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Home-based businesses

Home-based businesses

It's possible for a resident to run a small scale business from home, provided planning approval for a 'home occupation' has been granted.

Considering most home occupations take place within urban areas with neighbouring properties nearby, they must be limited to an appropriate scale so as to not generate any adverse impacts.

A home occupation may only be permitted where it:​

  • does not cause injur​​​y to or prejudicially affect the amenity of the neighbourhood including (but without limiting the generality of the foregoing) injury or prejudicial affection due to the emission of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, vapour, steam, soot, ash, dust, grit, oil, waste water or waste products;
  • does not entail the employment of any person not a member of the occupier's family except in the case of a professional person;
  • does not occupy an area greater than 20 square metres;
  • does not require the provision of any essential service main of greater capacity than normally required in the Zone in which it is located;
  • is not advertised by a sign exceeding 0.2 square metres in area;
  • does not give rise to any pedestrian or vehicular traffic substantially beyond that which is normal to the neighbourhood in which the business is located;
  • is so conducted that, with the exception of a complying sign, no indication is given that the house is used for other than residential purposes;
  • does not involve the use of commercial vehicles exceeding one tonne in weight for the delivery and collection of materials to or from the premises;
  • does not require the outdoor storage of materials or supplies; and
  • has been granted planning approval of Council for a specified period.

Planning approval is required for all home occupations within the City of Kwinana. To assess an application, details need to be given addressing each criteria listed above. 

This form needs to be submitted with the standard Planning Application Form:

Home Occupation Renewal Checklist

The following fees are applicable:

  • family day care (up to four children): no charge
  • business address only: no charge
  • certified NIES applicants: no charge
  • all other businesses - initial fee: $222
  • all other businesses - annual renewal: $73

Note: home occupations are subject to annual renewal and cannot be transferred to another property without planning approval.

What sort of activity can cause problems?

A home occupation is a business that does not create problems with your neighbours. The City of Kwinana often receives complaints from residents about small scale businesses being run from homes that:

  • create repeated, prolonged or loud noise;
  • increase traffic in the street by delivery vehicles or the parking of customer or client cars; 
  • produce smoke, smells, fumes, dust, light, vibration, electrical interferences, waste products and the like; or
  • are carried out at times outside of normal working hours.

Home occupations are intended to accommodate appropriately scaled small businesses within a residential home. They also provide an opportunity for people to establish a small business initially with limited cost outlay and then move into a dedicated commercial premise (like in the Kwinana City Centre) once the business grows beyond a small scale.

Please note: mechanical repairs, panel beating, spray painting and activities involving noisy machinery do not fit into the definition of home occupation. If you cannot comply with the guidelines for a home occupation, you need to look at industrial or commercial premises to set up your business.​

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