Home Occupation Permit

In the City of Vancouver an individual is allowed to operate certain types of businesses from their residence per VMC 20.860. Home based businesses located in the City limits of Vancouver may be required to apply for a Home Occupation Permit issued by Community Development Department. Please call Planning staff at 360-487-7803 to verify if your business is exempt from applying for a Home Occupation Permit.

Applications, and fee (if applicable), may be submitted in person at the Permit Center, or by mail. The home occupation permit fee is a one-time fee.

Businesses are also required to be registered with Washington State and either hold a valid City of Vancouver business license or, if qualified, claim a City license exemption.

The purpose for allowing Home Occupations is to support small businesses and provide residents with an opportunity to use their homes to engage in small-scale business activities. By providing opportunities for residents to work in their homes, the number of  home-to-work and work-to-home trips during peak periods are reduced, relieving some of the congestion on the City’ s streets.

At the same time the code limitations protect  neighborhood character. The approval criteria and standards ensure that home occupations are conducted as lawful uses that are subordinate to the residential use of the property and are conducted in a manner that is not detrimental or disruptive in terms of appearance or operation to neighboring properties.

VMC 20.860.020 (Home Occupation Requirements)