If you want to start a a business, but you don't need space in a commercial building, you might want to use your residence as your home office

A home-based business or home occupation is a business whose office is located in the owner's home. The primary use of the building is residential, with its secondary use as a home office.  However, home occupations are not permitted in all zones in Sparwood.  Please see the Permitted Uses section in the Zoning Bylaw to determine if a home occupation is permitted within your zone.

Home Based business licence regulations

If you are using your residence as a home office for your service business or profession (e.g. contractors, gardeners, painters, catering, bookkeeper, etc.), the Zoning Bylaw regulates that:

  • No internal or external structural alterations to residence;
  • No external indication that your dwelling is being used for a purpose other than a residential use, except for a sign as permitted in accordance with Sign Bylaw;
  • Does NOT emit any offensive noise;
  • No external storage of materials, containers or finished products(s);
  • No storage of vehicles or equipment permitted on the property;
  • Does NOT generate any pedestrian or vehicular traffic that is offensive to neighbouring properties; and
  • Any off street parking that is provided is in accordance with Off Street Parking and Loading Bylaw No. 495, 1988.
Home Occupation business licence regulations

A Home Occupation is permitted, if allowable within your zone, provided that it is/does:

  • NOT involve internal or external structural alterations to the residence;
  • NOT have any external indication that your dwelling is being used for a purpose other than a residential use, except for a sign as permitted in accordance with Sign Bylaw;
  • Conducted only from and completely enclosed within, the dwelling unit or an approved accessory building;
  • Carried out ONLY by residents of the dwelling unit and not more than two (2) persons resident in the dwelling unit shall be engaged in a home occupation on the premises;
  • NOT involve any occupation that emits any offensive noise;
  • NOT involve any external storage of materials, containers or finished products(s);
  • NOT include any storage of vehicles or equipment associated with the home occupation on the property;
  • If in the R-3 High Density Residential zone, it does NOT generate any pedestrian or vehicular traffic, with the exception of a property manager who resides in the same building; and in all other zones, the volume of pedestrian or vehicular traffic must be kept below that which would be offensive to neighbours; 
  • If you are not the property owner, you must obtain written approval from the landowner prior to application for a business licence; and
  • Any off street parking that is provided is in accordance with Off Street Parking and Loading Bylaw No. 495, 1988;
Bed-and-Breakfast

A bed-and-breakfast may be considered a home occupation as long as there are only three or less bedrooms used to accommodate (up to a maximum of 6) paying guests.  There must be one parking stall per rented room on the property itself, and NO cooking facilities or food storage facilities are provided in the bedrooms.

Home Day Care

A home day care shall be permitted in all zones that allow home occupations, except in an R-MP Mobile Home Park or R-3 High Density Residential zone.

Home Occupations Prohibitions

A home occupation shall  NOT include:

  • Repairs or painting of vehicles, trailers, boats, snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, or motorbikes;
  • Kennels (only permitted within the A-1 Agricultural Land zone);
  • An occupation that presents a fire hazard by virtue of manufacturing process or material storage;
  • An occupation that discharges or emits odorous or noxious matters, vapours, gasses, smoke, dust, heat, glare, radiation, litter or recurrently generated vibrations;
  • Any occupation that interferes with electronic equipment or which creates electrical interference to neighbouring property; or
  • The coming and going of customers or clients to your home if you reside in a RR-1a Low Density Resort Residential or RR-1b Low Density Resort Residential – Optional Modular zone.