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Home Occupation

Home Based Business

Home-Based Business

A Home Occupation (HO) is any occupation, trade, profession, or craft carried on by the occupant of a home that is secondary to the residential use of the building. Many people assume that their home occupation does not need a license, however according to the Town of Crossfield Bylaw; any activity run from a residence that generates income requires a license. Even if you sell crafts or provide professional services on a casual or hobby basis, you should obtain a license to operate.

 As per the Land Use Bylaw Section 1.7 Definitions; a Home Occupation shall mean:

“home occupation” means an occupation for gain or support, excluding home offices, which shall be an incidental and subordinate use to the principle residential use and shall be restricted to the dwelling unit and accessory buildings; home occupations shall be limited to those uses which do not interfere with the rights of other residents to the quiet enjoyment of the residential neighbourhood and may include instruction, minor repair and other similar domestic activities.

Some examples of home-based businesses that may fit under the Home Occupation rules are "massage therapy, home based esthetics spa, fitness studio, hairdresser, etc. 

 A Home Office shall mean:

 “home office” means a home occupation that shall not be visible from the exterior of the home and does not require or entail:

   •  clients visiting the residence, 

  •  delivery or storage of goods or supplies,

  •  production of goods on site,

  •  parking other than that which is required for the residence,

  •  noise associated with the use,

  •  any renovations for the purpose of the use that require a building permit,

  •  employment of any employees on site other than the resident,

  •  other impacts on the neighbourhood.

 Typically a home office would be a business that uses phone and/or computer only.


 Application fees and process

Complete the Home Occupation Permit application form or pick one up in person at Town Office.



The application fee is $107.00 as set out in the Town’s Fees and Rates Bylaw, as amended from time to time.


How to apply

Completed applications should be delivered to the Planning Department, Town Office, 1005 Ross Street,

Monday to Friday 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Payment type accepted: Cash, cheque, Visa, MasterCard (additional service charge will apply) or Debit


Processing time

The timeline to process your application is approximately two to three weeks. Applicants should be advised the Home Occupation permits are advertised for a mandatory two week period in the local newspaper and on the  Development page.

Applicants may apply for a Town of Crossfield business licence at the same time as the HO permit; however the business licence application will be not be processed until the HO has been approved.


Home Occupation Check List 

  • Completed HO application form, $107.  And non-refundable application fee
  • Letter of authorization from registered landowner, if other than applicant
  • A copy of the floor plan and a brief description of your business
  • It is recommended that you discuss your home-based business plans with your neighbours and receive signatures from adjacent neighbours.
  • If you will be producing food products or offering personal care services you will need to obtain health approval from Alberta Health Services.
  • Obtain a Town of Crossfield business license ($51, renewable annually in January).
  • Contact Revenue Canada to determine if you require a business number, GST account or payroll account. 
  • Contact Service Alberta Corporate Registries to determine if you need to register your business/trade name and if you are going to formally operate your business as a sole proprietor, partnership or incorporate it.  
Home occupation permitting process

An interested applicant must complete the Home Occupation Permit Application, and ensure to include:

  • Letters of support from adjacent landowners (one on each side of your house, front, side, rear);
  • Floor plan showing dimensions of where within the home the business is being run out of;
  • A brief description of your business activities; and,
  • Permit application fee.

Upon receiving the completed application, the development department will review the application with respect to the Town of Crossfield's Land Use Bylaw. 

Depending upon the type of business, the application will be circulated to internal and external agencies (i.e. TELUS, Shaw, Airdrie RCMP, Alberta Health Services, etc.) for 30 days and the Notice of Decision advertised in the local paper for 14 days, allowing any appeals to the decision.

If no appeals are received within the 14 days, the approved permit with conditions will released to the applicant and they may proceed with their business license application.   

All businesses, including home-based businesses, operating within the Town of Crossfield require a business license. Visit the Business Licensing page for more information.

The development department shall consider and decide on applications within forty (40) days of the receipt of the application in its complete and final form.

A home occupation permit does not exempt compliance with health regulations or any other permit requirements of municipal, provincial or federal authorities.


 Change of home occupation location
If a permit holder relocates to another residential area within the municipality, that person must apply for an updated HO permit to commence the use from the new location or if an permit holder relocated to another district (ex. Commercial), that person must apply for a Development Permit (DP) to commence the use from the new district. 
 If at any time any of the requirements regulating a home occupation are not complied with, the Development Officer or the Municipal Planning Commission may suspend or cancel the home occupation permit.
Benefits of a Business License
  • Free advertising - the Town makes a list of businesses in Crossfield to give out in its information packages.
  • You need a business license to apply for membership in the Better Business Bureau.
  • Many suppliers give discounts to businesses if provided with a copy of a business license.
  • It is illegal to operate without one.
  • You are joining a community of home-based businesses.

Reasons for Town Regulations

  • To track the economic development of the Town of Crossfield.
  • By nature, home-based businesses are difficult to monitor because of their low visibility. Licensing assists in tracking businesses and ensuring they comply with municipal regulations.
  • We all want our neighborhoods to look like a residential community not a commercial district. Licensing allows the Town to implement rules that protect the residential character while allowing opportunities for business development.


For more information or assistance with the Home Occupation Permit or Business License, please contact the Planning Department, or phone 403-946-5565.