SB 81: Exempting Home-Based Businesses from Fees and Licensure

This Bill passed the Senate 28-1 and the House 63-8.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

Senator Jake Anderegg has attempted for several years (2014, 2015, and 2016) to repeal the requirement for home-based businesses to have to obtain licenses and pay fees, which is especially problematic since the fees do not provide any services other than the processing of the license that does nothing for the business owner. It is, and has long been, an unnecessary fee.

Last year’s bill passed the House 57-17 but was not considered by the Senate because the session ended before that was possible.

The Utah League of Cities and Towns—an organization that trains and represents municipal governments throughout the state—has long been an opponent of this attempt to reduce revenue to local governments and eliminate a city’s authority to micromanage home business owners in this fashion. Last year’s bill reflects a compromise that they are comfortable with.

This year’s version is Senate Bill 81. It prohibits cities from requiring fees of home-based businesses if their off-site (external) impact is not greater than the impact of normal residential use, but allows cities to still require a (no cost) license of these businesses. Occasional businesses operated by minors are exempted both from licensure and fees. Also, cities will be prohibited from requiring any license for purposes of revenue, or any license from a non-profit organization.