Home Based Business

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt & Complying Development Codes) (SEPP) defines 4 types of home based business.  They are:

Home based child care

A dwelling used by a resident of the dwelling for the supervision and care of one or more children and that satisfies the following conditions:

  • The service is licensed within the meaning of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998.
  • The number of children (including children related to the carer or licensee) does not at any one time exceed 7 children under the age of 12 years, including no more than 5 who do not ordinarily attend school.

Home business

A business that is carried on in a dwelling, or in a building ancillary to a dwelling, by one or more permanent residents of the dwelling and that does not involve any of the following:

  • The employment of more than two people other than those residents.
  • Interference with the amenity of the neighbourhood reason of the emission of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, vapour, steam, soot, ash, dust, waste water, waste products, grit or oil, traffic generation or otherwise.
  • The exposure to view, from any adjacent premises or from any public place, of any unsightly matter.
  • The exhibition of any signage (other than a business identification sign).
  • The sale of items (whether goods or materials), or the exposure or offer for sale of items, by retail, except for goods produced at the dwelling or building, but does not include bed and breakfast accommodation, home occupation (sex services) or sex services premises.

Home industry

A dwelling (or a building ancillary to a dwelling) used by one or more permanent residents of the dwelling to carry out an industrial activity that does not involve any of the following:

  • The employment of more than two people other than those residents.
  • Interference with the amenity of the neighbourhood by reason of the emission of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, vapour, steam, soot, ash, dust, waste water, waste products, grit or oil, traffic generation or otherwise.
  • The exposure to view, from any adjacent premises or from any public place, of any unsightly matter.
  • The exhibition of any signage (other than a business identification sign).
  • The sale of items (whether goods or materials), or the exposure or offer for sale of items, by retail, except for goods produced at the dwelling or building, but does not include bed and breakfast accommodation, home occupation (sex services) or sex services premises.

Home occupation

An occupation that is carried on in a dwelling, or in a building ancillary to a dwelling, by one or more permanent residents of the dwelling and that does not involve any of the following:

  • The employment of persons other than those residents.
  • Interference with the amenity of the neighbourhood by reason of the emission of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, vapour, steam, soot, ash, dust, waste water, waste products, grit or oil, traffic generation or otherwise.
  • The display of goods, whether in a window or otherwise.
  • The exhibition of any signage (other than a business identification sign).
  • The sale of items (whether goods or materials), or the exposure or offer for sale of items, by retail, but does not include bed and breakfast accommodation, home occupation (sex services) or sex services premises.

Do I need council approval to run a business from home?

Provided you meet the above definitions and the exempt development standards linked below, you can operate your business from home without the need to obtain council approval.

Home-based child care.

Home businesses, home industries and home occupations.

Examples

"I want to start up a home based business cooking food and transporting to a separate food shop for sale. Is that allowed?"

Yes, with approval in the form of a Complying Development Certificate or Development Application. Construction and fit out of the food preparation area (including any areas used for storage, refrigeration and cooking) must comply with the Australian Standards 4674—2004, Design, construction and fit-out of food premises, the Food Act 2003 and regulations and the Building Code of Australia relating to premises where food is manufactured.

If alterations or additions to the existing dwelling are to be undertaken to incorporate the food business, you should first check with either council’s duty planner or a private accredited certifier to determine whether the building works are exempt or complying development or if a development application is required.

"I am an accountant.  I have one business partner and a secretary.  I want to reduce business costs by running my business from home.  Do I need council approval?"

You don't need approval provided you have no more than two people working in the business who are not full time residents of the home.

"I want to start a home based business making craft products and selling them.  Do I need council approval?"

No, you don't need approval.  However, you can only sell products that you make in your home

"Can I get approval to sell other products if I lodge a development application?"

No.  Council cannot approve the sale of any products other than those made in the home based business.

Signage

The only sign you can display on your home is a 'business identification sign'.  A business identification sign means a sign that indicates:

  • The name of the person or business.
  • The nature of the business carried out by the person at the premises or place at which the sign is displayed.
  • The address of the premises or place and a logo or other symbol that identifies the business, but that does not include any advertising relating to a person who does not carry out business at the premises or place.

Business identification signs for home-based businesses must comply with the requirements of the NSW Advertising and Signage Exempt Development Code.

Still need help?

Council has planning staff on duty at the Customer Service Centre Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm.  No appointment is necessary.  If you wish to speak to a duty officer on the phone call 9710 0333.

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