What is a Home Based Business?

Home based business is a growing sector enabling people to operate a business from the comfort of their own homes.

Among those running small businesses from home are interior designers, builders and carpenters - who often operate their business from home, but step off site to perform their work. Others, like freelance writers, artists, or online retailers, do the majority of work at home.

Developments in communication and information technology, together with economic and social change, have greatly contributed to the resurgence of home based businesses.

A Hume City Council permit is NOT required if the following conditions are met:

  • The person conducting the occupation use the dwelling as their principal place of residence.
  • No more than one person who does not live in the dwelling works in the business.
  • The floor area used in conducting the business, including the storage of any materials or goods, does not exceed 50 square metres or one third of the floor area of the dwelling, whichever is lesser.
  • The business does not impose a load on any utility (gas, electricity, etc.) greater than normally required for domestic use.
  • The business does not adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood. 
  • No motor vehicle may be serviced or repaired in the business.
  • Only one commercial vehicle not exceeding two tonnes capacity, registered to the owner of the dwelling, may be present at any time.
  • No goods other than the goods manufactured, serviced or repaired in the business are offered for sale or displayed so they are visible from outside the site.
  • Materials used or goods manufactured, serviced or repaired must be stored in the building.

Please check the Hume City Council Planning Scheme, in particular 52.11 Home Based Business, as the planning controls may vary from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions


Below we have provided answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

Starting a Food Business from Home

If you are considering preparing, handling or storing food from home, your business will require a Food Permit.  Due to the complexities of the food handling requirements and permit fees, we suggest you contact the Hume City Council Public Health Department.  After discussing your business plans with an Officer, you can then make a more informed decision on whether it is feasible to operate a food business from home.   Contact Public Health on 9205 2599 between 8:30am – 5pm or email healthadmin@hume.vic.gov.au.

Visit the Food Businesses page on our website for more information.

Starting a Health and Beauty Services Business from Home

Home based businesses that conduct beauty treatments including but not restricted to, electrolysis, tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture or hairdressing will require a permit.    Due to stringent health regulations it can be cost prohibitive for some businesses to establish a salon from home.   We recommend that you contact Public Health on 9205 2599 between 8:30am – 5:00pm or email healthadmin@hume.vic.gov.au.

Visit the Health Premises page on our website for more information.

How much space from my home can I use for my home based business?

If your home based business occupies more than 50m2 of your home, or you employ more than one person at the home, a planning permit may allow for two people who do not live in the dwelling to be employed. The permit may also allow for an increase in the floor area up to 100m2, or one third of the floor area of the dwelling, whichever is less.  For further information contact Hume City Council’s Planning Department on 9205 2200 between 8:30am – 5:00pm.

Can I have Advertising Signage?

In all residential zones, home based businesses are permitted business signage. A total of 0.2 square metres of advertising is permitted without a planning permit. The information permitted on these signs includes the business name, a brief service description and contact details.

How do I build my business networks?

We established a new coworking space located at the Town Hall Broadmeadows, opening in Spring 2019.  Called StartNorth, this coworking space is designed to help startups and scaleups succeed by offering workshops and office space for like minded business owners to collaborate. For further details sign up to the Hume Business eNewsletter or send an email to business@hume.vic.gov.au.

There are also many networking groups within Hume for home based or other small to large businesses.  For more information call Economic Development on 9205 2200 or email business@hume.vic.gov.au 

We're here to help you. If there is other assistance that you require, please call us on 9205 2200 between 8:30am – 5:00pm.

For anything else, call us on 9205 2200 or email business@hume.vic.gov.au 



Updated : 6:08 PM, 27 February 2019

Related Links

What's Near Me?