If you have moved to your new home and want to operate a business from there, most counties will require you to get an occupation permit. Hopefully you will be using a mover who knows the area well. If so, ask them for more information on where to get these permits or visit the county planning department.
Importance of occupation permits
- Regulate the type of businesses that can be carried out from residential homes.
- Register the businesses for tax purposes.
- Protect residential homes from unregulated business ventures that can cause harm to the residents and the neighborhood
Authorized home occupations
- Any service oriented business including contractor, architect, accountant, engineer, insurance agent, real estate broker, computer programmer, consultant and clerical services.
- Content generation for various media.
- Dressmaking and design.
- Food preparation.
- Home crafts.
- Some repair services including jewelry, shoes, household appliances and toys
- Antique shops
- Funeral homes and chapels
- Motor vehicle repair
- Barber shop and salon
- Animal boarding facility
- Medical or dental clinic and hospitals
- Veterinary clinic and animal shelter
- Boarding house or tourist home
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How to get an occupation permit
Application: Before establishment of any home occupation, the owner must first apply for the permit at the county planning department. He or she will be given a form where they should submit the occupation’s details including name, nature of business, hours and days of operation, total square footage of the home, number of employees and vehicles expected to be used in the business. In the application, you will also specify utilities used in the business, any bulk storage of equipment or supplies and whether the occupation will cause any weird sound, smell, smoke or vibrations.
Review and approval: Sometimes the zoning administrator will pay a visit to the residential home to review the said occupation. However, most times, you only submit photos and plans of the same. If the administrator is satisfied that the occupation will not be a nuisance to residents and the community, a permit is issued for a specific time subject to renewal and even cancellation. The permit should be displayed in the main area of business and renewed accordingly.
Federal regulations: Just like any other business, a home occupation must meet all federal regulations that include taxation, environmental care and other requirements.
Changes: If the owner of the occupation desires to make any significant changes in the business, he or she must visit the zoning department again and obtain permission to do so before commencing. Before the permit expires, the zoning officers might or might not pay the business a visit to inspect if the regulations are being followed to the letter.
If you were conducting the business in another home, it is required that you get a new permit for the new home so the zoning office is aware of the new residential address. There are strict rules that must be adhered to when setting up a home occupation but the cost savings are worth it because you don’t have to pay double rent.