Home-Based Businesses

How to get a permit to operate a home-based business on your residential property.

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Before Submitting an Application Prepare Application Materials Submittal Instructions Project Review and Permitting Paying Fees

There are two types of home-based business uses identified in the City’s Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Section 6.7.3.D or Section 6.7.3.E: Home Occupation and Live-Work.

A Home Occupation is an occupation that provides a service or product that is conducted wholly within a residential dwelling and does not allow non-resident employees or any clients, customers, patients, or visitors to visit the premises. Applications are no longer required for home occupations, as defined in Section 6.7.3.D of the Unified Development Ordinance. Although an application is no longer required, regulations must still be followed to ensure compliance. 

A Live-Work is a commercial use that is contained within or attached to a residential structure or contained within a legally conforming accessory structure or accessory dwelling unit and which allows employees, customers, clients, or patrons to visit.

Before Submitting an Application

Detailed code review will not begin until application submittals have been deemed complete by customer service staff. It is important that all required information is submitted for a project.

Prepare Application Materials

The below application form and supporting documents are required for Live-Work:

  • Live-Work Permit Application
    • Floor Plan.
    • No construction statement (Only if no proposed construction to residential dwelling).
    • Live-Work Notifications - The City of Raleigh Label Maker is a helpful resource that can be used to identify addresses within 100 feet of the subject property.
      • Stamped, unsealed envelopes each containing a notification letter (to be provided) addressed to all property owners within 100’ of subject parcel(s).
      • One copy of the completed notification letter (template).
      • One copy of the list of all property owners within 100’, with the address and PIN of each property (obtain from iMaps).
      • One copy of a map (8.5"x11") showing all properties to be notified (to be included with the letter, obtain from iMaps).
  • Residential Permit Application (Only if proposing construction to the residential dwelling).
  • Non-Residential Permit Application (Only if the proposed live-work use is within a detached structure).

Submittal Instructions

At this step your application materials should be ready to assemble. Please take note of the instructions below, applications that do not meet these criteria will not be accepted: 

  1. Only PDF file types will be accepted unless other file types (such as image, Excel, or CAD) are specifically called for as part of the application submittal process.
  2. .ZIP files are not allowed. 
  3. Only one file should be associated with each discrete document included with the application package. For example, if an application requires 1) an application form, 2) a set of plans, 3) a calculation report, the applicant should transmit these as three separate files. 
  4. City of Raleigh limits email attachments to 30 MB. To send larger files, you may send a file-sharing link (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) to a folder with all required documents. Staff must be given direct access to your files and cannot accept links that require access codes, passwords, or logins.
  5. Submit all files (or file-sharing link) for Home Occupation or Live-Work Application Package via email to zoningpermits@raleighnc.gov.
    1. Email subject lines should include:
      1. New Submittals: Indicate “New Submittal” and type of application.
      2. Re-submittals: Indicate “Re-submittal” and include your case number and type of application.

Project Review and Permitting

Applicants will be notified by email when a project is processed. Standard review times are available to view online. Plan review comments can be viewed any time via a registered account in the Permit and Development Portal.   

Plans that are ready for permit issuance but have incomplete contractor information will be kept at the Planning and Development Customer Service Center for up to six months. After six months, the plans will be considered invalid, and the application will be voided. An administrative fee may be incurred when projects are voided.

Paying Fees

A Plan Review Fee is due prior to project review. All other permit fees are due when permits are ready for issuance. 

The Development Fee Guide provides a detailed list of specific development fees.   

  • The Customer Service Center processes payments or you may pay via the Permit Portal
  • Payment types include Cash, MasterCard, Visa, or check made payable to the City of Raleigh. 

A  fee calculator may be used to obtain an estimate of some building and trade permit fees.



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Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Categories:
Permits - ZoningZoning