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Home Based Businesses

Can a business be run from home?

It is possible to run a small-scale business from your place of residence. This type of business is known as a home activity. If your business satisfies the permissible home activity criteria, you do not require the consent of Council to operate it.

A home activity refers to the use of a site by a person resident at that site that:

  • Does not harm the amenity of the locality, or any part of the locality
  • Does not involve assistance by more than one person who is not a resident in the dwelling
  • Does not take up (temporarily or permanently) a floor area exceeding 30 square metres
  • Does not place a demand or load on public utility services greater than which is usually imposed by other local users of the services
  • Does not display goods in a window or around the dwelling
  • Does not require the use of a vehicle exceeding three tonnes in weight
  • Has no signage displayed advertising the business.

If you are not confident that your home business can satisfy these criteria, it is recommended that you write to Council with a detailed description of the business you intend to establish.

Determining whether your business will have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the locality

The business proposed must not create problems for any surrounding residents. As a general rule, the operation of the business should not be detectable by your neighbours. If your proposed business cannot comply with the home activity criteria, you are encouraged to find a more appropriate location to establish your business or possibly to modify the nature of the business so that it can meet the requirements of a permitted home activity.

What if I suspect that a business is being run illegally in my street?

If you are experiencing excessive levels of traffic movements to and from a residential property, or excessive levels of noise and fumes coming from a residential property which are not ordinarily expected to be associated with the residential use of the land, a business may be operating that requires Council consent. In these circumstances, please report your concerns in writing to Council.

Activities involving food, hairdressing, beauty or skin penetration

If you intend to establish a business that involves the preparation, transportation or storage of food for sale, hairdressing, beauty or skin penetration, you should seek advice from Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 8621 2300 to ascertain whether your proposal will be able to satisfy the legislative requirements.

What happens if I do not comply with the home activity criteria?

If your business is unable to comply with the requirements of a home activity, it will require the consent of Council to operate. A development application will need to be submitted to Council and an assessment against the relevant provisions of the Development Plan and the Building Code of Australia will be carried out. Council approval is not guaranteed as residential zones are not generally designed to accommodate non-domestic land uses.

If you believe that a business is operating illegally from a residential property, or if you are in any doubt as to whether a home business complies with the home activity criteria, contact Council’s Development Services department with your concern or query.

Relevant Links

Information sheet and checklist

Development Application Form

Electricity Act Declaration Form

Development Act Schedule of Fees





City of Port Lincoln
City of Port Lincoln ABN: 80 776 127 243
PO Box 1787, PORT LINCOLN SA 5606
Level One, Civic Centre, 60 Tasman Terrace, Port Lincoln
Telephone: 08 8621 2300 | Fax: 08 8621 2399 | Email:
City of Port Lincoln ABN: 80 776 127 243
PO Box 1787, PORT LINCOLN SA 5606
Level One, Civic Centre,
60 Tasman Terrace, Port Lincoln
Telephone: 08 8621 2300 | Fax: 08 8621 2399
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