Home-based businesses

Cooking ingredients laid out on a kitchen bench.

Types of businesses

There are three types of home-based businesses that are permitted to operate in the City:

  • Home Office - where an occupier undertakes administrative work which does not entail clients or customers attending the house.
  • Home Occupation - where an occupier conducts a business that does not occupy an area greater than 20m2 and does not employ anyone who is not a member of the household.
  • Home Business - where an occupier conducts a business from their home that does not occupy an area greater than 50m2 and is permitted to employ up to two people who are not members of the household.

Common examples of home-based businesses include hair and beauty services, cake making, massage therapy and personal fitness training.

Approval process

As a guide, the following approvals are typically required if you are intending to operate a home-based business:

Step 1 - Requirements of a Home-based Business

A Home Occupation or Home Business is only permitted to be carried out by a resident of the dwelling and must be carried out within the premises of the dwelling. It must not adversely affect the amenity of the surrounding locality.

Step 2 - Development Application

A Development Application is not required for a Home Office or Home Occupation, but is required for a Home Business.

It is suggested that you notify the City of your Home Office operation to safeguard yourself against any potential compliance matters. Refer to template below.

Home OccupationHome Business
Does not employ anyone not a member of the occupiers householdDoes not employ more than two people not members of the occupier's household
Does not occupy an area greater than 20m2Does not occupy an area greater than 50m2
Will not adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhoodWill not adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood
Does not involve the retail sale, display or hire of goods of any nature, except for internet and/or postal transactionsDoes not involve the retail sale, display or hire of goods of any nature, except for internet and/or postal transactions

You can seek an exemption to operate a Home Office or a Home Occupation without Development Approval under the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015.

The City must be notified within seven days of the Home Occupation commencing operation that it is exempt from the need for Development Approval. To confirm an exemption, please complete the below exemption letter and attach to your small business enquiry.

Note: Although the home-based business may be exempt from the need to obtain Development Approval, Building and Health approvals may still be required.

Development Approval will be required to operate your Home Business.

To apply, please read Planning Policy 3.3.10 - Home Occupations and Home Businesses and complete the below application forms and use our online portal Rock Port, to lodge your application.

Lodge a development application

Step 3 - Building Permit

A Building Permit is required for any building work involving the construction of new buildings, and extensions or alterations such as the installation of new doors, windows and walls.

If the total value of the work exceeds $20,000, a permit is issued to a registered builder, or an owner-builder. To become an owner-builder, you must first obtain owner-builder approval from the Building Services Boards, and then a Building Permit from the City.

A Building Permit application must be accompanied by:

  • A completed application for Building Permit either Certified (BA1) or Uncertified (BA2);
  • Copies of all relevant plans and specifications; and
  • Payment of required fees.

You can use our online portal, Rock Port, to lodge your application. First time users will need to create a new account for the online lodgement of a building application. Existing users can log in with their existing Rock Port account. Alternatively, you can submit your application in person at our Administration Office located on Civic Boulevard, Rockingham.

Submit a building application

Visit the Building Commission website to access all Building Permit application forms you need to submit to us. We are happy to discuss your project before you commence the process so you are clear on what you need to do. For any queries please contact Building Services on 9528 0333.

Building Commission website

Step 4 - Health Approvals
  • Approval is required to prepare food from your home for sale to the public. An authorised officer will assess your application to determine if your kitchen is suitable for the preparation of food for sale. Only some types of low risk food may be prepared in a domestic kitchen for sale to the public.

    Other food may be considered for approval following a written application to the City. In some instances, if the production of a low risk food product is considered of large scale, you may be required to use a separate commercial kitchen.

    Free food safety training courses

    We take food hygiene very seriously and we are assisting food businesses to meet their obligations by providing free access to an online training tool. 

    I'm Alert Food SafetyFood Safety logo

    The program reflects the basic food safety principles and is easy to follow. It also includes an entertaining presentation and interactive quizzes. Chinese text and captions are available.

