Business approvals - Home-based businesses

Home-based businesses can include varying scales such as:

  • Home office – usually where an occupier undertakes administrative work with no customers attending the house;
  • Home occupation – usually where an occupier conducts a business in an area that is 20m2 or less;
  • Home business – usually where an occupier conducts a business that employs a maximum of two people who do not reside in the house, and is in area that is 50m2 or less; and
  • Home store – usually where a shop with a maximum area of 100m2 is attached to the dwelling, and is operated by an occupier.

 As a guide the following approvals are typically required if you are intending to operate home business.

Step 1 - Planning

Planning approval is usually not required for operating a home office or home occupation. Planning approval is usually required for home business or home store.

There are currently temporary exemptions in place in response to COVID-19 which temporarily exempt home businesses from requiring development approval during a lockdown. More information on these exemptions can be found at our COVID-19 Planning Information webpage.

You can download an information sheet on home-based businesses below:

Home Business, Occupation, Store and Office 

If you have any questions, please speak to a Planning Officer on 9273 6000 or email

Step 2 - Building

Check to see whether you require a building permit. Generally, all works involving alterations and additions will require a building permit.

For information on the building permit process please visit the following webpages:

Building Services information

Building application forms

If you have any questions, please speak to a Building Surveyor on 9273 6000 or email

Step 3 - Health

Food businesses

Preparing food at home? Any residential food manufacture is classed as a food business under the Food Act 2008 and must be registered with the City. Only certain low risk foods may be prepared in a residential kitchen.

For more information on the registration process, approval requirements and to download an application form please click the following link:

Food businesses

Skin penetration procedure, beauty therapy and hairdressers

If you are considering opening a hairdressing or beauty therapy salon within your home then a health assessment is required. The City must ensure any skin penetration procedure provided (see definition below) is carried out in a safe and hygienic manner as required under the Health (Skin Penetration Procedure) Regulations 1998 and its Code of Practice.

A skin penetration procedure means a procedure in which the skin is cut, punctured, torn or shaved; or a mucous membrane is cut, punctured or torn. This definition includes a variety of body treatments such as tattooing, body piercing and modifications; and beauty therapy treatments such as waxing, threading and shaving.

For more information on the City’s assessment process, requirements and to download the Hairdressing & Skin Penetration Procedure notification form please click the following link:

Skin penetration procedure, beauty therapy, hairdressers and body art

If you have any questions, please speak to an Environmental Health Officer on 9273 6000 or email