What is a Home Occupation?
A home occupation is the conduct of a business, from the home or accessory structure (such as a garage) that blends in with the neighborhood.
The home-based business may be conducted in a home or apartment you either own or rent. Examples of home occupation businesses are bookkeeping, crafts, office, daycare, teacher, accountant, catering, seamstress/tailor, professional services (manage, consultant, architect, etc.), instructor, word processing, and many others.
Contact the City at 425-744-6267 for a complete list of requirements and allowed types of home occupations. (Pursuant to MTMC 19.120.230.)
Permit and Fee Requirements
An approved home occupation permit is required prior to conducting a business out of your home. A fee is charged to cover the review of the application materials for consistency with city regulations for home businesses.
What Do I Need to Do?
- Complete a home occupation application form (PDF) or at City Hall.
- Submit the completed application form and pay the review fee (a one-time fee).
- Once approved, apply for an annual business license (renewed each year).
Area for business
25% of the total square footage (up to 500 square feet) of the home and accessory buildings may be used for the business. Day care homes are exempt from the square footage requirement.
One full-time resident and one on-site non-resident are allowed.
One, 2-foot square, non-illuminated sign is permitted in a window.
At least 2 parking spaces on your property are required.
Up to 8 vehicles associated with the business may arrive at and leave the home every day.
Number of vehicles
The personal vehicle of the resident and one vehicle for the non-resident are permitted (additional vehicles related to the business or home occupation-related persons are permitted for up to 2 hours in any 8-hour period).
Any materials or supplies, construction materials, unfinished goods or other items associated with the business must be stored inside a structure.
Sales of product
- Sales of products produced on the premises and mail or phone order sales are permitted.
- Direct sale of retail products is not permitted unless clearly incidental to any services rendered.
Other Useful Information
After review of the application materials, a Notice of Intent to Approve sign will be posted in your front yard. The application can be approved 10 days thereafter.
The home occupation shall be open to inspection by city request (within 24 hours notice). An authorized City official will perform the review to verify compliance with the approval criteria and other code provisions.
Activities that create noise, dust, fumes, odor, smoke, or glare, or produce visible or audible interference in radio or TV receivers, or require the use of electrical or mechanical equipment that would change the fire rating of the home or accessory buildings are not allowed. Also any activity that generates noise is a manufacturing process or involves the handling/storage of substances that may be potentially hazardous or noxious is prohibited. For example, kennels, vehicle body or motor repair, machine/sheet metal shops, repair or large appliances or other types of repairs.
Community Business Downtown (BC/D) Zoning District
Home occupations are not an allowed use. An applicant with a residence in this zoning district may apply for a tenant improvement with our building department to convert their home into a stand-alone commercial use or a live-work unit.
City staff is happy to answer your questions, provide plot plans and assist you to obtain your business license. For more information contact 425-744-6267 or email the permit specialist.