Home Businesses

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Businesses

A home business may be located in any residence within the City. The home business is required to adhere to a set of regulations that limit the commercial activity at the residence, thereby reducing impacts to the neighborhood through noise, traffic, oversized vehicles, or signs. A City of Redmond Home Business License is required for all home businesses. The following is a list of most frequently asked questions.

Where can a home business be located?

A home business may be located within any residential zone in the Redmond city limits. Presently, there are home businesses within the Willows, Sammamish Valley, Education Hill, North Redmond, Grass Lawn, Downtown, Bear Creek, Viewpoint, and Overlake neighborhoods

Can I operate more than one business out of my house?

Yes, providing that these additional businesses adhere to the home business regulations and do not impact the neighborhood.

What types of home businesses are currently in the City?

Redmond currently has over 800 home businesses - they range from software development to gift basket services and include desktop publishing, marketing services, legal offices, medical transcribing, hair cutting, and family day care.

Can a home business store goods, materials, or products outside their home?

No - a home business must be conducted wholly within the home or garage/accessory structure area, with the exception of play equipment related to a home daycare business.

Do I need to occupy the home where my business is located?

Yes, residency is a required element of conducting a home business.

How many employees can I have working at my home business?

If they are family members residing at the residence, there is no limit. However, only one person outside the family group may work at the residence. Family day care providers may have up to two additional employees.

Does the City restrict certain materials from entering my neighborhood?

Yes, The City does not allow any toxic, explosive, flammable, combustible, corrosive, radioactive, or other restricted materials to be stored or used on the site. The City is careful to review this potential problem area.

Can a home business build an illuminated storefront entrance or display a sign?

No. A home business must maintain and not change the neighborhood's appearance and residential character. The City prohibits exterior alterations, parking expansion, the creation of separate entrances, the use of any signs (other than one business related vehicle), and the exterior storage of materials. If a business owner is not willing to comply with these restrictions, the applicant will be encouraged to seek a business space within a commercial or industrial zone.

How many customers can a home business generate?

No combination of visitors, customers, and/or deliveries may exceed two per hour for a total of eight per day.  Businesses that are seeking more traffic or parking are encouraged to locate at an existing commercial location.

Can I operate an auto repair business out of my home?

No. The City does not permit home-based businesses to perform auto/boat repair, body work, windshield repair, welding, detailing, or vehicle painting. "Office-only" motor vehicle related home businesses are allowed.

Is there a limit on the number of business vehicles I can operate in my home business?

Yes, no more than one vehicle may be operated from the premises. Taxicab, van shuttle, and limousine services, for example, cannot be based from a residence. In addition, vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds may not be operated out of the home or park on the property or adjacent streets.

Who reviews home business licenses?

Home businesses are reviewed by Finance, Planning, Building, Fire, and Natural Resources.

How do I know if the type of business I want to start is allowed in my home?

Please contact the Planner-On-Call by telephone at 425-556-2494, or by email at planneroncall@redmond.gov.

How can I apply for a home business license?

Please contact the Business Licensing Office at 425-556-2193, or by email at businesslicense@redmond.gov; they will be able to assist you.