Home Based Business

What is a Home Based Business?

A home based business is the use of a residential dwelling or outbuilding(s) by a resident on the site to operate a business from home.

A home based business is able to be conducted from your home without approval, provided it does not create repeated, prolonged or loud noise, produce smoke, fumes, dust, odours or increase traffic in the street by delivery vehicles or the parking of clients.

A home based business does not require approval if it satisfies all of the criteria below:

Home Based Activity Requirements

Schedule 1 of the Development Regulations 2008 states that a home activity means the use of a site by a person resident on the site, that does not detrimentally affect the amenity of the locality or any part of the locality; and that does not require or involve:

Land Use

  • Residential use must be primary use of building and land
  • Floor area for business use, including any areas of dwelling or associated buildings (ie. Sheds) must not exceed an area of 30 square metres

Traffic & Car Parking

  • Parking of vehicles resulting must not exceed that which could ordinarily be expected from a residential use (usually 2 or 3 spaces maximum, depending on site)
  • Traffic volume must not exceed that ordinarily expected from a residential use
  • A vehicle exceeding 3 tonne tare in weight must not be parked on the site at any time

Noise & Fumes

  • Noise levels must not exceed that normally expected from a residential use (ie. Small power tools okay)
  • Fumes emitted must not exceed that which would normally be expected from a residential use (ie. Smoke generated may be equivalent to that by a small fire place)


  • No more than 1 person who does not reside on the site shall assist in the running of the business

Services & Utilities

  • Imposition on services (ie. Water, electricity, gas) shall not exceed that which is normally expected from a residential use


  • Signage must not exceed 0.2 square metres
  • Signage must not move, flash, unreasonably reflect light or be illuminated in any way

Display of Goods

  • Goods relating to an activity (ie. Flowers for a florist based business) shall not be on display outside of the dwelling or in a window such that they are visible from the street

Types of Businesses not Suitable within a Residential Zone

Motor vehicle repairs, mechanical repairs, panel beating, spray painting and any other activities involving noisy machinery are not considered to fit into the definition of a home activity (these types of activities are more suited within an industry or commercial zone).  Home based businesses are best suited to those that do not have an impact on the neighbourhood, such as a home office.

Activities Involving Food

Any activity involving the preparation, storage or transport of food that is intended for sale, or the sale of food, must be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Food Act 2001, Food Regulations 2002 and the Food Safety Standards.  All persons and businesses undertaking such activities must Notify Council under the requirements of the Food Act.

Please contact Council's Public and Environmental Health Section on 8522 9235 for further information and advice.

Activities Involving Hairdressing or Skin Penetration

Any activity involving hairdressing, ear piercing, waxing or tattooing must be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Public and Environmental Health Act and the relevant Codes of Practice developed under that legislation.  Please contact Council's Public and Environmental Health Section on 8522 9235 for further information and advice.

Preparation and Handling of Food

A "Food Business Notification Form" will need to be completed and an inspection is to be undertaken by Council's Environmental Health Officer prior to the commencement of any business involving food.  This is done independently of the development application process.  For further details regarding food handling requirements contact Council's Environmental Health Officer on 8522 9235.

Bed and Breakfast Establishments

When a proprietor resides at the dwelling with a bed and breakfast establishment no approval is required, providing there is compliance with the criteria in the table above.

In any case, an assessment by Council's Building department is required concerning installation of exit signs, smoke detectors and so forth.  In particular, all bed and breakfast establishments are required to have smoke detectors installed prior to occupation, and bed and breakfast establishments with a total floor area exceeding 300 square metres require exit signs to be installed prior to occupation.

Other Considerations

Any noise or other emissions must comply with guidelines as set out by the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).  For further information please contact the EPA on (08) 8204 2000, or visit their website at http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/.

Additional Advice

Further assistance may also be obtained from the following bodies to ensure the success of your venture:


Gawler Business Centre

1st Floor

2 Lyndoch Road (Gawler Visitor Centre)

Gawler SA 5118

Tel:  (08) 8256 0930

Fax:  (08) 8256 0999

Email:  admin@nabec.com.au

Web:  http://www.nabec.com.au/

Please note that the information provided is a guide only.  It is recommended that the advice and assistance of a Council planner be sought in conjunction with any enquiries concerning the use of the land.  Before undertaking any development, please discuss your intentions with Council.  If you need to make an application your time and money can be saved if you are thoroughly prepared.

After Hours Contact Call 08 8522 9211
43 High Street, Gawler East SA 5118
Tel: 08 8522 9211
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