Home business

We have provided these answers to common questions about starting a home business. 

Jump to a question

  1. Do I need planning approval to operate a business from my home?
  2. What is a home office?
  3. What is a home occupation?
  4. What is a home business?
  5. More information

Do I need planning approval to operate a business from my home?

Businesses that operate from home fall into three categories:

  •     home office
  •     home occupation
  •     home business

Generally, these business types are small, low intensity, run from a person's home, carried out by an occupier of the home, do not significantly impact on the amenity of surrounding properties and do not involve the use of an essential service of greater capacity than normally required.

A home office is permitted development and does not require planning approval. Planning approval is required prior to the commencement of a home business or home occupation. Please refer to the definitions which follow and decide which category your business falls under.

What is a home office?

Home office means a home occupation limited to a business carried out solely within a dwelling by a resident of the dwelling but which does not:

  • entail clients or customers travelling to and from the dwelling
  • involve any advertising signs on the premises or
  • require any external change to the appearance of the dwelling.

What is a home occupation?

Home occupation means an occupation carried out in a dwelling or on land around a dwelling by an occupier of the dwelling which:

  • Does not employ any person not a member of the occupier's household
  • Will not cause injury to or adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood
  • Does not occupy an area greater than 20 square metres
  • Does not display a sign exceeding 0.2 square metres
  • Does not involve the retail sale, display or hire of goods of any nature
  • In relation to vehicles and parking, does not result in the requirement for a greater number of parking facilities than normally required for a single dwelling or an increase in traffic volume in the neighbourhood does not involve the presence, use or calling of a vehicle more than 2 tonnes tare weight, and does not include provision for the fuelling, repair, or maintenance of motor vehicles
  • Does not involve the use of an essential service of greater capacity than normally required in the zone.

What is a home business?

A home business means a business, service, or profession carried out in a dwelling or on land around a dwelling by an occupier of the dwelling which:

  • Does not employ more than 2 people who are not members of the occupier's household
  • Will not cause injury to or adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood
  • Does not occupy an area greater than 50 square metres
  • Does not involve the retail sale, display or hire of goods of any nature
  • In relation to vehicles and parking, does not result in traffic difficulties as a result of the inadequacy of parking or an increase in traffic volumes in the neighbourhood, and does not involve the presence, use or calling of a vehicle more than 3.5 tonnes tare weight
  • Does not involve the use of an essential service of greater capacity than normally required in the zone

More information

Information required for planning applications will provide you with more information on how to lodge a planning application.

It may also be beneficial to contact the City's planning staff to discuss the business you are proposing to gain advice on your obligations.

Contact us

Planning services
T 08 9432 9999
planning@fremantle.wa.gov.au