Required applications and important forms
Using your home for your business
If you run a business out of your home, there are zoning code rules you must follow. The rules help to make sure the business activity does not disrupt the nearby homes.
This page has information on the zoning code rules about using your home for your business. The Revenue Division has more information about registering your business with the City of Portland.
There are two types of home occupations, Type A and Type B.
- In home childcare that qualifies as "family day care" does not need a home occupation permit. For more information call the State of Oregon Child Care Division at 1-800-556-6616.
- Bed and breakfasts are not home occupations. For more information, contact Planning and Zoning.
- Contact signs for questions about signage for a home business.
If you have questions about home occupation rules, contact Planning & Zoning.
Codes & rules for operating a business from your home
Accessory home occupations are activities connected to those uses in the Household Living Category of the Portland City Code Title 33 Zoning Code. The rules for the home occupations are in 33.203 Accessory Home Occupations. You may also want to learn more about changing the use or occupancy of a home.
Type A home occupation permits
Type A home occupation is where you use your home as a place of work and no employees or customers come to the site. Examples include artists, craftspeople, writers and consultants.
Type A home occupations also provide an opportunity for a home used as a business address but not as a place of work. A permit is not required for Type A home occupation, but Type A home occupations must follow the zoning code rules.
Type B home occupation permits
Type B home occupation is where you use your home as a place of work and either one employee or a maximum of eight customers come to the site. Examples are counseling, tutoring, and hair cutting and styling.
Type B home occupation permit is not allowed:
- When a residence has an accessory dwelling unit
- When there is another Type B Home Occupation permitted for the residence
- For repairing or assembling vehicles, lawn mowers or large appliances
- When there is a Type A Accessory Short Term Rental
Still need help? Schedule a 15-minute appointment
If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, we recommend you book a free 15-minute appointment with us. This is an optional step. We're here for you if you have questions about the information and materials you need to apply. For home occupation permits:
- You might want to meet with a City planner about planning and zoning or tree code requirements before applying for building permits. You can also get information on rules that apply to your property.
- If you plan to remodel for your home business or install a commercial kitchen, you might want to meet with a Building Code and Engineering Reviewer.
Home business permit application process
- Fill out the Type B Home Occupation permit application
- Notify your neighbors and your neighborhood association that you plan to start a home business
- Return your completed application and a copy of your neighborhood notification with the fee listed on the application to:
Bureau of Development Services
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 5000
Portland, OR 97201-5379
If you have questions about the application process, contact Property Compliance Help Line or send us an email.
Review process and Inspections
The Property Compliance section of Development Services reviews permit applications.
The zoning inspector will visit your business to make sure the regulations are being met. Upon approval, a permit is issued for two years. Permits can be renewed every two years.
Small Business Empowerment Program
The Small Business Empowerment Program assists Black, Indigenous and people of color business owners and business owners with disabilities recognized by the ADA who have experienced barriers in the review process. Learn more about how we can help.