What does the City consider to be a "home business?"
An "in-home," "home-based," or entrepreneurial business operating from a residential dwelling within Fort Collins is considered a home business. Home businesses include (but is not limited to) art/craft making, tailoring, professional offices (real estate/insurance/medical), marketing, vending services, service businesses (contracting/janitorial), instruction (music), consulting, wholesale/catalogue sales and personal service (salon/barber) shops. Any portion of a residential property, including a home phone, computer, mailing address, etc., used in deriving income or sales. Child care and other day care providers are exempt from home occupation licensing and requirements except for signage restrictions. Group homes, health care facilities (nursing homes), restaurants, tourist homes (bed and breakfast facilities), and animal hospitals cannot be considered home occupation businesses. These uses are restricted to particular zoning districts.
Can I have a home business anywhere in Fort Collins?
Probably, home businesses are considered accepted accessory uses to properties in all zoning districts. However, prohibition of or limitations to home occupation businesses may be regulated by your subdivision, condominium, or similar covenants. Please check what covenants might exist in your neighborhood by contacting your homeowner association or Larimer County Clerk and Recording at 970-498-7860.
Does a home business require a license from the City?
Yes, to find out how, keep reading.
What conditions must be met in order to gain a license?
The impact of a home occupation on its immediate neighborhood must be minimized. Conditions required include the following:
- No more than 50% of the home can be used for the home business.
- No more than one employee or co-worker other than the resident(s) can work from that site.
- No retail sales are permitted from the site other than incidental sales related to services provided.
- No exterior storage (including storage within detached buildings/garages) is permitted. Storage is limited to the principal residence including attached garages.
- Additional off-street parking may be required for the business.
- No offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odor, heat, or glare shall be noticeable at or beyond the property line.
- Signage will be limited to no more than two square feet per residence for homes located on local/collector streets and four square feet per residence for homes located on arterial streets.
- Code requirements regulating home occupation businesses are located in Article 3, Section 3.8.3 of the City's Land Use Code.
How do I get a license from the City?
Applications can be either downloaded to your right or obtained at the City's Development Review Center at 281 North College Avenue or from City Sales Tax at 215 North Mason Street.
How much does the license cost and does it expire?
The license fee is $25 and needs to be renewed every two years.