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Home based business

Exempt Development

Home-based Enterprises

You may be able to run a business from home without planning approval, as an exempt development.

Under the State Policy, a residential property may be used as the premises for a home-based business as an exempt development, unless it involves:.

  • the manufacture of food products
  • skin penetration procedures.

The types of enterprises included under the State Policy are:

  • home business
  • home industry
  • home occupation
  • home-based child care
  • bed and breakfast accommodation.

These can be carried out within the home — or within attached or detached buildings, such as a garage or studio.

Please refer to these State Policy provisions on standards home businesses, home industries and home occupations must meet to be exempt from planning approval.

Home businesses and home industries can include small-time online retail sales of items that were not produced on site. They must comply with the maximum floor area requirements specified in clause 5.4 of the relevant local environmental plan. 

The definitions of home business and home industry are clarified in the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Definitions) Order 2020 and the State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Definitions) 2020.

Home-based child care

Home-based child care activities may also be considered exempt development under the State Policy if it is not out on bushfire prone land.

There are additional requirements by the Department of Education and Communities that must be met for a home-based education and care service to gain approval to operate in a home. These requirements also mean you need to register with the Family Day Care service provided by your local council.

Other considerations

  • Before removing or pruning any existing trees or vegetation, check with your council whether you need approval. 
  • All works must be structurally adequate, installed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
  • Any structure on or over public land or roads must have approval specifically from the local council or Transport for NSW under the Roads Act 1993 and the Local Government Act 1993
  • Generally, exempt development cannot be carried out on:
Last updated: 20/06/2023