Can I run a business out of my home?
Zoning laws on home-based businesses vary considerably among the communities. It may depend on the nature of the business, whether you have any employees or business visitors, your hours of operation, parking and delivery issues, etc. Before getting into legal hot water, it pays to check out the zoning rules on what you can and cannot do in your area before you decide to set up shop. One more thing--many localities have begun to impose license fees on home-based businesses to generate money for local coffers.
Some zoning ordinances in some strictly residential areas will absolutely prohibit all in-home businesses. (On the other hand, if you are lucky, your local town officials may overlook these ordinances, especially if your at-home business operation is hidden from public scrutiny --designing computer software as opposed to a preschool -- and is not disruptive for your neighbors.)
Other communities permit a home business, but may
(1) specify the kinds of work that can be run out of your home (i.e., law, dentistry, music, beauty salon, physical therapy, tutoring);
(2) limit the amount of floor space that can be utilized;
(3) restrict the hours;
(4) limit the use of on-street parking;
(5) prohibit or limit the number of employees you may hire; or
(6) ban or require a entrance to your business that is separate from your residence; or
(7) ban advertising signs.