If you are starting or growing a home-based business, the Business section of Council's website provides a comprehensive resource for business owners in Boroondara. Our Economic Development team are also happy to assist. You can contact us on 9278 4879 or by email on business@boroondara.vic.gov.au.

Frequently asked questions

What is a home-based business?

Any small start-up businesses, independent contractors or sole proprietors operating from home including:

  • the base for an online business
  • consultants or contractors with a home office
  • the place of business eg hairdressers working in their home
  • base for a business eg a tradesperson working out of their home base

Can I only work from home?

No. You can visit clients and perform works on site at client’s premises, as long as your business base is at home.

What are Council’s requirements?

You may require a Planning Permit before opening your home-based business. To discuss whether or not this is required, we recommend that you contact Council’s Statutory Planning team on 9278 4844.

Some specific operational requirements you should be aware of:

  • The business premises must be your place of residence
  • No more than one other person who does not live there, may work there
  • The gross floor area used by the business including storage is the lesser of 50 square metres or 1/3 of the floor area
  • Only 1 commercial vehicle is present at a time
  • The business must not impose a load on any utility greater than normally required for domestic use
  • Your business must not affect the amenity of the neighbourhood in any way. This includes regulations about hours of operation, signage, car parking, emissions, electrical interference, and storage of hazardous materials.
  • Signage for your business which is not illuminated and measures less than 0.2/square metres may be displayed on your land

If your operational requirements exceed those listed you should contact the Planning Department to discuss options. Please refer to this website for full details of requirements: www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/your_council/building-planning/planning/when-do-i-need-a-planning-permit/home-business

Am I also required to Register my business with the ATO

Yes. It is important to find out what registrations/regulations apply to your business to ensure you are compliant. You can refer to www.ato.gov.au/business/registration/register-your-new-business and/or contact an Income Tax Professional.

Are there other special registrations or licences you may need?

Some businesses require special registrations or licenses as well as a planning permit. Some are issued through Council, others through external organisations.

You can use the Australian Business Licence and Information Service, a one-stop tool to help you find what licences and registrations you will need, then contact the relevant organisation or Council department to apply.

Council’s Health Services team are responsible for the registration of some businesses eg food businesses, beauty parlours, and Bed and Breakfasts. More information is available at www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/business/starting-a-business/permits-for-your-business.

For guidance on health requirements for home-based businesses, contact our Health Services team on 9278 4701 or email: Health Services.

Is my business covered by my home and contents insurance?

No, you should investigate the types of cover you will need for your business and any employees - a useful resource is: www.business.vic.gov.au/setting-up-a-business/how-to-start-a-business/find-the-right-insurance

Are there Income Tax regulations I need to be aware of?

Yes there are a range of requirements depending on the type of business - refer to www.ato.gov.au/Business/Starting-your-own-business/ and/or contact an Income Tax professional

Handy links

www.businessboroondara.com.au - Great resource with a variety of information and tools to use when starting up or running a business in Boroondara

www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/business/starting-a-business/new-business-links - List of useful links to use when starting a business

www.business.vic.gov.au/setting-up-a-business/location-and-set-up-premises/start-a-home-based-business - The Business Victoria website containing information for starting up a home-based business

http://digitalbusiness.gov.au - Australian Government guide to starting up online and digital businesses

https://ablis.business.gov.au/pages/home.aspx - Find out what licences and registrations are required

www.ato.gov.au/business/income-and-deductions-for-business/in-detail/home-based-business/ - Information about Australian Taxation Office requirements when you operate a business

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