Whitehorse City Council

Home-based Businesses

A report compiled by Small Business Victoria indicated that home-based businesses represent 60% of small businesses within the state.

Since the relaxation of the home based business control in June 1995, you can use a larger floor area in the home and employ an additional person in the occupation. A larger number of businesses now comply with these regulations.


Benefits of operating a business from home include:

  • Financial – lower overheads are often the main influence of operation for home based business
  • Lifestyle – home-based businesses provide a flexible and viable lifestyle for people to do non work related activities or care for family
  • Environmental – significantly reduced energy cost of transport and energy consumption
  • Safety – increased daytime activity in residential areas, reducing potential for crime 

Home-based businesses are encouraged to register with Council’s Business and Economic Development Unit so they can be actively promoted and included in Council activities.

To register your business on Council’s free online business directory, please call 9262 6353 or visit www.wbiz.com.au

For general business information contact Business Victoria 13 22 15.


Home Occupancy Requirements

No permit is required if the following are met:

  • The person conducting the occupation must use the dwelling as their principal place of residence
  • No more than one person who does not live in the dwelling may work in the occupation
  • The floor area used in conducting the business, including the storage of any materials or goods, must not exceed 50 square metres or one third of the floor area of the dwelling, whichever is lesser
  • The occupation must not impose a load on any utility greater than normally required for domestic use
  • The occupation must not adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood in any way
  • No motor vehicle may be serviced or repaired in the occupation
  • 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 occupation may be 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  

Permits are required if the following applies:

  • If you are planning to prepare, handle or store food at home you must apply for a Food Act Registration. For more information, call Council’s Environmental Health Unit on 9262 6197
  • If you are proposing to conduct beauty treatment including electrolysis, tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture or hairdressing at your home, you must apply to Council’s Environmental Health Unit on 9262 6197 
  • If your 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 from the home. 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 the lesser
  • If you require a sign larger than 0.2 meters, a permit is needed. You may have a sign up to 0.2 metres square without a permit  

Please consider your neighbours when operate your business by: 

  • Maintaining your property to ensure you make a positive contribution to the streetscape
  • Ensuring that any noisy aspects of your operation are away from your neighbours. Try soundproofing to minimise the impact on neighbours
  • Maintaining the residential character of the neighbourhood by storing materials and goods indoors
  • Discussing any issues with your neighbours before they become unsolvable problems