Home businesses

Many types of home based businesses are permitted in Kelowna. The Zoning Bylaw and the Business License Bylaw regulate home businesses based on the type, the number of expected customers and employees, and the amount of space required within your home to operate the business. Businesses that require many employees, large amounts of space, or generate increased traffic are generally not suitable for a home based business. Anyone operating a business from their home within city boundaries must obtain an annual business licence from us.

Business licences can be applied for at the Application Centre on the second floor of City Hall.

To learn more about the three types of home business, read more below.

What is a Home Based Business Minor?

A Home Based Business Minor is the most common form of a home based business. It regulates that the space used in your home is an "office" by nature, and your home is used for phone and office use only. This is ideal for a bookeeper, an accountant, a web developer, a lawyer, or any other type of business that does not generate customers coming to your home.

What is a Home Based Business Major?

A Home Based Business Major is one step up from the minor category, and it is useful if you have a few customers that come to your home each day (but no more than 2 at a time). This is a great option for a hair stylist, an esthetician, a therapist, an artist, or a caterer. It does not include automotive repairs or painting, and must not produce any noise, nuisance, or dust for nearby residences.

To apply for a Home Based Business Major you will need to submit a floor plan of your home that shows the area used for the business and provide one off-street parking stall.

What is a Home Based Business Rural?

A Home Based Business Rural is only allowed on rural or agricultural land. Many of the same provisions of a major home based business apply, however you must also meet the minimum lot size of 4000m2. Only produce that is grown on site may be sold as a home based business on agricultural land. Exterior storage of materials or equipment is not permitted, and the business must not generate any noise, nuisance, or dust for adjacent properties. A maximum of 2 employees may work under this type of license.

A home based business on ALR land must conform to our zoning bylaw as well as the provisions of the ALC. The business must not exceed 100m2, and must be contained within an accessory building or principal dwelling. Business that require storage for many vehicles, materials, or equipment are generally not permitted. For more information, shoot us an email: planninginfo@kelowna.ca.

What about a Bed and Breakfast?

A Bed and Breakfast is allowed in most Single-Family Residential zones, provided it is operated as a secondary use and the owner or operator resides in the home full time as their primary residence. A Bed and Breakfast is not permitted in on a property that has a secondary suite or carriage house. A Bed and Breakfast can have up to 4 rooms for accommodation and must provide 1 parking stall for each room. To learn more, check out Section 9 of our Zoning Bylaw.

Can I place a sign in front of my home?

A Home Based Business (Major or Rural) is permitted to have a sign according to the provisions of the Sign Bylaw No. 8235 (Section 5.9). Home Based Business Minor is not permitted to have a sign.