Small Business Focus: Do I Really Need a Home Occupation Permit?

June 26, 2024 | By Alex Held


Over the summer, we’re going to do a deep dive into the regulations many startups skip when starting their business. Last summer, we detailed one of the main regulations many startups forget, which is an Arlington Business License. Today, we’re going to highlight the other main regulation many of Arlington’s independent consultants running their business from home forget, which is a Home Occupation Permit.

A home occupation permit is required if you use a residential address as your principal place of business—the permit permits many occupations, such as accountant, consultant, engineer, artist and others.

However, many occupations are not permitted in residential areas, such as antique shops, nursery schools, restaurants or tearooms, motor vehicle repair and many others. These occupations would create nuisances in residential neighborhoods, reducing the quality of life for the surrounding community.

A home occupation is relatively simple, and the cost is $55:

  1. Log in or create an account in Permit Arlington.
  2. Under the Create drop-down menu at the top, click zoning application, and a list of different zoning applications will expand then fill out the Home Occupation Application.
  3. Select Home Occupation. The applicant must be an Arlington resident to obtain a home occupation permit, and a parking disclosure map is required for a home occupation.
  4. Use the Parking Map tool to comply with this requirement.

While a particular occupation may be permitted under the Home Occupation Permit, we strongly encourage applicants to check their lease or condo documents to ensure their apartment or condo association allows residents to run a business out of their house before they apply for the Home Occupation Permit.

We know all this about permitting and regulations can be overwhelming; however, we have the easy button at BizLaunch, and we can walk startups through all the rules specific to their business. Schedule your one-on-one counseling appointment with one of our three small business experts today.

Visit to learn more about BizLaunch and to take advantage of our many small business resources. 


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