If you operate, or are planning to operate a business from home, it is important to consider how your business will fit within government regulations.
Home Occupancy Requirements
A good place to start is to read the Planning Schemes Online – Home Based Business webpage.This covers the requirements to be met by home based businesses, and helps to determine if a permit will be required.
Further information to consider:
- If you are planning to prepare, handle or store food, or if you are proposing to conduct beauty treatment including electrolysis, tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture or hairdressing at home, you must apply to Whitehorse City Council’s Environmental Health Unit. This department controls the registration of health-related businesses (including but not limited to, food businesses, beauty and body art) to ensure that all health requirements and accreditation standards are met.
- Whitehorse City Council’s Statutory Planning Unit will be able to assist regarding signage and if a permit is required. This department is responsible for ensuring that development in the municipality complies with relevant planning legislation. It is responsible matters including land use, development applications, parking needs, operating hours, outdoor advertising, number of occupants, external works and alterations.
- If you are planning to alter or change the use of an existing building or carry out structural works you will require a Building Permit. Whitehorse City Council’s Building Unit is responsible for the assessment and determination of building applications and conducting building inspections. It monitors standards with alterations, demolitions, new building works or extensions to ensure building meet fire, safety and structural standards.
Visit Whitehorse City Council's home-based business webpage for more information.
Operate with your neighbours in mind
- Maintain your property to ensure you make a positive contribution to the streetscape.
- Ensure that any noisy aspects of your operation are away from your neighbours, you may wish to soundproof to minimise the impact on neighbours.
- Maintain the residential character of the neighbourhood by storing materials and goods indoors.
- Discuss any issues with your neighbours before they become unsolvable problems.
Insuring a home-based business
A common misunderstanding among home-based business owners is they believe they're adequately covered by a domestic home and contents insurance policy because they're operating from home. This is not necessarily always the case. It is important that you contact your insurer to have a discussion and check that you are covered.
Whitehorse City Council’s Investment and Economic Development Unit can assist home based businesses become involved in networking and the potential to do business with other local enterprises.
There is a range of workshops, seminars and business events hosted by Whitehorse City Council throughout the year. Check out what is coming up