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Home Office Zoning Regulations

Roughly half of all U.S. businesses are made up of home based businesses. Zoning regulations exist in almost every community, and they differ by whether you live in an area zoned as residential or business. Business zoning is further is categorized as retail, office and industrial.

If you operate your massage therapy practice in your home, check your local zoning ordinances to understand possible restrictions. To find out about the zoning ordinances that apply to your business, contact city hall, your city’s business or economic development office or Zoning Laws for Home Based Businesses from the U.S. government.

Possible Areas of Compliance

Zoning ordinances for a home office might apply to some of all of the following aspects of a business:

  • Number of bathrooms available
  • Number of employees
  • Storage for clean linens
  • Storage for dirty linens
  • Lighting requirements
  • Sink location
  • Number of client visits
  • Exterior signage
  • Parking (off-street and on) for clients
  • Waiting area for clients
  • Limitations on noise or odors emanating from business
  • Trash disposal
  • Sale of merchandise
  • Percentage of square footage dedicated to business use
  • Level of traffic due to business
  • Accessibility to clients who are disabled

Be a Good Neighbor

There is more to operating a home business than just complying with local laws. Consider the impact of your practice on your neighbors. Talk with your neighbors and let them know the number of clients that might be entering and exiting your home and at what hours of the day and night. Assure your neighbors that you have taken into consideration where clients will park, and ask your neighbors for suggestions if there are any aspects of your business that might affect them. This is a good opportunity to educate your neighbors about the benefits of massage and maybe gain new clients who were formerly only neighbors.

Tags: home office, risk management, zoning

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