Home Business vs. Home Occupation

There is a distinction between a home business and a home occupation.  A zoning permit is needed for a home business, but not for a home occupation.  A business license is required for both.  Please see below for definitions.

Home Occupation

All residents may us a minor portion of their dwelling for an occupation that is considered customary in residential areas, such as: crafts, tailoring, consulting work, or an online business that does not include UPS traffic.  Home occupations must meet the following standards:

  • The use is conducted by residents of the home
  • The use does not have any impact on the residential character of the dwelling or surrounding neighborhood
  • There is no outside storage of equipment, and no retail sales on the premises
  • Signs are limited to a wall sign of one square foot (Note: Sign permits must be obtained.)

Home Business

To qualify, a home business shall occupy no more than 40% of the floor area of the dwelling and the types of businesses may include:  manufacture of goods for sale off-premises, hair styling, massage therapy, equipment repair shop, professional services such as accountants or architects, or an art studio.

The use shall comply with the following performance standards:

  • The use is secondary to the residential use and does not significantly change the character of the home or surrounding neighborhood
  • The business must be conducted by the owner of the home
  • There can be up to two non-resident employees
  • Generate no more than 25 additional visits to the home per day
  • On-site parking associated with the use must be to the rear or side of the structure
  • No unenclosed structures or outside storage may be used in connection with the business
  • Create no air of noise pollution
  • Have no deliveries by vehicles with more than two axles
  • Retail sales are not permitted except on an incidental basis
  • A ground or wall sign of four square feet is allowed (Note: Permits must be obtained for all signs.)

Please direct questions about either Home Business or Home Occupation to the Town of Brattleboro’s Planning Services at (802) 251-8154. A zoning permit is required for a Home Business; a Business License is required for both Home Occupation and Home Business.