Starting a Home Business

The City of St. Albert Land Use Bylaw establishes regulations for home businesses located in residential areas. Home businesses within St. Albert are classified as either home offices or home occupations.

All operators of home-based businesses are required to obtain a yearly business license. A development permit and a building permit will also be required if you intend to operate a home occupation. Building Inspection Services will inspect the business location prior to issuing the business license.

A home office does not require a development permit. A Business Licence Application  and Home Occupation Questionnaire must, however, be completed and submitted to the Business License Department. It does, however, need to be contained within one room of a dwelling unit for a business involving only office functions and operated by a permanent resident of the dwelling. A home office has no customer visits or regular deliveries.

A home occupation is defined as an accessory development in a dwelling unit or its garage for a business operated by a permanent resident of the dwelling unit. Operation of animal service, automobile service, automotive specialty, auto wrecker or dry cleaner businesses are not permitted as home occupations. Home occupations are discretionary uses and require the completion of a Development Permit Application and Home Occupation Questionnaire.

Home Occupations are subject to the following regulations:

  • No advertising signs outside the dwelling or garage are permitted unless the sign complies with Schedule C - Sign Regulations of the Land Use Bylaw.
  • No materials, commodities or finished products associated with the home occupation shall be stored outside the dwelling or garage.
  • No mechanical equipment, unless commonly used in a home, shall be used in connection with the occupation.
  • Only residents of the dwelling can be employed in the business.
  • If a person provides instruction as a home occupation, no more than five students or customers shall be in attendance at the site at any one time.
  • The home occupation shall be operated as a secondary use only and shall not change the principal character or external appearance of the home or garage.

A Home Occupation shall not be permitted if:

  • It produces offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odour, heat, glare, electrical or radio disturbance.
  • A development officer determines that such a use would be more appropriately located in a commercial or industrial district having regard for potential traffic generation and potential interference with the residential character of the area.

Application Checklist for Development Permit / Business License

To receive a timely decision on your application, please ensure that your application is clear, legible and accurate. If any part of your application is missing, unreadable or inaccurate, your application will be deemed incomplete and a decision will not be rendered.


  1. Business Licence Application
  2. Home Occupation Questionnaire
  3. A letter stating in your own words:
    • description of your business
    • how you will advertise your business
    • number of employees
    • parking needs, type and use of vehicles associated with the business
    • number of clients visiting your homes and specifically when they will visit
    • why you prefer to operate your business from your home as opposed to in commercial industrial space
  4. Total Fees: $264.50
    Application Fee $172.00
    Building Permit Fee$88.00
    Safety Code Fee$4.50

* Please note that these rates may change without notice.

Filing an Appeal

If your application is approved, the city must notify your neighbours within a 30-metre radius of your property. If any neighbours have a concern regarding the approved development, they have a right to appeal the approval to the City of St. Albert Subdivision and Appeal Board (SDAB). You also have the right to appeal any development condition attached to the approval. If no appeals are received within 14 days from receipt of notification, the home occupation may commence.

If the application is refused, you may appeal the development officer's decision to SDAB by forwarding a submission to:

* There's an additional fee to appeal the development officer's decision to SDAB.

The business hours for both departments are Monday to Friday, from 8 am - 5 pm.

Related Pages

Last edited: April 21, 2023