Home Occupation Requirements


What is a home occupation?

Any occupation (i.e., job, small business, profession, livelihood, etc.) carried on by a member of the immediate family in a residence. Home occupations are considered accessory to the dwelling unit and are allowed within the DD (Detached Dwellings), AD (Attached Dwellings), and MD (Multiple Dwellings) forms.

Who can have a home occupation?

Home occupations are allowed in any residential district/form. The home occupation permit provides an opportunity for family members of any single-family dwelling or apartment to operate a small business from within their home. To qualify for a home occupation permit, the person(s) involved in the home occupation must live in the home.

Can I have a business in my garage?

A garage is the place that a resident parks vehicles and stores household items. Under the home occupation permit, the occupation must be located entirely within the home.

Can I have employees?

Home occupations are limited to residents of the home. Home occupations are not intended to be a place of employment. Those family members that live at the home are the only “employees” permitted with the home occupation permit.

Can I sell a product?

Home occupations are limited to service business and specifically exclude any merchandise sales at the home. A maximum of four visits per day is allowed from customers/clients. Under a home occupation permit, products you sell must be delivered to your customer.

How much parking must I provide?

Additional parking is not required for a home occupation permit. If you are considering paving or providing additional parking, a separate zoning permit is required.

Can I keep a pickup truck or van at my home?

The home occupation permit will not affect residential parking requirements. A personal passenger vehicle or a service vehicle can be parked at your residence. A personal passenger vehicle is any car, pickup truck, motorcycle, street-legal ATV, or van that is designed for and facilitates personal/passenger travel and has not been externally altered with features not customary to personal usage. A service vehicle is any vehicle built or assembled for personal passenger use that incorporates attachments in order to support service functions. A service vehicle is utilized as support for service and is not utilized to perform a specific commercial function.

What about signage for my home occupation?

You may have a nonilluminated sign, one (1) square foot in size. Yard signs are limited to noncommercial signs and may only be displayed for a maximum of 60 days per calendar year.

How do I obtain a home occupation permit?

Start by filling out the ten questions found on the home occupation questionnaire. The second page of the questionnaire lists the provisions of the home occupation permit taken from the 2013 Shape Places zoning ordinance. Once you have completed the questionnaire, come to the City Center Service Counter located on 1st Floor of 231 N. Dakota Avenue with the filing fee. The zoning staff will review your information for compliance with the zoning ordinance and issue you a home occupation permit when appropriate.

Do I need any permits or license?

The City of Sioux Falls requires a zoning permit for home occupations. The permit is effective for as long as the home occupation is at that location and doesn’t change in character. If you make any structural changes, replumb, or rewire your home for the business use, you must also take out appropriate building permits and be inspected by Building Services.

The South Dakota Department of Revenue will want to know about your home occupation business for a sales tax license, and personal service businesses may have to be inspected by City Health. You may want to hire an attorney to assist you in meeting all the legal requirements for a small business.

For more information, please call:
City Zoning Division  - 605-367-8254
City Health Department - 605-367-8760
City Building Services Division - 605-367-8670

What are the specific conditions that must be met in order to have a home occupation approved?

(a) The occupation must be conducted within a dwelling unit.

(b) The occupation must be clearly incidental and secondary to the principal use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes.

(c) Only members of the immediate family residing on the premises may be employed by or participate in the home occupation.

(d) The entrance to the space devoted to the occupation must be from within the building.

(e) There can be no evidence other than the nameplate referred to in division (f) below that will indicate from the exterior that the building is being utilized in part for any purpose other than that of a dwelling.

(f) There is used no sign which is attached to the building other than a nameplate. The sign shall not be illuminated and shall not be more than one square foot in area.

(g) These occupations shall not require substantial internal or external alterations or involve construction features not customary in a dwelling.

(h) No merchandise, including samples, can be sold on the premises.

(i) The business will generate no more than four (4) visits per day from clients or customers.

(j) Materials that are combustible, toxic or consist of any animal or vegetable matter cannot be stored on the premises.

(k) Any process which will cause odor, dust, glare, noise, heat or vibration which would have a negative effect on adjacent properties would not be allowed.

(l) A building permit shall be secured for all home occupations in conformance with the procedure outlined in §160.705 through 160.712.