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Planning and building

The Gold Coast is a vibrant and attractive city. We are working hard to maintain our enviable lifestyle and ensure our city continues to thrive in a sustainable way.

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Home based business

A home based business can operate from a dwelling where the business is secondary to the residence.

Examples of a home based business include:

  • home office
  • home based child care.

I want to operate a business from home – do I need to lodge a planning application?

A planning application is not required when you:

  • are located in a residential zone (such as the low, medium or high density residential zones – including precincts); and
  • meet the accepted development subject to requirement outcomes in the Home based business code and any other applicable code (e.g. a zone code); and
  • are not proposing to do a bed and breakfast.

If your home based business does not meet all the relevant development criteria, you may need to lodge a planning application.

Please note: An overlay may trigger the need for a planning application.

What key development criteria should I consider?

The City has identified a number of development criteria for home based businesses. If these are met, it means a planning application is not required. 

To be accepted development subject to requirements*, a home based business must:

  • be run by someone who lives in the home
  • be no more than 45m² in area
  • be conducted entirely within the home or onsite structure (including associated storage)
  • only have one non-resident employee on the site at a time
  • only have one motor vehicle associated with the business
  • have no more than one delivery per day
  • ensure the operation of the business does not generate any odour or noise beyond the property boundaries.

*Refer to Part 9.3.11 Home based business code for a full list of the development criteria which must be met to operate a business from home.

Are there any fees?

If a home based business requires a planning application, fees can be found by referring to the City’s Register of fees and charges.

What tools are available to help?

  • An electronic version of the City Plan.
  • The City has developed an interactive mapping tool which allows you to view your property, the zone, zone precinct and overlays that apply to your site.
  • PD Online allows you to undertake a property enquiry, map search, track a development application or have your say on a development application.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions regarding home based businesses, you can call our Planning Enquiries Centre on 07 5582 8708.

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