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Home Based Businesses

The City of London supports the entrepreneurial spirit and small business through a home occupation by-law that recognizes the needs of business, balanced against the needs of the community. Below you'll find frequently asked questions about operating a home base business.

Before starting a home based business, review the City of London Zoning By-law Z.-1, Section 4 - General Provisions, Subsection 4.10 - Home Occupation for all regulations.

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  • What is a home based business?

    An occupation or business conducted for profit within a dwelling by a permanent resident of the dwelling.

  • Are there any restrictions on the type of dwelling used for a business?

    The business may be operated out of a detached, semi-detached, triplex, fourplex, or townhouse, but does not include the use of an accessory building such as a garage. Call 519-930-3510 to ensure your use is permitted under the City's Zoning By-law regulations.

  • What is the maximum space a business can occupy in the home?

    Up to 25% of the total area, to a maximum of 28 sq m (300 sq ft) can be used for the business.

  • What about outdoor use?

    The by-law does not permit outdoor use or outdoor storage.

  • Can I have employees in the home?

    You are allowed a maximum of one employee from outside the home who is restricted to a supportive role.

  • Is there a restriction on the number of clients I can have in my home at one time?

    You are allowed to have up to five clients in a dwelling at one time for treatment or service.

  • What about deliveries?

    Deliveries to your home business are limited to small vehicles.

  • What kinds of businesses cannot be run from the home?

    Retail stores or sales, food preparation or food service businesses and swimming lessons in your own pool, manufacturing, assembly, or repair businesses cannot be operated from a home except for the fabrication of handmade articles of clothing, arts or crafts. It is also not permitted to operate a business which would require animal(s), corpse(s), bacteria or virus be brought into the house.

  • Are there any exceptions?

    Professional or service offices which do not have external signage, client visitation, and employees are considered an accessory use to the residential site, and are not covered in the by-law.

  • What sort of signage am I allowed, and will I need a permit?

    The City's Sign & Canopy By-law permits up to a 0.2 sq m, non-illuminated sign mounted on the front of the dwelling without a permit.

  • How much parking am I allowed?

    You may use your driveway for client parking, however the driveway and parking area must comply with the regulations of Section 4.19 of the Zoning By-law.

  • I want to renovate my home to accommodate my business. Will I need a permit?

    If you are making structural changes, finishing your basement, or installing plumbing for sinks or washrooms, you will require a building permit; for more information call 519-662-4550. Separate electrical permits are required by the Electrical Safety Organization.

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