Many people enjoy the flexibility and efficiency of running their businesses from home. Before you begin it's important to consider:

  • whether you need a Planning Permit for the home-based business
  • whether there are any other permits needed to run the business, and
  • how to run your business responsibly so that it doesn't adversely affect neighbouring homes.

Step 1: Check your zone

  1. Visit VicPlan and search for the address of your property.
  2. Follow the prompts to create and open a Planning Property Report.
  3. Read the report and see which zone affects the property from which you will run the business.

Step 2: See whether you need a Planning Permit for the home-based business

You will not require a Planning Permit from Council to run your business from home if you meet all the following requirements:

  • You are running the business in a Residential, Mixed Use or Commercial 1 zone.
  • The person conducting the business uses the dwelling as their principal place of residence.
  • There are no more than two people working at the business who do not live in the dwelling.
  • The floor area used in conducting the business, including the storage of any materials or goods, does not exceed 100 square metres, or one third, of the total floor area of the dwelling, whichever is the lesser. Note that the total floor area of the dwelling includes structures associated with the dwelling, such as garages and sheds.
  • You are not adjusting or repairing a motor vehicle for gain.
  • You use only one commercial vehicle (a commercial goods vehicle, commercial passenger vehicle or tow truck within the meaning of the Transport Act 1983). The vehicle does not exceed 2 tonnes capacity. The vehicle will not be fuelled or repaired on the site.
  • You only sell goods manufactured or serviced in the home based business (this requirement does not apply to goods offered for sale online).
  • You will make sure that any goods offered for sale online are not collected from the dwelling.
  • You will store all materials and goods within the building.
  • You will not display any goods so that they are visible from outside the dwelling.

If you do not meet any of the requirements listed in Step 2, you need to submit a Planning Permit application.

Before submitting your application, we recommend that you contact our Statutory Planning team on 9278 4888 to:

  • confirm the requirements of the application for a Planning Permit in relation to your home based business.  
  • check whether you need other Panning Permits, for example, for signage or for buildings and works to your premises as a result of the proposed home based business.

Step 3: Apply for a Planning Permit, if needed

To apply for a Planning Permit for a home-based business:

  • Provide 3 copies of the existing and proposed site plans clearly showing the extent of the home-based business. In other words, show how much of the floor area will be used to conduct the business.
  • Provide details of the proposed operational methods, including hours of operation, staff numbers, location of car parking for staff and visitors.
  • Provide a recent Certificate of Title. Use the Landata website to obtain this item. The certificate cannot be more than 28 days old.
  • Complete the Application for a Planning Permit.
  • Lodge your application, documentation and $1,265.60 fee with Council. For lodgement instructions, see Apply for a Planning Permit.

Application assessment

We'll assess your application and let you know if it is approved or if we need more information. When we assess your application, we consider:

  • whether there is a need for additional parking or loading facilities
  • the effect of any vehicle parking, storage or washing facilities on the amenity and character of the street
  • whether the site is suitable for the particular home based business and is compatible with surrounding uses and developments
  • whether there is a need for landscaping to screen any outbuildings, car parking, loading areas or any other area relating to the home based business.

Step 4: Check whether there are any other permits you need for the business

Depending on the nature of your home business, you may need to apply for other permits or approvals before you can operate. For example, if you are starting a food business, you will need to register the business and comply with health and safety requirements.

Step 5: Run your home business responsibly

When you run your home-based business, it's important to comply with State planning laws.

Be aware of whether any of the following may affect the amenity of your neighbourhood:

  • changes to the appearance of your home
  • customers or staff parking vehicles in the street
  • the transportation of materials or goods to or from your home
  • the hours of operation
  • electrical interference
  • the storage of chemicals, gasses or other hazardous materials
  • noise and other emissions associated with the business.

Note that common complaints about businesses being run from home are about noise being generated and long term parking outside neighbouring properties. Make sure that you consider your neighbours in regard to these matters.

Also, make sure that you don't impose a load on any utility greater than normally required for domestic use. Keep an eye on whether you are drawing more power from the grid than you would in day-to-day living, and whether you are making more frequent use of waste disposal services.

More information

For more information about Planning Permits, contact the Statutory Planning team on 9278 4888.

To find out how we can support your business with free one-on-one business mentoring, events, workshops and business information, explore the for Business section or contact Local Economies on 9278 4444.

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