Home Based Businesses

There are a number of considerations to be aware of when operating a home-based business or a mobile shop. Click below for more information about rules and for other helpful resources.

What are the Rules?

If you want to set up a home business you need to consider:

  • zoning - whether you can operate your business in your area
  • if you need to modify your building to accommodate the business
  • signage rules
  • food handling requirements (if you are going to operate a food business)
  • getting the appropriate licence to operate.

Start by speaking to one of our planners about zoning and checking with our licensing team if you need a licence to operate. These meetings are free and can be held over the phone, or in person.

Contact us on 0800 965 468 (0800 WMK GOV) to arrange a meeting or to speak to a planner or someone from our licensing team.

Running a Home Based Food Business

If you want to prepare food for customers at home, there are several factors to think about.

Your site and equipment:

  • If you are renting the property, do you have the landlord's permission to operate a business from the site?
  • Do you need to apply for a resource consent?
  • Do you need to apply for a building consent?
  • Will your kitchen equipment and storage facilities be suitable for doing the things you plan to do?
    Is there a place to wash your hands before you start preparing food?

For the above section you will need to talk to both the planning, building and  environmental services team at the Council.

Preparation and storage of food:

  • Is there enough space in your fridge and in your pantry to properly store the amount of food you plan to make?
  • How will you keep family food separate from commercial food?
  • How will you store ingredients containing allergens separate from allergen-free food for sale?
  • How will you ensure that other activities at home will not compromise when commercial food is being prepared?
  • How will you transport the food safely?

Keeping food safe:

  • Do you know enough to make sure the food you sell is safe?
  • Will everyone working at the business know how to handle the food safely?
  • How will you operate when there are sick family members at home?

Inspections of home-based businesses:

  • As with any local food business operating from a commercial premises, an Environmental Health Officer or verifier will need to visit your home regularly to check you are following your food control plan or national programme
  • Details of your home-based business will be placed on the public register of food businesses.

For help with your application or with any queries please call the Council on 0800 956 468 (0800 WMK GOV) or contact the Environmental Service Unit on esu.admin@wmk.govt.nz.

Last reviewed date: 09 Aug 2023