    I'm Alert Food Safety training


    FoodSafe Online FoodSafe logo

    The City of Rockingham in conjunction with Environmental Health Australia (EHA) provides a new comprehensive training tool called FoodSafe Online. The course is flexible, in-house training, which covers all aspects of food safety relevant to the hospitality and food service industry to maintain the highest standard in food safety and hygiene. 

    On the payment page use the City's unique discount voucher "FSROCKI316" and you will receive FoodSafe Online free of charge. Once completed, a Training Acknowledgement Form can be printed and retained for your staff records.

    FoodSafe Online

    FoodSafe Training Pack

    FoodSafe Training Pack is an in-house training program developed by the Australian Institute of Environmental Health to help businesses meet their food safety requirements by documenting cleaning and pest control, monitoring temperatures of food, and recording and monitoring deliveries. The program has recently upgraded to better reflect current standard and provide a clear guide for food allergens.

    The training package contains a video, workbook with questionnaires, and an ongoing proprietor workbook (on USB). For more information or to obtain a FoodSafe Package, please contact us on 9528 0333 or email customer@rockingham.wa.gov.au.

    Food Safety Newsletter

    We publish the Food Safety Newsletter for all local businesses to provide the latest information and helpful tips in safe food handling and food safety practice. We encourage you to have a read and to share the newsletter with all staff members.

    If you would like to see any particular topics discussed, please contact us by email on customer@rockingham.wa.gov.au or call 9528 0333 with any feedback or suggestions.

  • Approval is required from our Health Services to conduct a hairdressing and/or beauty therapy business from your home. An Environmental Health Officer will assess your application to determine if your proposed premises are suitable for the use of a home hairdressing and/or beauty therapy.

    Your application must include:

    • all the procedures you intend to undertake
    • a completed Hair/Beauty Notification Form
    • a detailed cleaning/maintenance schedule
    • proposed disinfection/sterilisation techniques and
    • a floor plan detailing all structure and furniture surface finishes, the location of fittings, furniture and sinks.

    The room that you intend for your home business must include a hands-free hand wash basin in the immediate area. The hand wash basin must be located in the same room as the procedures, or if the room immediately joins an ensuite without a connecting door, then an ensuite hands-free hand wash basin may be considered.

    Additional information can be accessed from the Department of Health WA website.

    The Code of Practice for Skin Penetration Procedures 1998 is available to be viewed on the Department of Health website.

    The Hairdressing Establishment Regulations 1972 can be viewed on the Department of Justice website.

Step 5 - Health Inspection

Prior to commencing operation, an inspection will need to be undertaken to ensure the premises meets the required standards.  When you are ready to commence operations, please contact Health Services on 9528 0333 to arrange for this inspection – please allow 48 hours for the inspection to be scheduled.

Ongoing routine inspections will be conducted once the business is operational to ensure that suitable standards are maintained.

Step 6 - Open your Business

As a new and developing business there are a number of useful resources and information available intended to provide additional support and guidance.

Small Business Development Corporation

The Small Business Development Corporation is an independent statutory authority with its mission to deliver and facilitate relevant, practical support to small businesses and to foster the development of policy conducive to the growth of the small business sector. The Small Business Development Corporation is working towards creating a strong and enterprising small business sector in Western Australia.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA is a member-driven organisation providing quality information, professional services and support for businesses. Its mission is to make it easier to do business in the state and ensure that WA is a place where businesses of all shapes and sizes can succeed.

Australian Government

Business.gov.au is an online Australian Government resource which provides a wide range of business information and assistance with regard to starting a business, running a business or exiting a business. This site also offers grants and assistance for business owners at all stages of their business timeline.

Australian Business License and Information Service

The Australian Business License and Information Service helps business operators and people considering starting a business to identify the types of licenses, permits, approvals, regulations and codes of practice required or in place for the relevant state, territory, local and Australian government.

Submit an enquiry

If you still have any queries or questions on your small business proposal, or you have a proposal plan that you would like to discuss further, please submit your enquiry or indicative proposal to us.

Submit an enquiry or indicative proposal

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