Home-based businesses

Apply for business licence

Many types of home-based businesses are permitted in Kelowna. The Business Licence Bylaw and Section 9 of the Zoning Bylaw regulates 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 the City. Apply for a licence online or in-person at the Application Centre on the second floor of City Hall (please bring a piece of ID and general information about the business). 

There are three types of home-based businesses:  

Minor

The most common form of a home-based business, in which your home space is used for phone and office purposes only. This is ideal for home-based services such as bookkeeping, accounting, web developing or legal services, in which customers are not coming directly to your home.  

Major

One step up from a minor home-based business. This designation applies to your business if there are only a few customers - no more than two at a time – coming to your home each day. Some types of major businesses are therapists, artists, or caterers. The major business label doesn’t apply to automotive repairs or painting, or any businesses that produces any noise, nuisance, or dust for nearby residences.  

To apply, 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. 

Rural

Only allowed on rural or agricultural land. Many of the same provisions of a major home-based business apply, though 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 two employees may work under this type of licence. 

A home-based business on agricultural land reserve land must conform to our Zoning Bylaw as well as the provisions of the Agricultural Land Commission. 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, contact planninginfo@kelowna.ca

A major or rural home-based business is allowed to have a sign according to the provisions of the Sign Bylaw No. 8235 (Section 5.9). A minor home-based businesses isn't allowed to have a sign.