Opening a Home-Based Business

What type of business can I operate from my home?

There are several types of Home Occupations/Businesses. Some are “as-of-right” (this means no special permission is required) and some require a Special Permit, which requires a public hearing. 

Home Occupations/Businesses must not change the residential character of the premises and be incidental to its primary use as a residence. When business activity expands to a level that no longer conforms to the home occupation criteria or Special Permit, the homeowner will be required to find a commercial site. A Home Occupation can only be conducted by the resident occupant. 

What is a Customary Home Occupation?

A “customary” home occupation (work of any lawful profession) is permitted in a dwelling located in any residential district and is allowed as-of-right. The Office of Municipal Services will help you determine if your business fits in this category. A good rule of thumb is that you will not be considered a customary home occupation if: 

  • Customers or clients come to the premise.
  • There are employees (other than residents of the dwelling).
  • Your business may cause disturbances to the surrounding neighborhood (noise, odors, traffic etc.). 

What if I am not considered a Customary Home Occupation?

There are certain occupations/businesses that may be authorized by Special Permit:

  • Hairdressing (use of a room in a dwelling for hairdressing).
  • Certain Sales (the sale of gift novelties and antiques).
  • Real Estate Office (the business cannot be associated with any other real estate office).
  • Trade Shop (a resident of the premises may use the building in connection with their trade).

 See Special Permits

Day Care

Business Certificate

See Business Certificates.

Contact the Fire Department 

See Fire Department.

Further information

For further information call the Office of Municipal Services at 978-897-1302 or visit