Home-Based Businesses

Many people work from home or operate small businesses from their home.

 In most cases, whether you live in a single-family house, duplex, townhouse, condominium or apartment, no special license, permit or inspection is required from the City for most home-based businesses.

Be sure to check with your Homeowner’s Association, Condominium Association or rental landlord to see if there are other regulations that might limit your home-based business operations.

Regulated Home-Based Businesses

The City of Edina has regulated home-based businesses for many years with the intention to minimize noise, activity and other business disruptions to the surrounding neighborhood. Typical home-based businesses include: 

  • Professionals such as insurance agents, brokers, architects and similar who work from the house and conduct client meetings outside of the house.
  • Dressmakers, tailors and seamstresses.
  • Music and dance teachers providing instruction to a maximum of five people at a time.
  • Artists, sculptors and authors.
  • Ministers, rabbis, priests and other religious.
  • Photographers, providing service to one customer at a time.
  • Salespersons, provided that no stock in trade is maintained in the home or elsewhere on the property.

Businesses Not Allowed in Home-Based Setting

Some businesses have a higher intensity of activity and would tend to disrupt the residential nature of the property. The following types of businesses are NOT allowed to occur in a home-based setting:

  • Barbershops and beauty parlors.
  • Repair services of all kinds, including auto repair and painting, appliance repair and small engine repair.
  • Music, dance or exercise instruction to groups of more than five at a time.
  • Medical and dental offices.
  • Upholstering.
  • Mortuaries.
  • Commercial kennels.
  • Tourist homes, boardinghouses or rooming houses and other kinds of transient occupancies.
  • Commercial food preparation or catering.
  • Automobile and equipment sales.
  • Landscaping and lawn maintenance service where materials and equipment are stored or parked at the house.

Limitations of Home-Based Businesses

Typical home-based businesses are considered an accessory to the residential function provided that the following limitations are maintained:

  • Only the residents of the dwelling unit are allowed to be employed in the home. Outside employees are not permitted in home-based businesses.
  • No exterior structural modifications that change the residential character and appearance of the house or property are allowed to accommodate the home-based business.
  • No loading, unloading, outdoor storage, or other outdoor activities related to the home-based business are allowed. The normal parking of a business vehicle is acceptable.
  • No signs of any kind are allowed to be used to identify the home-based business.
  • All parking demands of the home-based business must be accommodated within the household garage and the normal driveway area. In multiple residential buildings, a maximum of two parking spaces are allowed to be used for home-based businesses in the property.
  • No more than ten automobile trips weekly by clients, customers, or colleagues are allowed to be generated to the house as a result of the home-based business.
  • No sale of products or merchandise is allowed to occur in the building or on the property.

If your home-based business includes outside employees or is unable to comply with these provisions, you will need to operate your business from an appropriate commercial or industrial location.

Residents who are physically unable to be employed full time outside of the home may need to pursue a temporary conditional use or zoning variance if unable to comply with the provisions above.

See Regulations

The full regulations for home-based businesses are in Section 36-1254 of Edina City Code.