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A home-based business operates out of a residential location. This includes businesses where you may be working in different areas throughout the city but administrative activities are done in the home. Some examples of home-based businesses include online retail, contracting, cleaning services, photography, landscaping and catering. 

A home-based business must follow special regulations under Edmonton’s Zoning Bylaw, they require a development permit and must have a business licence like any other business in the city.

Types of Home-Based Businesses

There are two types of home-based businesses: Major or Minor home-based business. The Zoning Bylaw determines whether a Major or Minor home-based business is permitted in your home.

Minor Home-Based Business Regulations

Minor home-based businesses are considered to have no impact on the neighbours and are basically invisible. These businesses can only have employees who live at the location of the home-based business. Typical businesses may include consultants and computer programmers.

The following regulations (Section 74 of the Zoning Bylaw) apply:

  • You can only have one business-related visit to your home each day
  • Your business cannot have an exterior display or advertisement other than an identification plaque or sign that is a maximum of 10 centimetres by 30.5 centimetres in size
  • You cannot use mechanical or electrical equipment that creates external noise or visible and audible interference with your neighbours’ home electronics
  • Your business’ employees or business partners must all be residents of the home
  • No outdoor business activity or outdoor storage of material or equipment associated with the business is allowed
  • Your business cannot change the principal character or external appearance of the residential property

Major Home-Based Business Regulations

Major home-based businesses are visible and may involve a customer coming to the home or some other use of the property that is not typical of a residential area. These businesses will allow more business visits and have employees who do not live at the location of the home-based business. Typical businesses may include hairdressers or accountants.

The following regulations (Section 75 of the Zoning Bylaw) apply:

  • There can be more than one business-related visit to your home each day
  • Your business cannot have an exterior display or advertisement other than an identification plaque or sign that is a maximum of 20 centimetres by 30.5 centimetres in size located on the home
  • You cannot use mechanical or electrical equipment that creates external noise, or visible and audible interference with your neighbours’ home electronics
  • Your business must not generate pedestrian or vehicular traffic or parking in excess of what is normal for your neighbourhood's zone
  • Your business can have up to two non-resident employees or business partners working on-site at any one time
  • No outdoor business activity or outdoor storage of material or equipment associated with the business is allowed
  • Your business cannot change the principal character or external appearance of the residential property
  • Your business cannot be located in a home that has a secondary suite or a garden suite, unless it is a Bed and Breakfast

How to Apply

Application Process

To start your home-based business you will need a development permit and business licence. You can apply for both at the same time by submitting a home-based business application.

How to Apply

  • Online Application
    APPLY
  • In person at the Edmonton Service Centre
  • Apply by mail to:
    Development Services
    2nd Floor, Edmonton Tower 
    10111-104 Avenue NW
    Edmonton, AB T5J 0J4

Fees

Fees are required for your development permit and business licence. The development permit fee is due when the application is submitted and will be different depending on whether it is a Major or Minor home-based business. This is a one-time fee. The business licence fees must be paid before you receive your business licence and is required every year when the licence is renewed. There are multiple ways to make your payment.

The fee for your business licence (see Schedule B) will include a home-based business fee in addition to the fees for the applicable business classification. 

Example: A person is applying to be a home-based contractor. This business would be classified as ‘General Business’. 

Total fees = Home-based business fee + General business classification fee

Moving Your Home-Based Business

If you move with your business to a new residential location, a new development permit with the appropriate fees will be required. A service fee (see Schedule B) will be required to change the location information on your business licence. 

For More Information

Edmonton Service Centre

2nd Floor, 10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB  T5J 0J4

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday
8am to 4:30pm

Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Email developmentservices@edmonton.ca

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