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 two persons who do not live in the dwelling work 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.
  • Any goods offered for sale online must not be collected from the dwelling.


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.

If your home-based business occupies more than 100 square metres of your home, or you employ more than two persons who do not live at the home, a planning permit is required.

The planning permit may also allow for an increase in the floor area up to 200 square metres, or one third of the floor area of the dwelling, whichever is less.

The permit may allow for up to three persons who do not live at the home to be employed on site.

For further information contact Hume City Council’s Planning Department on 9205 2200 between 8.30am – 5.00pm.

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 health 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

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