Home-based business

A home-based business is defined as ‘any business where the primary office is located in the business owner's home’, or a building ancillary to the business owner’s home, a garage or a studio.

The business owner does not have to own the property, but they need to be running the business out of the same premises they live in for it be classified as a home-based business.

Do I need Council approval?

You can operate your home business without Council approval if:

  • It employs no more than two (2) employees (other than those living in the residence)
  • It has no adverse impact on the amenity of the neighbourhood from transmissions of noise, vibration, smell (including cooking smells), fumes, smoke, vapour, steam, soot, ash, dust, wastewater, waste products, grit or oil, traffic generation or other disturbances
  • No more than one business identification sign is displayed
  • Any goods offered for sale are produced in the home business (goods sold on the internet cannot be collected from the premises)
  • The business does not involve manufacture of food products*
  • The business does not involve any skin penetration procedures*

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Specific requirements for home businesses can be found in Shoalhaven City Council’s:

Home-based Hair Dressing and Beauty Salons

Although a home-based hair dresser or beauty salon is classed as a Home-based Business you still need to lodge a Development Application with Council outlining how the internal construction of the proposed development will comply with the Public Health Act 2010, Public Health Regulation 2012 and the Local Government Act 1993.

You must also register your hair and beauty business with Council and have the premises inspected by Council Officers before you start operating.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has a useful guide to the Development Application (DA) process.


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In home food preparation for sale elsewhere

A home-based business that handles food intended for sale must comply with the Food Act 2003 (NSW) and the Food Standards Code.

You may also need to appoint a Food Safety Supervisor depending on what kinds of food you will prepare and sell.

Food manufacturing businesses must also comply with the requirements of the technical standard ‘AS 4674 Design, construction and fit-out of food premises’.

It is important to be aware of, and meet, the requirements before you begin operating your business.

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