Operating a business from a residential location requires assessment in accordance with Council’s planning scheme, CairnsPlan 2016. In some circumstances, you may need to lodge a Development Application (DA).
This assessment will look at the planning scheme criteria and whether the proposed food business meets those requirements. The CairnsPlan 2016 may limit the size and scale of the activity. Where a DA is required, Council can impose conditions in regards to amenity and the operation of the activity, such as hours of operation, number of employees etc.
Before you submit your application for a Food Business Licence, you must contact Council’s Development Services Unit to determine if you can lawfully operate from your home under CairnsPlan 2016. Contact TownPlanner@cairns.qld.gov.au or phone 1300 69 22 47. You should submit confirmation of this advice with your Food Business Licence application; Council will not start assessing your application until it is provided.
If you want to expand or change the nature of your home-based business over time (eg, you want to employ additional staff), you should first check if you need a DA or, if already obtained, amendments to your development conditions.
Building Works approval
Home-based businesses are generally conducted within existing dwelling houses. However, if any building work is required, you will need to contact a private building certifier to obtain a Building Approval before starting any works.
Advertising signage associated with your home-based business may require a permit from Council in order to be displayed.
Refer to Council’s Advertising devices webpage for more information. To discuss your specific situation, contact our Licensing and Approvals Unit on 1300 69 22 47.