Starting a Home-Based Business

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

Among those running small businesses from home are interior designers, builders and carpenters - who may operate their business from home, but step off-site to perform their work duties. 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 uses 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 100 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.

Do I need a permit for a home-based food business?

Yes, 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 on 9205 2599 between 8:30am – 5pm or email

Visit the Operating a Food Business page on our website for more information.

Do I need a permit for a health and beauty business?

Yes. 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

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

If your home-based business occupies more than 50 square metres 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 100 square metres, 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. StartNorth, is a coworking space designed to help start-ups and scale-ups 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

There are 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 

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

Coworking is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes office-based but working independently. Unlike a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organisation. Typically, it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who may otherwise work in relative isolation.

Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.

StartNorth Coworking Space

Hume City Council is excited to own and operate a coworking space for startups and small businesses in the northern suburbs. 

StartNorth provides:

  • workspace desks
  • access to meeting rooms
  • private offices
  • business and social events
  • programs
  • staff support
  • leisure centre discounts
  • printing
  • fast wi-fi
  • 24 hour access
  • a community of like-minded people 

Architecturally designed for productivity, the space is located at the Town Hall, Broadmeadows.

About StartNorth 

It is our goal to build a strong community of entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses.

We’ll passionately support you, celebrating your successes, contributing to your sustainable growth, and creating an environment that inspires.

Conveniently located across the road from Broadmeadows Railway Station and Broadmeadows Central, StartNorth offers brand new facilities, state-of-the-art technology and 24 hour access.

We’re powered by one of Victoria’s leading councils that is dedicated to innovation and economic development. Our backing by Hume City Council means we have the connections to help get your business up and running, or scaling up quickly.

Many entrepreneurs and home-based business operators find that eventually, even the most motivated person craves the energy and inspiration of working around other like-minded people.

At StartNorth, we’ve created a place where inspiration flows freely. We provide intelligent and skilled staff that maintain an incredible level of customer service, are available for you to bounce ideas off, and will strive to provide you support in all of the areas that you need.

Find out more at

2020 Events Program 

Hume City Council is committed to supporting local businesses during this time and will continue to keep you updated on relevant and important information following advice from the Victorian Government and Federal Government regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

There is a wide range of information, resources and tools available to assist and guide you through the current challenges. Information and advice changes daily, so we encourage you to continually check Hume’s Together in Business for updates and subscribe to our eNewsletter.  

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding.

Gov4U - FREE Webinar

Join a FREE webinar with representatives from the Australian and Victorian Governments who will provide you with the advice and support you need to help start planning. The webinar will cover grants, programs and advice and information that can help you innovate and become more competitive.

Register through Eventbrite.

Small Business Clinic - Free Mentoring Session

In conjunction with SBMS, we are offering business mentoring sessions to support businesses which are situated within Hume City. Small Business Clinics provide general business information and can assist you in the steps you need to take to overcome an issue or information gap. Appointments are essential. 

Book your business mentoring session online.
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Hume Small Business Clinic, IT session - Thursday 23 July 2020

Small Business Bus 

Whether you're planning, starting or growing your business, the Victorian Government's Small Business Bus can help you to develop your business ideas and capabilities. Delivered by experts from the Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS), the on-board mentoring sessions can help you to identify a clear direction for your business, discuss key issues and priorities, and develop an action plan to achieve your goals. 

Five free 45-minute sessions are available from 10:00am until 4:00pm. 

Due to the caronavirus (COVID-19) protocols all sessions booked on the Small Business Bus will be conducted over the phone.

NBAA Breakfast and Young Business Achiever Award Nomination

The Northern Business Achiever Awards (NBAA) are a partnership of industry, education, local and state government and decision makers across Melbourne’s north and essential events for those seeking to do business in the region. They recognise the business achievements of SMEs and encourage business excellence, growth and competitiveness. The events provide a high-profile forum to enable business networking and the recognition of business achievement. 

Find out more at 

Business Consultation

Delivered by the Business Enterprise Centre, Kangan Institute Essendon

The opportunity to have free professional advice, whether you are intending to commence a business, or are already operating a small business, can be invaluable to ensure the business achieves sustainability - this free Business Consultation offers you that opportunity.

You will receive a private, face-to-face session with an experienced Business Counselor to discuss any issues you have regarding commencing a business or improving performance and operations of your existing business. These sessions are conducted with full confidentiality. General business advice and referrals can be obtained as well as guidance for the establishment of your business or addressing issues with your existing business. These sessions are free, and a booking by appointment is required. 

Where: Business Enterprise Centre, 38 Buckley Street, Essendon (Kangan Institute)

When: Regular monthly appointments available.

Bookings: Phone 9094 3008


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Keep up to date with the latest information for businesses including events, training sessions and webinars. This monthly e-newsletter is compiled by the Economic Development Department at Hume City Council.