Apply for a home occupation permit

If you run a business from your home, you need a home occupation permit. You only have to apply once and you don’t need to renew it.

If you work from home for a company you don’t own, this does not apply to you.

Need to know

  • Costs $100
  • It takes about 2 weeks to process
  • You can apply at the same time as a business license

Before you start

What’s not allowed

Before you apply, make sure you’re allowed to get a permit. You cannot have a home business if it negatively changes the residential character of your neighborhood. This means:

  • You can’t have any signage or display merchandise.
  • You can’t have any outside employees in your home.
  • Clients or customers cannot visit you in your home.
  • You can’t store merchandise outside.
  • Business advertisements cannot use the address.

If your business involves cooking food, you need to comply with the cottage food operations regulations. You’ll also need a permit from the Alameda County Environmental Health. If this applies to you, contact us.

These businesses are not allowed as home occupations:

  • Automobile mechanic or garage
  • Retail general merchandise
  • Sale or storage of scrap metals, salvaged materials, or garbage (other than garbage normally associated with a residence)
  • Sale, production or marketing of pornographic publications, films, or products
  • Massage business
  • Manufacture of products requiring heavy machinery

Where the business can be located

You can only use 1 room in your home and it cannot be the garage. You will need to provide a diagram of your home showing the room where you will run your business. This can be a rough floor plan sketch, it doesn’t have to be a blueprint.

Neighbor notification

You also need to notify your neighbors and have them sign a form. This includes all adjacent neighbors, including across the street and behind your residence. You need to include the signed forms with your application.

If you cannot get their signature, you can request that we notify them. We will give them 15 days to respond, so this will delay the timeline.

Review the full home occupation rules. (Section 17.44.020 on page 55)


1. Notify your neighbors

2. Complete the application form

  • Create a sketch of your floor plan and indicate what room you will run your business from.
  • Complete and sign the application.

3. Submit your application

Submit your application form, signed neighborhood notification form, and floor plan sketch to the City Clerk’s office by mail or drop it off in-person.

City Clerk
City of Piedmont
120 Vista Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611

4. Pay fees

Pay fees by cash, check, or credit card.

  • If you want to pay by credit card, indicate that on your application. We will email you an invoice.
  • Credit card payments are subject to a processing fee of 2.9% plus a $0.30 charge for each transaction.

What’s next

If we have any questions, we will contact you. If your permit is approved, we will notify you by email.

After you are approved for a home occupation permit, you can now get a business license.


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