all this going to set you back? 

The cost of a commercial office fit-out in Australia can vary significantly depending on a wide variety of factors, including the location itself, the size of the space, its design complexity, and the quality level of the finishes. 

That said, as a general guideline, the average cost per square metre for a commercial office fit-out in Australia ranges from $800 to $2,500 (and beyond). 

Please bear in mind that this is purely an estimate and that the final cost will depend on your specific project requirements and chosen office fit-out company.

  • Quality of finishes: High-end finishes and materials will generally cost more than standard or basic options.
  • Structural modifications: If significant structural modifications are required, such as removing walls or creating new openings, it can add a significant amount to the overall cost.
  • Customisation and complexity: The more customised and complex the design, the higher the cost will invariably be. Unique features, special installations, or intricate design elements can increase the total price (though are often worth the additional investment).

How long will a commercial office fit-out take to complete?

The duration of a commercial office fit-out will vary significantly depending on the size and complexity of the project itself. On average, a fit-out can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks to thoroughly complete. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Project scope: The size of the space and the extent of the fit-out required will impact the duration of the project. Larger projects, or those with more complex design features, may invariably take longer to complete.
  • Approvals and permits: Obtaining all of the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities can add time to the project timeline (so be sure to factor this in).
  • Coordination of trades: Fit-outs often involve multiple trades, such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and painting. As such, efficient coordination among these trades is key to staying on schedule and meeting your deadlines (which is where the pros come in).
  • Unforeseen issues: Sometimes, as is true to life, unexpected challenges or delays can arise during the fit-out process, such as discovering hidden structural issues or encountering supply chain disruptions. 
3d rendering business meeting and working room on office building

Are fit-out costs tax deductible?

Office fitouts can be expensive, but they can also be tax deductible in Australia, subject to specific conditions and guidelines. Here are a few key points to consider if you wish to know where you stand:

  • Capital vs. operational expenses: Fit-out costs that are considered capital expenses are generally not tax deductible. These are costs that improve or enhance the value of the property. However, operational expenses incurred during a fit-out may indeed be tax deductible.
  • Depreciation: Fit-out costs can be claimed as depreciation expenses over time. This means that the cost can be deducted gradually over the useful life of the fit-out assets, such as fixtures, fittings, and equipment.
  • Consult an accountant: Of course, the best way to determine the tax deductibility of fit-out costs for your specific situation, is to consult with a qualified accountant or tax professional. That way, they can provide you with expert guidance based on the national Australian tax laws and local state regulations.


Let’s wrap this up! 

  • The cost of a commercial office fit-out in Australia varies depending on a number of factors, including location, size, design complexity, and the quality of the finishes. 
  • The average cost per square metre ranges from $800 to $2,500. 
  • The total duration of a fit-out project typically takes between 6 to 12 weeks, but can vary depending on the project scope and complexity. 
  • Regarding tax deductibility, fit-out costs may be tax deductible if they are considered operational expenses or claimed as depreciation over time. (Again, it’s best to consult with a qualified accountant to understand the specific tax implications for your project). 

Remember, each fit-out project is unique, and it’s important that you work with experienced fit-out professionals who can provide you with accurate cost estimates and guide you through the process.

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