Operating a home business
Operating a business from your home offers a flexible, convenient and affordable option. To set up a home business, find out how the Brisbane City Plan 2014 applies and whether a planning application is required.
The City Plan defines a home-based business as a dwelling used for a business activity where subordinate to the residential use.
A home-based business can operate from a townhouse, apartment or house where the business is secondary to the residence.
Examples of a home-based business:
- home office
- bed and breakfast
- home-based childcare.
Examples of a business that does not qualify as home-based:
- businesses that may disrupt your neighbours
- transport depot
Council does not classify employees of an off-site business or organisation who work from home and communicate with their employers electronically (telecommuters) as home-based businesses.
The City Plan encourages home-based businesses to locate in:
- Residential zones
- Centre zones
- Mixed use zone
- Township zone
- Environmental management zone
- Conservation zone
- Rural zone
- Rural residential zone
- Emerging community zone.
Use the online self-assessable checklist to see if your proposal meets the accepted development criteria in the Home based business code. If it does, you will not need anything in writing from Brisbane City Council to commence the activity.
Not all home-based businesses need Council approval. A PD Online property enquiry can help you determine if the proposal requires Council approval.
You can also phone 07 3403 8888 to speak to a town planner.
If the nature of your business changes over time, you may need to reconfirm whether you require a development approval as a result of these changes. For example, if you change the way you operate such as employing non-resident employees.
Running more than one business from your home
The City Plan does not limit the number of businesses that can operate from a dwelling. However, the combined impact and extent of all the business activities on-site must comply with the Home based business code. For example, the maximum floor area of 50 square metres or 30% of the total floor area (whichever is less). This is specified in the code and applies to the total floor area for all businesses within the home.
Building approval is separate from planning approval. Licensed private building certifiers or building consultants can provide advice regarding:
- building work for an existing home-based business or a new home-based business
- building approval requirements.
Private building certifiers and consultants are available on the Queensland Building and Construction Commission's Find a Local Contractor search.
- running a food business from home
- home business signs
- online resources for starting, growing and running your home business.
Phone Council's Business Hotline 133 BNE (133 263) for advice specific to your situation if:
- your proposed home-based business requires planning approval, or
- your premises are within a neighbourhood plan area or overlay area.
Council's fact sheet home-based business can provide additional information.