How do I start my own business from home?

The City of Salem allows certain businesses and occupations to be conducted in a residential dwelling provided the use is clearly incidental or secondary to the use of the home as a residence. The character and scale of the business activity must be clearly minor and meet the Home occupation standards regulations. Some examples of permitted home occupations are: 

  • beauty shop/barber shop
  • small family childcare home
  • tutoring
  • office for:
    • cleaning service
    • computer design service
    • consulting business
    • contracting business
    • lawn care business
    • sales business

The procedure for obtaining a home occupation permit is as follows: 

  • Contact the office of Building Inspections and Zoning for a Home Occupation Permit Application. 
  • Submit the completed application to the Building Inspections and Zoning office. 
  • Upon receipt of a complete application, the Zoning Administrator will review the application for compliance with the regulations. 
  • A minimum of 7 business days is required to process your application, and you will be contacted with an approval or denial. 
  • If approved, contact the office of the Commissioner of Revenue to apply for a business license. 
  • Businesses that will use a trade name must also register that name with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

If you are denied, the Administrator will notify you of the changes necessary to achieve compliance with the provisions. If you disagree with the opinion of the Administrator, you may appeal the decision to the City of Salem Planning Commission. You will be required to file for a "Special Exception Permit". Fees will apply, so please refer to the fee schedule (PDF).

All home occupations are subject to a $25 home occupation permit fee and will be renewed at the same time as your business license renewal. Renewals will be automatically subject to payment of the $25 fee, business license renewal, and no complaints or violations of the regulations have occurred during the previous year.

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1. How do I get a street address?
2. How do I start my own business from home?
3. Where do I get a survey plat for my property?
4. Where can I find your schedule of fees?