Home-Based Businesses

Allowable Home-Based Businesses: Application Form and Process

Many businesses can be established with the administrative approval of a Home-based Business Permit. Additional flexibility for certain business types may be available through the special permit process. For information regarding allowable businesses, limitations, the application form and processing information:

Home-based Business Permits must be filed electronically and are granted by the Zoning Permits Section of the Dept. of Planning & Development.

Applicants must first register for a free PLUS account.
  1. Once registered and logged into PLUS, select the Zoning tab from the top menu to create an application.
  2. The home-based business permit application can be found under the Zoning Administration Division tab.
Questions about PLUS should be directed to PLUSSupport@FairfaxCounty.gov or 703-324-2222, TTY 711.

Limitations and Considerations

  • Customers or clients are not allowed to come to the home with this administrative permit (except for teaching activities associated with a small health and exercise facility or specialized instruction center). To have customers or clients, submission of a special permit application for approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals is required.
  • A home-based business does not include any other accessory use defined in the Zoning Ordinance, such as a home day care facility or short-term lodging. In addition, teleworking is not a home-based business.
  • Home-based food production is limited to certain foods. All home-based businesses that involve the production of approved foods must submit a Home-Based Food Production Supplemental Form.
  • A limited riding or boarding stable is not considered a home-based business. To apply for an administrative permit, please submit a Limited Riding and Boarding Administrative Permit application.

Note: through the Special Permit process, it may be possible to modify some of the limitations associated with the administrative approval of a home-based business.

Related Resources

Summary of the Adopted Home-Based Business Provisions

Home-Based Business Frequently Asked Questions

For Additional Assistance

Please contact the Zoning Permits Section by phone at 703-222-1082 or by email.

  • Sometimes the uniqueness of a business concept may not fit clearly within an existing use definition, and you will be asked to submit a Use Determination Request to the Zoning Administrator.
  • Based on the description of your use, the Zoning Administrator will determine what zoning designation matches your use and whether it can be permitted as a home-based business.
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