A home-based business, also known as home occupation, is any business that is operated from a residential address by a person who lives at that address.
When starting a business from home you need to consider any local restrictions, planning regulations, the suitability of your home and legal, tax and insurance requirements and costs.
Do I need a planning permit from Council?
As a general rule, you can run a home-based business (also known as a 'home occupation') without a planning permit if:
- the home is your main place of residence
- you employ no more than one person who doesn’t live there
- the business uses no more than 50 square metres, or one-third of the total floor area of the home, and the home is not a flat or unit
- the business uses the same amount of electricity, gas or water as normal domestic use, and it doesn’t decrease the neighbourhood’s attractiveness or value
- no motor vehicles are serviced or repaired
- nothing is offered for sale, except goods made or repaired on the site, and
- no goods are displayed so they are visible from outside the site.
There are specific restrictions relating to the number and type of vehicles associated with a home-based business that can be present at any time, as well as restrictions on the type and size of signs you can display. One of your first tasks should be to contact Council's Planning department on 9205 5373 to check if the zoning of your property allows your business and if you’ll need a planning permit.
Permits, licences and registrations
Clause 52.11 of the City of Yarra Planning Scheme relates to home-based business. Its aim is to make sure that the amenity of the neighbourhood is not adversely affected by an occupation conducted in, or from, a dwelling. Please visit the Department of Planning and Community Development's website and choose 52.11 Home Occupation from the Particular Provisions drop-down menu to view the relevant clause.
Please be aware that other agencies are also involved in administering permits, licences and registrations. Common businesses needing special registration are:
Food: if you prepare, serve, manufacture, transport or sell food
Personal care and body art: examples are hairdressing, beauty therapy, tattooing, piercing, and acupuncture
Alcohol: if you sell, provide or store alcohol.
Before making the decision to establish a business in your home you should also visit the Small Business Victoria website.
You can follow Business Victoria's step-by-step guides to home-based business by visiting the relevant links to the Business Victoria website below:
Further informationKim Swinson
Coordinator – Economic Development
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