Starting a Hobby Farm Business: 6 Things you Need to Know

Starting a Hobby Farm in Australia: Things You Need to Know

Written by

Ilyas Omari

Do you constantly picture yourself surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, growing your own crops, and enjoying the satisfaction of self-sufficiency? Then starting a hobby farm could be just the thing for you! It’s a truly rewarding adventure!

Whether you are a Hobby Farm owner who wants to turn the farm into a business, or someone who wants to purchase a farm for business, this article will provide you with some pivotal information so that you have all the knowledge to start a hobby farm business in Australia. 

Table of Contents

What is a hobby farm business? 

A hobby farm business, also known as a lifestyle farm, is a type of agricultural enterprise that is primarily operated for pleasure, recreation, and personal satisfaction rather than solely for profit. 

It’s a delightful fusion of farming and lifestyle, where individuals or families pursue their passion for agriculture and rural living while maintaining other primary sources of income. 

In a hobby farm business, the scale of operations is typically smaller compared to commercial farms, and the focus is on cultivating a diverse range of crops, raising livestock, or engaging in other farming activities without the pressure of maximizing profits. 

Can a Hobby Farm be turned into a profitable business? 

Just because you’re occasionally selling your products to your friends does not necessarily mean that you’re running a business. It is possible for you to earn profits from your farm as a hobby, just as people sell crafts or handmade jewellery as an extension of their hobby.

Below are some questions that may help you identify whether your Hobby Farm Business is a commercial business or a hobby:

  • Is the activity being undertaken for commercial reasons?
  • Is your main intention, purpose, or prospect to make a profit?
  • Do you regularly and repeatedly undertake your activity?
  • Is your activity planned, organised, and carried out in a businesslike manner?
  • Will the farm be my sole source of income, and even if not, will I rely heavily on its profits?

The benefits and obligations of operating a business or simply engaging in a hobby can be very different. If you’re unsure about the nature of your activity, you should contact a small business lawyer for further legal advice.

But if you’re keen on monetising your business, below are a few key steps to remember.

Choose the right Business Structure

Once you’ve decided to start a business, the first thing to consider is what business structure you want your Hobby Farm Business to fall under. There are three types of business structure for you to consider, and each of them has its unique advantages to fit different circumstances and business goals.

The three types of business structure are:

  • Sole Proprietorship:
    • Simplest and most common structure for small-scale hobby farms.
    • This structure lets you operate the farm as an individual, making all decisions and assuming full responsibility.
    • Provides you with complete control over their farm operations.
  • Partnership:
    • Applicable when you collaborate to run the hobby farm with other farm owners
    • In this setup, partners share responsibilities, workload, and profits.
    • Ideal for friends or family members to start a hobby farm together.
  • Company:
    • Involves registering a proprietary limited company (Pty Ltd) for the hobby farm.
    • Provides limited liability protection for the owner’s personal assets.
    • Requires more formalities and ongoing administrative tasks.

Choosing the right business structure may be the most important decision you make at the early stages of starting your Hobby Farm Business, and it will determine what direction your farm goes in, both commercially and financially.

Register your Hobby Farm Business

Always register your business, as every business in Australia requires an ABN (Australian Business Number). Some of the common advantages of having an ABN include claiming Goods and Services Tax (GST) credits and obtaining an Australian domain name ( if you wish to have an online presence. Depending on your business structure, you may also need to set up a company and register a ACN (Australian Company Number).

Obtain the Necessary Licences and Permits

Running a commercial farm can be very different from a hobby farm. Once you have registered your business, you may need additional licences to operate it.

Some general regulations of the agriculture industry include:

  • Water usage
  • Clearance of vegetation
  • Disposal of waste
  • Fire management and safety
  • The handling of livestock and animals

The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website contains specific license information information.


It is important to protect your business from potential risks by having insurance. There are various types of insurance to cover different business requirements and preferences. Generally, those who own farming businesses usually want insurance covering their farm property and liabilities. 

If you are not sure about which kind of insurance you need, you should consult an insurance lawyer for further advice.

Legal Documents to Consider 

  • A business plan is an important tool for understanding how each element of your business will work together to make it a success. You can use it to monitor progress, hold yourself accountable, and control the businesses’ financials.
  • An Employment Agreement can outline your employees ’ responsibilities and their obligations to your business. 
  • A Partnership Agreement can outline the roles and responsibilities of any partners within the business.

Growing your Business

Now you have ticked off all of the basic requirements to start your Hobby Farm business, you can also start to consider how you will grow your business. Having a Hobby Farm is not only a great recreational use of your time but could provide a great second source of income or even morph into a primary business if you grow it right.


Embarking on the journey of starting a hobby farm business is an exciting and fulfilling endeavour. By considering the essential factors we’ve explored in this guide, such as selecting the right business structure, understanding local regulations, and considering the right legal documents, you are well on your way to cultivating a thriving farm and a life you love. 

And if you’re looking for an expert lawyer to assist you in this journey, don’t hesitate to hire a lawyer from Lawpath. 

Find the perfect lawyer to help your business today!

Get a fixed-fee quote from Australia's largest lawyer marketplace.

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