Home Occupations

A home occupation is any business that operates out of a dwelling, and is allowed under Cochrane’s Land Use Bylaw provided it meets all bylaw requirements. The basic rules for all home occupations are:

  • No outside storage of goods and materials related to the business
  • No nuisances by way of noise, vibration, smoke, dust, fumes, odours, heat, glare, or electrical or radio interference, detectable beyond the property limits
  • Maximum of 30% of the gross floor area of the principal dwelling
  • No businesses that require utility or mechanical servicing beyond what would generally be expected for a residential use, or businesses that require a significant amount of cash or valuables to be stored on site

There are two types of home occupations, which are differentiated by whether clients are visiting the business or not. Read more about the types of home occupations and the requirements for each below.  

Home Occupation- Class 1 

  • A home occupation-class 1 is a home business which does not involve any client or customer visits to the dwelling and does not have any employees working on-site which do not reside in the home. 
  • A home occupation- class 1 requires a business license to operate but does not require a development permit.

Home Occupation- Class 2

  • A home occupation- class two is a home business which involves up to six (6) client or customer visits to the dwelling per day and involves no more than one (1) employee working on-site who does not reside in the Dwelling Unit.
  • In addition to the two (2) parking stalls required for the dwelling, home occupation-class 2’s also require one (1) additional stall for the business, and 1 per employee that resides outside the home.
  • A home occupation-class 2 requires both a business license and development permit to operate. 


For Home Occupation- Class 2's, a  home occupation development permit application form must be completed in full and submitted along with the supporting information and processing fee. We may require more detailed information and studies, at your cost, depending upon the size, complexity and potential impacts of your proposed development. Use the checklist to make sure you have included all the required information.

Next Step

Once your application is submitted, town staff will review it and the supporting documents and determine if there is sufficient information to make a decision, and circulate the completed application to various town departments and outside agencies for comment. The town development officer will render a decision on the application as soon as possible, within 40 days of receipt of the completed application or by such time extension as granted by the development officer.

Proposal Acceptance or Denial

After reviewing the development proposal, comments and recommendations, the development officer may approve the application with or without conditions. The application may also be refused, with reasons stated.


Any decision of the Development Authority is subject to appeal to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB). A Notice of Appeal form, (available from Town staff), must be completed and filed, along with a processing fee, with the Secretary of the Board within 21 days of the date shown on the Notice of Decision (in the case of a refusal), or 21 days of the Notice of Decision appearing on the Town's Public Notice's page, in the case of an approval.

Application Fees

  • Home Occupation Development Permit  - $250


We strongly advise you to discuss your proposal with planning as soon as possible. We can provide early guidance, describe the process, and ensure that you are heading in the right direction

Once your application is approved, please fill out a Business License Application.