You are here

Home Based Business License

To facilitate economic development and foster entrepreneurship, many types of businesses can operate from a residence. The standards for home based businesses are intended to seek a balance between a quiet, safe and aesthetic residential environment and the aspirations of home based entrepreneurs. Businesses operating from a residence require a City of Saskatoon Home Based Business License.

Business activities which may disturb neighbourhood peace are not permitted, and must locate in an appropriate commercial or industrial zoning district. 

Prohibited Home Based Businesses
  • tattoo or body modification services
  • laundry services 
  • veterinary services, boarding, grooming or care of animals
  • photographic or video studio involving adult or sexually oriented subject material
  • sharpening services, printing, screen printing, dying services, food packaging, upholstery, engraving and embroidery services that require the use of commercial or industrial equipment 
  • hotels and hospitals
  • the painting, repairing, refitting, cleaning, refurbishing, storage, salvage, selling or renting of motor vehicles, boats, trailers, engines or machinery
  • industrial uses, including but not limited to welding, metal works, salvaging, recycling, warehousing, cabinet making or furniture making
  • businesses utilizing large power tools and machinery or requiring external venting, vacuums, blowers or exhaust ports
  • any business utilizing radio transmission equipment
  • on-site sale of any products, goods or merchandise
  • restaurants, take-out food services, and drinking establishments
  • the sale, storage or service of firearms, fireworks or ammunition
  • any use that creates noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odour, air pollution, heat, glare, bright light, hazardous or unacceptable waste, electrical, television or radio interference detectable beyond the boundaries of the dwelling.

Development Standards

The following standards apply to all home based businesses:

Employees, Client Visits and Deliveries
  • No more than one non-resident employee is allowed to work on-site.
  • One paved off-street parking space is required for a non-resident employee.  Additional off-street parking spaces may be required.
  • A total of no more than 8 client or business related visits per day, and no more than 40 client or business related visits per week can be made to home based businesses on any one site.  This includes delivery of merchandise, goods or equipment to the business residence.
  • Deliveries of merchandise, goods or equipment must not cause a nuisance to other residents of the neighbourhood.
  • An approved home based business may serve as the administrative headquarters for up to two partners, provided they each obtain a separate home based business approval, and that they are present at the administrative headquarters no more than two hours in any one week period.

Business Activity and Storage
  • All business activities must be conducted entirely indoors. 
  • The business must not occupy more than 20% of the gross floor area of the dwelling, including the area of the basement and any attached garage, up to a maximum of 40m2.
  • An attached garage or accessory building may be occupied by a home based business, provided that the total area used does not exceed 40m2, and does not interfere with any required parking spaces. 
  • A maximum of 2.0m3 of storage is allowed within a dwelling, and a maximum of 4.0m3 of storage is allowed within the garage, shed or other accessory building.
  • No outside storage of materials, goods or equipment related to the home based business.
  • Storage of hazardous, explosive or flammable materials are not permitted.
  • No exterior alterations can be made to the home that are not consistent with the residential character of the buildings and property.

Business Vehicles and Signs
  • No more than one business related vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 8,000kg and a total length of no more than 6.0m may be stored on or in the vicinity of the site.
  • Signs advertising the home based business are not permitted on the property.

Fees

Type Current Rates          
New business license $125.00
Change of business location $125.00
Annual renewal $85.00

Application

The easiest way to apply for a home based business license is through Business License Online

Applications can also be submitted in person or by mail. Complete the home based business license application and gather any applicable supporting documents that apply to your business. Bring your application package to City Hall and make your payment in person, or mail your application package and a cheque or money order made payable to City of Saskatoon to:

Business License Program
City Hall, 3rd Floor
222 3rd Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK  S7K 0J5

Process

All home based business license applications are reviewed for compliance with land use and building code regulations.

If structural alterations to your home are necessary to accommodate the business, a building permit is required. A building permit from Building Standards is required prior to the start of construction. A business license will not be issued until the appropriate building permits have been taken out.

If your application is approved, you will receive written confirmation by mail, along with your business license, in approximately 7 to 10 business days. A business license is valid for one year from the date it is issued, unless otherwise stated on the license.

Renewal

Licenses must be renewed annually. A renewal notice will be sent to the mailing address on your license the month before your license expires.  If your business license has expired and you did not receive a renewal notice, please contact our office immediately.

Moving or Selling the Business

If you change your operations or move your business to a new location, you will need to have your account reviewed to determine if a new business license is required.  You must notify our office if there is a change in:

  • floor area used for business
  • type of business being conducted
  • location
  • ownership or business closure