Zoning Laws must be considered when planning your home based business. Failure to do so
could bring your business to a quick end.
Local governments set up the zoning laws in order to regulate land use and to protect it's residents.
Protecting the residents is one of the primary concerns when it comes to zoning for home base business.
With the growing trend toward home base business (about half the businesses today are home based), the zoning laws
are becoming more friendly to business. Zoning requirements can vary greatly from county to county and even
city to city. Zoning is normally done at the local level by the counties, cities and townships.
Zoning Laws Purpose
Safety - Will the business threaten the safety of the nearby
Nuisance - Will it create odors, noise or activities that the nearby
residents would not appreciate.
Appearance - Signage is generally prohibited or highly restricted.
Parking of commercial vehicles, generally trucks or vans with a lot of signage will not be permitted.
Same would apply to trailers and to using the yard for storage of supplies and equipment for the business.
Even the changing of the appearance of the outside of the house for the sake of the business is generally
prohibited. One would not want a house to start looking like a retail store or industrial
Traffic - This can come in several ways. Neighbors have been
know to complain when there were too many delivery vehicles stopping to drop off or pick-up packages.
Having customers come to the house will is generally quite limited. Employees pose another problem.
They are either prohibited or the number is severely limited. Enforcement is generally not a high priority for
local government. Rarely will you ever find a case where they go door to door looking for home
businesses. The zoning laws are normally enforced when there is a complaint from someone in the
The key is to use common sense. Be very respective of your neighbors. Operate your business with very
low visibility, so it does not attract a lot of attention from your neighbors. Put yourself in your
neighbor's shoes, and ask yourself, if I were them, would I be upset with the activity I create. Remember,
there is occasionally a "busy body" resident who has nothing better to do than cause trouble.
So you will want to know what your local zoning laws are. The last thing you want to have happen to you is
have your local government official come out and shut you down. A quick trip to the city or township hall can
save much grief. Zoning Laws are often found on the website for your community.
"A home based business gives you all the benefits of a non-home based business without the burden of the high overhead." ~ Larry Louzon
"The business of America is business" ~ Calvin Coolidge