The City supports the entrepreneurial spirit and small business through a home occupation by-law that recognizes the needs of business, balanced against the needs of the community.
Starting a business
Information about starting a business in London is available from the Service London Business website. There you will find helpful tips for planning, launching or growing a business in London and get links to some local partner organizations who can help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a home based business?
An occupation or business conducted for profit within a dwelling by a permanent resident of the dwelling.
Are there any restrictions on the type of dwelling used for a business?
The business may be operated out of a detached dwelling, semi-detached dwelling, triplex, fourplex, or townhouse dwelling, but cannot operate out of an accessory building such as a garage. Call 519-930-3510 or email email@example.com to ensure your use is permitted under the by-law regulations.
What is the maximum floor area a business can occupy in the home?
Up to 25% of the total area, to a maximum of 28 sq m (300 sq ft) can be used for the business.
Note: A floor plan with dimensions and floor area calculations will be required when applying for a business licence. Plans can be completed by the business owner.
Can the business operate outside of the dwelling?
The home based business cannot operate outdoors nor store any goods or materials outside of the dwelling.
Can I have employees in the home?
You are allowed a maximum of one non-resident employee who is restricted to a secretarial, accounting, clerical, or support role.
Is there a restriction on the number of clients I can have in my home at one time?
You are allowed to have up to five clients in a dwelling at one time for treatment or service.
Are deliveries permitted to the home?
Deliveries to your home business are limited to vehicles with a registered gross weight not exceeding 5,000 kilograms (11,023 pounds).
What kinds of businesses cannot be run from the home?
- Retail stores or sales
- Food preparation or food service businesses
- Swimming lessons in your own pool
- Manufacturing, assembly, or repair businesses, except for the fabrication of handmade articles of clothing, arts or crafts
- A business which would require animal(s), corpse(s), bacteria or virus be brought into the house
What sort of signage am I allowed, and will I need a permit?
The short answer is yes. Signs are permitted and regulated by the Sign By-law. Signs require permits and the by-law regulates the location, quantity, type, and size of signs that are permitted. Contact the Business Hub for more information.
How much parking am I allowed?
You may use your driveway for client parking, however the driveway and parking area must comply with all regulations set out in the Zoning by-law Z.-1, subection 4.19.
I want to renovate my home to accommodate my business. Will I need a permit?
If you are making structural changes, finishing your basement, or installing plumbing for sinks or washrooms, you will require a building permit. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519-662-4550. Separate electrical permits are required by the Electrical Safety Organization.
Before starting a home based business, review the Zoning By-law Z.-1 - Section 4 - General Provisions - Subsection 4.10 - Home occupation for all regulations.
Visit the Property Inquiry System to determine if a property has an active business licence.
Visit the Business Licensing page for more information about business licence requirements.