Home based businesses

Frankston City has many small businesses which operate at or from the proprietor's home. 

A home based business can be: 

  • the base for a business, such as a tradesperson working out of their home base and onsite at the client's premises 
  • the place of business, such as a hairdresser working mainly at their own home 
  • a consultant or contractor with a home office who often visits clients 
  • the base for an online business. 

If you are starting a business from home, you will need to meet local requirements and obligations for home based businesses. We recommended that you review the following and download the Home Based Business Guidelines(PDF, 674KB).


Businesses in residential areas must follow states planning laws and meet the following requirements:  

  • The business owner must use the home as their primary place of residence. 
  • No more than two persons who are not residents may work in the home based business at any one time.  
  • The net floor area used by the business (including the storage of any materials or goods) must not exceed 100 square metres or one-third of the net floor area of the home, whichever is the lesser. The net floor area includes out-buildings and works normal to a dwelling. 
  • The business must not impose a load on any utility greater than normally required for domestic use. 
  • The business must not adversely affect the amenity of the neighbourhood in any way including: 
    • the appearance of any building, works or materials used 
    • the parking of motor vehicles 
    • the transporting of materials or goods to or from the dwelling 
    • the hours of operation 
    • electrical interference 
    • the storage of chemicals, gasses or other hazardous materials 
    • emissions from the site.  
  • No motor vehicle may be adjusted, modified, serviced or repaired for gain.  
  • Only one commercial vehicle (such as a commercial goods vehicle, commercial passenger vehicle or tow truck within the meaning of the Transport Act 1983 (Vic)), not exceeding 2 tonnes capacity and with or without a trailer registered to a resident of the dwelling may be present at any time. The vehicle must not be fuelled or repaired on the site.  
  • No goods other than goods manufactured or serviced in the home based business may be offered for sale. This requirement does not apply to goods offered for sale online.  
  • Materials used or goods manufactured, serviced or repaired in the home based business must be stored within a building.  
  • No goods manufactured, serviced or repaired may be displayed so that they are visible from outside the site. 
  • Any goods offered for sale online must not be collected from the dwelling. 

There are sometimes exceptions and a home based business located on non-residential land will have different requirements. If you have questions related to your home based business or the guidelines, please call us on 1300 322 322.

Permits and registrations

Your home based business may require one or more permits and registrations to meet local requirements.

Visit our What business permits do I need? page for more information about the permits or registrations required to run your home based business. 

For a full list of licences your business may require visit Australian Business Licensing and Information Service (ABLIS)

Advertising signs

Advertising signs must not affect the general appearance of residential and rural areas. 

You are allowed to display one sign (smaller than 0.2m2) to advertise your home business. It cannot be animated, meaning a sign that: 

  • can move or has moving parts 
  • changes its message  
  • flashes or has a moving or flashing border  
  • is illuminated or floodlit.  

A planning permit is required to display a sign larger than 0.2m2 for your home business.


If your business does not meet the requirements of the Frankston Planning Scheme, The Food Act 1984 (Vic) or the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic), Council will undertake enforcement action. This may include issuing a fine for any breach.  

It should be noted that a brothel is not permitted as a Home Occupation. 

More information

For more information, please call us on 1300 322 322 or email info@frankston.vic.gov.au

A member of our Business team is available Monday to Friday to answer your questions.