Are home-based businesses allowed in the Unincorporated Area of Broward County?
Yes, but under limited circumstances as a conditional use. Generally, commercial activities are not allowed to be conducted from homes located in a residential zoning district. However, the county does allow a small portion of a residence to be used as a home office only.
What is the main difference between a home-based business and a home office?
A home-based business or home occupation typically involves the use of the residence as the primary business location where customers and storage of business related goods and items at the residence are allowed. In the unincorporated area, a home office only involves the use of the residence by persons residing at the dwelling unit involving only written correspondence, phones, computers, or other common office equipment.
Can I have a home office in my home for any type of business?
No. Since a home office is a conditional use, only businesses that do not require the storage of merchandise or equipment related to the business and do not require customers or patrons to visit the home are allowed. Examples of businesses that may not be allowed to have a residential home office would be mobile vendors where the residence would be used to store commercial trucks and merchandise or personal services requiring customers to visit the residence. Other examples of businesses that would not be allowed include, but are not limited to the following: cabinet making, aerobic exercise studios, gyms, retail sales from residence, tattoo service, tow truck services, private clubs, and medical, dental, Chiropractic, or veterinary clinics.
Can I have more than one commercial vehicle at my property if I operate my business from my residence?
No. Since only home offices are allowed to be located in a residence if a Certificate of Use is issued by the Broward County Zoning Official, any evidence of the operation of a business from a residence is prohibited. Any commercial vehicle must be parked or stored according to the Broward County Code of Ordinances.
Why does the County restrict me from operating a home-based business at my property?
In order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of residents of adjacent properties in a residential neighborhood, unauthorized commercial activities are prohibited. However, certain uses, such as a private home office may be a harmonious use under special conditions, contribute to the community as a whole and comply with the policies and objectives of the Broward County Land Use Plan while allowing residents necessary flexibility.
Can I display a sign at my home to advertise my business?
No. No sign or any other evidence of the existence of the home office may be visible from the exterior of a residence or any dwelling unit.
My business has employees that need to meet at the office in the mornings and use my driveway to park their personal vehicles – is this allowed?
No. Because there can be no sign or evidence of the existence of the home office from the exterior of the residence, increased traffic at a property would not be allowed.
How much of my residence may be used for a home office? Only 10% of any residential unit may be used for a home office and the office must be clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling unit for residential purposes. Additionally, non-habitable room areas of the property such as a garage, utility room, bathrooms, storage areas, and rooms not accessible from the interior of the dwelling unit may not be used for a home office.
What is required for permission to have a home office?
If you reside in the Unincorporated Area of Broward County, a Certificate of Use for a Home Office may be obtained from the Broward County Permitting, Licensing, and Consumer Protection Division by submitting an application and required fee to the Zoning Section , located at Governmental Center West, 1 N. University Drive, Bldg. B, Plantation, FL 33324. The office hours are 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday thru Friday. Please call 954-765-4400 for additional information and requirements prior to visiting the office to ensure that your application will be able to be processed properly.
What is the penalty for not having a Certificate of Use for a home office prior to establishing my business at my residence?
- $150 for the first offense
- $300 for repeat violations
Fines may be higher if the violation continues in violation of any order issued at an administrative hearing.