Home-based businesses are a large part of the Australian business community, with nearly one million people running a business from home. Working from home can offer flexibility and convenience, and can often be a great opportunity to start a new career.
If you're thinking of starting a home-based business or are currently running one, you can maximise your chance of success by ensuring that you understand the risks and government requirements that apply to you. These include taxation, employment, council approval and licensing requirements.
Take the time to consider visiting business.gov.au when setting up and running your home-based business for further advice.
Planning requirements for operating a business from home
Operating a business from your place of residence must conform to State planning laws.
A home based business in a residential zone must meet the following requirements:
(A home-based business located on land not zoned residential, will have other requirements. Therefore, it is important to contact Council to discuss your particular circumstances).
The person conducting the home-based business must use the dwelling as their principal place of residence.
No more than one person who does not live in the dwelling may work in the home-based business.
The gross floor area used in conducting the home-based business, including the storage of any materials or goods, must not exceed 50 square metres or one third of the gross floor area of the dwelling, whichever is the lesser.
The home-based business must not impose a load on any utility greater than normally required for domestic use.
The home-based business must not adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood in any way including:
- The appearance of any building, works or materials used.
- The parking of motor vehicles.
- The transporting of materials or goods to or from the dwelling.
- The hours of operation.
- Electrical interference.
- The storage of chemicals, gases or other hazardous materials.
- Emissions from the site.
No motor vehicle may be serviced or repaired for gain.
Only one commercial vehicle (a commercial goods vehicle, commercial passenger vehicle or tow truck within the meaning of the Transport Act 1983), not exceeding 2 tonnes capacity and with or without a trailer, registered to a resident of the dwelling may be present at any time. The vehicle must not be fuelled or repaired on site.
Goods not manufactured or serviced in the home-based business must not be offered for sale.
Materials used or goods manufactured, serviced or repaired in the home-based business must be stored in a building.
Goods manufactured, serviced or repaired must not be displayed so that they are visible from outside the site.
If the above criteria cannot be complied with, a permit will be required.
A permit may be granted for a home occupation:
Which allows no more than two persons who do not live in the dwelling to work in the occupation; or
Which has a floor area not exceeding 100 square metres or one-third of the gross floor area of the dwelling, whichever is the lesser.
Some features the Town Planner will consider when looking at a planning permit application for a home occupation in a residential zone might include:
- Whether there is a need for additional parking or loading facilities and the effect any parking, storage or loading facilities may have on the amenity and character of the street.
- Whether the site is suitable for the particular home occupation and is compatible with the surrounding use and development.
- Whether there is a need for landscaping to screen any outbuildings or car parking or loading areas or any other area relating to the home occupation.
To enable council to determine whether the type of home occupation proposed complies with the above requirements, it is requested that you write to council supplying written information about the nature of the business, outlining how your proposed use complies with the above requirements and providing two copies of plans showing the site and dwelling layout nominating the areas to be used for the home occupation.
It is important that you have regard to the home occupation requirements at all times. The requirements are ongoing obligations. While you may have satisfied council of compliance at the time you wrote to council, if the business has changed you may no longer comply.
Further information on the West Wimmera Planning Scheme.
If you intend to establish a food business, hairdressing shop, beauty parlour, tattooing, ear piercing or other process involving the penetration of skin, you must contact council's Environmental Health Department.