Finding suitable premises

1. Overview

Where you choose to set up your business can often be critical to its success.  You may be interested in starting your business from home, in a co-working space, buying or leasing a commercial premise.

2. Commercial premise

Before signing a lease or purchase agreement on a commercial premise, it is important to understand if the site is suitable for your business use, or if you will require development approval.

Taking over an established business on a site that has previously been approved for the same general use does not typically require Council approval. However, if you would like to change external advertising signs, the conditions of approval for the site or add outdoor dining or footpath trading in front of the premise, approval may be required.

If you wish to open your business on a premise that has been approved for a different land use to the one you are proposing, development approval will be required. Find out more about when development approval is required.

3. Home-based Businesses

Home-based businesses are growing in popularity as they can help keep operating costs down and allow for a work/family life balance that is both rewarding and sustainable.

A key outcome of the City of Unley's Economic Development Strategy is to support and build our home-based businesses, as we recognise the many benefits they bring to the local economy and local communities, including:

  • better surveillance, with more people being around during the day, leading to an improved sense of safety and community;
  • support of brick and mortar businesses, with a greater use of local shops and cafes; and
  • reduced car use, which benefits our environment.

To register your home-based business or find out if your home-based business proposal requires approval, contact Council's Economic Development Team by phone on (08) 8372 5111 or email

Does your home-based business need Council approval?

Some Home Activity (home-based businesses) need Council approval.

Home activity refers to a business run by a resident from their home.  To operate a business from a residential address, it needs to comply with guidelines set out in planning legislation.  

The definition of a home activity is: 

“use of a site by a person resident on the site– 

a) that does not detrimentally affect the amenity of the locality or any part of the locality; and 

b) that does not require or involve any of the following: 

i. involve more than 1 person (at any one time on the premises) who is not a resident in the dwelling; 

ii. use (whether temporarily or permanently) of a floor area exceeding 30 square metres; 

iii. the home activity must not have a greater load on domestic utility services than other ordinary uses within the locality; 

iv. the display of goods in a window or about the dwelling or its curtilage; 

v. the use of a vehicle exceeding 3 tonne tare in weight (3000 kg).”

The home activity must not have any detrimental effects on the local area at any time. Home Activities that may cause an effect on the amenity of the surrounding area tend to be those that:

  • Create repeated, prolonged or loud noise;
  • Operate outside normal working hours;
  • Carry out activities that produce smoke smells, fumes or dust;
  • Increase traffic in the street from regular delivery vehicles or customer parking.

If you seek to operate a food business from your property, please check with Council’s Health Team regarding the legal requirements under the Food Act and associated regulations and standards for activities that involve food storage, preparation and manufacture, or transportation.

If you don't comply with any of the criteria for the operation of a home activity, you will need to lodge a development application with Council.  Before doing so, please contact Council’s Planning Team to discuss the process involved and the information that will be required. Phone 8372 5111 or email


4. Co-working spaces

Co-working spaces are perfect for small businesses, freelancers, creatives, remote workers and start-ups. They offer a number of benefits, including:

  • cost savings through the shared use of office equipment, facilities, reception services and office floor space;
  • networking and collaborative opportunities;
  • increased creativity; 
  • greater flexibility in leasing terms;
  • scalability, allowing businesses to start small and expand as needed; and
  • professional and connected state-of-the-art offices, equipment and facilities that are ready for immediate use.

Co-working spaces in the City of Unley include:

Little City Coworking

72 -76 Edmund Avenue, Unley, SA 5061

Phone: 0421 910 097


GO Road Co.

118A Glen Osmond Road, Parkside, SA 5063

Phone:  0490 885 389


Good Hub

98-100 Goodwood Road, Goodwood, SA 5034