In order to obtain a business license, you must first obtain a zoning certificate for your business. The zoning certificate verifies to the Commissioner of Revenue that the business is a legal use where it is being conducted. If your business is conducted out of your home, your business may be considered a home occupation.
A Home Occupation, Class A, is defined as any activity carried out for gain by a resident and conducted as a customary, incidental, and accessory use in the resident’s dwelling unit and meeting the ordinance standards.
A Home Occupation, Class B, is defined as any activity carried out for gain by a resident and conducted as a customary, incidental, and accessory use in the resident’s dwelling unit or accessory building and meeting the ordinance standards.
Home occupations may be permitted by Administrative Permit provided:
- The use of the dwelling for the home occupation shall be clearly incidental and subordinate to the use of the dwelling for residential purposes. There shall be no change in the outside appearance of the dwelling or lot, nor other visible evidence of the conduct of such home occupation other than one sign no more than four (4) square feet in size
- Such occupation is engaged in only by residents of the dwelling and no more than one employee that comes to the home.
- No display of products made shall be visible from the street.
- No products shall be sold on the premises except those that are made on the site or which are clearly incidental to the services provided on the premises.
- For Class A Home Occupations, no accessory building shall be used for such operation.
- No outside storage of any kind is permitted.
- The occupation shall not generate more than 10 vehicular trips in a day. A trip is one arrival and one departure.
- All parking associated with the business shall be off-street.
- No more than one commercial vehicle per dwelling.
You are encouraged to contact the Community Development Department to obtain the specific requirements for your property.
If Criteria Are Not Met:
If your use fails to meet the criteria, or is more intense than the ordinance standards, you may have the option to apply for a special use permit for the business if permitted in your zoning district. Otherwise you must move the business to another location.
How to Apply:
Persons wishing to obtain a Zoning Certificate or a Home Occupation permit for a business license must come to the Community Development Department and file an application. A sample home occupation permit application can be found here. A $10 review fee is required.
Applicants who have customers coming to the dwelling should bring a site drawing on 8 ½” x 11” paper showing the following:
- Size and shape of the parcel
- Location of the dwelling on the parcel with distances to all property lines
- Area to be used for the home occupation
- Access to and from the property with dimensions of the driveway
- Dimensions of the parking area for the home occupation – if there is a turnaround area, dimensions should be shown for that as well
- Number and location of additional parking spaces to be used to accommodate the home occupation
As of January 1, 2020, new business owners must apply for an assumed or fictitious name certificate with the State Corporation Commission.
What Happens Next:
A completed application and sketch is reviewed by the Community Development Department staff. If approved, a business license can be obtained from the Commissioner of Revenue.