Toolkit Topic

Home-Based Business Model Ordinance

This model ordinance is a featured item in our Local Government Toolkit.

  1. Exception to Local License. The use of a residential dwelling for a home-based business is a permitted use and does not require a person to apply, register, or obtain any permit, license, variance or other type of prior approval from the city to operate the home-based business—provided the home-based business meets all the following criteria:
    1. Secondary to the use as a residential dwelling;
    2. Complies with federal and Utah state law and pays all applicable taxes;
    3. Obtains all county, state, and federal permits and licenses that are required for the business type and pass any required inspections (e.g. health, fire, safety inspections);
    4. Not for the purpose of selling or serving alcoholic beverages, and is not a sexually oriented business or retail tobacco specialty business as defined in the Utah Code;
    5. Meets the definition of low-impact and conforms to signage requirements in subsection (3).
  2. Definition of Low-impact. For purposes of this section, low-impact means:
    1. The maximum number of on-site visitors and employees allowable is equal to the occupancy limit for the residential property;
    2. All visitors and employees who arrive at the home because of the home occupation shall be legally parked on the lot occupied by the residence or on that part of the street which immediately abuts the lot. These parking impacts may be temporarily exceeded, but may not cause any on-street parking for the surrounding properties more than two times per month;
    3. Business activity occurs inside the dwelling, accessory structure, or in the yard, and is not visible from the street in front of the residence. The following exceptions typical to residential use are permitted:
      1. Deliveries by passenger motor vehicle or by parcel or letter carrier mail services;
      2. Visitors and employees walking to and from the property;
      3. The off-street transfer of a passenger vehicle, recreational vehicle, or equipment.
    4. Any vehicles or equipment related to the home-based business are kept enclosed within the dwelling or accessory structure. An exception is made for one passenger vehicle and trailer or one recreational vehicle, provided they are kept off-street;
    5. The home-based business produces no vibrations, smoke, dust, electrical interference, or other effects beyond the boundaries of the property. Any noises or odors detectable beyond the boundaries of the property must be occasional and at the level and frequency normal to residential use.
  3. Signage Requirements. One name plate or identification sign no larger than 36″ by 36″ is allowed on site, so long as it is located within five feet of the dwelling or accessory structure. Vehicles or equipment may not be used for the primary purpose of advertising the business at the site of the home occupation.

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