The small business specialists
Phone: 13 12 49
If you are starting out, it may be possible for you to operate your business from home until you become more established, especially if you provide a service.
You need to consider what facilities you require for your home office, which will depend on whether you operate your business from home or at home.
Businesses operated from home do most of the work away from the home office at the client's premises. For example, plumbers, electricians, consultants, or bookkeepers usually travel off site to deliver services.
Businesses operated at home do most of the work at the home office which may include seeing clients and accommodating employees. Examples include computer programmers, alternative health professionals and freelance writers.
Most small businesses operating from home will need a Home Occupation Permit/Approval.
As a general rule, local councils will approve home-based businesses where only a minimum level of business activity occurs on the premises. However, you must check your local council's requirements.
Assess whether your home is a suitable place for operating your business by considering the following questions:
Ideally, you would have a separate room or building for your home-based business. Spare rooms, large sheds, garages, or studios can make ideal business workspaces. A separate work space with its own equipment, furniture, and stationery allows you to switch between home and business activities more easily.
Consider installing a second phone line that will allow you to control calls, manage your time, and separate the costs for private and business use.
If you have employees who will be working at your home-based business premises, consider what equipment and furnishings they will require. Is there adequate parking or areas for employees to take breaks and eat meals?
A home-based business is effectively a workplace, so you must also identify and manage workplace hazards to provide a safe work environment.
Generally, residential insurance policies or personal car insurance policies will not cover business activity, so you will need to buy extra business insurance.
You may be able to claim deductions for the proportion of the expenses relating to the area of your home you use for business purposes.