The Zoning Ordinance allows a resident to operate a broad range of businesses from the home where that individual lives.
Minor Home Occupation - Home Occupation Permit
A home business can be administratively approved by the Zoning Staff with a Home Occupation Permit (if it is not on the list of prohibited occupations) and it meets specific standards set forth in the Zoning Ordinance. The Home Occupation Permit requires administrative permit approval which takes approximately 1-2 business days to process. The types of businesses allowed, and the Zoning standards that need to be met, are detailed in the application and in our brochure. To apply, submit the following:
• Minor Home Occupation Application
• If applicant is not the owner of the home- a letter from the landlord allowing the business at the home.
• $25 fee
Major Home Occupation – Special Permit
If all of the standards for a Minor Home Occupation cannot be met, it may be possible to get approval of a Major Home Occupation with approval of a Special Permit by the Board of Zoning Appeals. See our brochure for more information about Major Home Occupations. Special Permit requirements and process can be found here.
After issuance of a Zoning permit, you must inquire with the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue to see if a business license is required. If operating under a name other than your own, the Trade Name must be registered with the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.
Are there additional restrictions if I do not own the property (renting)?If you are not the property owner and you wish to run a business from that location you will need to submit a signed letter from the property owner giving you permission to operate the business- in addition to the permit application.
What are included on the list of "prohibited occupations"?Occupations that are not permitted as home occupations include: retail sales, assembly uses, medical/dental offices, clubs (eating/drinking establishments), kennels, tourist home, adult entertainment, junk/storage yards. If you require a clarification as to prohibited occupations please contact Zoning Services (540) 422-8220.
How do I know if I require a major or minor home occupation?In general a minor home occupation has minimal impact on surrounding neighbors. A minor home occupation typically allows for: 1 additional employee (who does not reside on premises), no retail sales on the property, and no more than one commercial vehicle (parked overnight at the residence). A major home occupation may allow for additional employees (the number of additional employees depends upon the size of the property) and retail sales are permitted on the property. Major home occupations are required for certain types of businesses not allowed under a minor home occupation. A major home occupation also requires a Special Permit.
Do I need a home occupation permit?Yes, if you are running a business from a residence you will need approval from Zoning to operate. You will not be able to get your business license without Zoning approval.