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Home Based Businesses

Congratulations on deciding to start a home based business. We're sure that you have many questions about your new venture. Have a look through the information below for the answers.

What is a Home Based Business?​

A home based business is any occupation, trade, profession or craft carried on by a person who lives in a residential dwelling where the business is the secondary use of the dwelling. This use excludes woodworking, welding, machine shops, automotive, autobody and/or paint shops. Unless otherwise federally or provincially exempt, all home based businesses operating within the City of Lethbridge require a City of Lethbridge business license.

Click here to view our Business FAQs.


How much is a Home Based Business License?

Click here to view a list of the most common business license costs.


Are there different types of Home Based Business Licenses?

Home based businesses are divided into three categories:
  • Type A - a business with no customer visits
  • Type B - a business with customer visits
  • Type C - a business that offers music instruction to students

Type A home businesses are permitted use in all Residential Zoning Districts and can be easily approved provided that all performance standards are met.  Types B and C are discretionary uses in all Residential Zoning Districts which means that they can be applied for, must be advertised in the newspaper and are open to appeal by anyone who feels that they may be negatively affected.


What are the Performance Standards?

Below are the Performance Standards that need to be met by home based businesses:

​Type A​Type B​Type C
​Customer or Student Visits​No customer or student visits​Maximum of 6 customers per day - one at a time by appointment only​Maximum of 15 students per day - no more than 5 at a time
​Minimum On-Site Parking Spaces​None​In addition to other required parking - 1 space​As required by the development authority
​Supplier Visits​No supplier visits​1 visit per week​1 visit per week



All Home Based Businesses​
Employees​Only permanent residents of the home may carry out any aspect of the home based business ​ ​ ​​
Visibility & Signs​​No aspect of the home based business may be visible from outside the building - signs are not permitted​ ​ ​​
Vehicles​Only a passenger vehicles or a truck/van (excluding a cube van) with a maximum one tonne capacity and 6 metre length is permitted​ ​ ​​
Storage​No outside storage of goods, materials or equipment is allowed​ ​ ​​
Offensive Impacts​​No offensive impacts on the household or neighbouring households - including but not limited to: noise, dust, odour, fumes, excessive light or fire hazards ​ ​ ​​