Business from home

Operating a Business From Home

On this page: 

  • Are you considering operating a business from home?
  • Your step-by-step guide for applying to operate a business from home
  • Approved business from home compliance requirements during occupancy

DHA supports Defence members and their families wherever practicable in the operation of a business from home (BFH). If you are thinking about operating a BFH, the first thing you need to do is complete a Business from Home Request (PDF 520 KB).

The proposed business must not commence operation until DHA has provided written consent.

The BFH process has many considerations. DHA’s role is to facilitate the application between the occupant/operator and the landlord.

As part of DHA’s lease agreement with the landlord, the landlord needs to be informed about, and provide consent to, the occupant operating a business from the residence. The landlord may obtain independent legal and insurance advice, or confirm with third parties such as their financier, mortgagee or relevant council about any relevant laws or (strata) rules, to confirm that a business can run at the property.

To be considered for approval to operate a business from home, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be residing in a Service Residence
  • If residing in Strata or community titled properties, ensure all requirements under the strata or community scheme by-laws are met
  • Be a recognised dependant of the Serving Member
  • Alternatively, if you are a serving Member who wants to commence operation of a BFH you must have approval from the appropriate Defence delegate
  • Maintain appropriate insurance, including public liability insurance to at least $10 million for any single event
  • Have local council approvals and planning approvals which are applicable to the type of business being operated
  • Maintain any other relevant insurance requirements (e.g. equipment or professional indemnity, where required)
  • Be aware any modifications (if approved) will be at the applicant’s expense, and required to be restored to a professional standard upon ceasing the BFH.

IMPORTANT: It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they have undertaken due diligence and associated checks on operating a business from home. DHA is unable to provide advice on the requirements to support the application. DHA’s role is to facilitate the request between applicant and landlord.

Step 1

Complete the Business from Home Request (PDF 520 KB). This form must be signed by the member and the BFH operator.

  • Note: You can submit the requested supporting documents at time of submitting the application if available. However, if you prefer to wait until consent from the landlord has been provided, then these documents can be supplied at Step 4. The business cannot commence operating until full unconditional consent has been provided, along with the required supporting documentation.


Step 2

Submit the completed application to DHA:

  • Submit online by clicking 'feedback and enquiry' at the bottom of your Online Services.
  • Enquiry reason: Service Residence
  • Attachments: Please attach a copy of the completed BFH request form along with any supporting documentation
    • As noted in step 1:You can submit the requested supporting documents at time of submitting the application if available. However, if you prefer to wait until consent from the landlord has been provided, then these documents can be supplied at Step 4. The business cannot commence operating until full unconditional consent has been provided, along with the required supporting documentation.
  • Description: Business from home request


Step 3

DHA will facilitate the request between yourself and the landlord. This may take some time as the landlord will often seek their own independent advice. We will endeavour to keep you updated along the way.


Step 4

Outcome of BFH request:

Consent provided by the Landlord

Where the landlord gives conditional consent, DHA will require all supporting documentation before unconditional consent can be provided.

To finalise your application, all relevant documents (if not already provided) relating to the business operation are required, such as:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Any licence or permit required to operate the business
  • Local council approvals and planning approvals which are applicable to the type of business being operated
  • Any other relevant insurance requirements (e.g. equipment or professional indemnity, where required)
  • For Strata or community titled properties, confirmation all requirements under the strata or community scheme by-laws are met.


Consent not provided by the Landlord

DHA will contact you to advise the request has been declined by the landlord.


Step 5

Once all supporting documentation has been received and where unconditional consent has been provided by the landlord, you will receive an email from DHA to confirm this. This email will also confirm the business can commence operation.

You will need to ensure compliance with the requirements outlined in the BFH request form, the Defence Housing Australia Residence Agreement (DRA) and any applicable laws or legislation at all times. Any breach of this will result in the BFH consent being revoked.

From time to time DHA may contact you to request updated records of your insurances.

You are required to provide a copy of your updated public liability insurance certificate of currency, along with any other approvals and insurances requested.

Failure to provide updated documentation may result in the BFH consent being revoked.