Can I start a home-based business?

The purpose of permitting this accessory activity is to allow certain small scale quasi-business undertakings by the dwelling occupant that will not influence the immediate neighborhood and would not be economically feasible if conducted in a totally business setting.

View the application form (PDF) to permit a home-based business.


  • The activity offered shall meet the following criteria:
    • Be conducted solely by an occupant of the dwelling unit with no more than one non resident employee on the premises and entirely within the dwelling unit, specifically excluding any area designated as a garage
    • Not presently any external evidence of the activity including a separate entrance or parking of any vehicle which displays any evidence, however, a sign shall be permitted no larger than that specified in the sign regulation identifying the activity
    • Not utilize more than five hundred square feet of the gross area of the dwelling unit
    • No equipment or process used for the activity shall create:
      • Electrical interference (visual or audible) with any radio, television, or telephone
      • Fluctuations in electrical line voltage off the premises
      • Fumes
      • Glare
      • Hazardous waste
      • Noise
      • Vibration
    • Not generate greater vehicular traffic than would ordinarily be associated with the dwelling location or attract more than four persons to the dwelling at any one time.
    • Only individual or unique physical items or services shall be created or provided. Sales associated directly with a service provided or a good produced directly on premises may occur at the premises provided the sale of such goods on premises shall not be advertised or constitute the primary business pursuit
    • Not involve repairing any item which would be brought to the dwelling
  • Following is a list of business pursuit categories which may be pursued in residential units provided they do not violate any of the criteria:
    • Culinary activities such as: baking, cooking, and preserving food
    • Fine Arts such as:
      • Crafts
      • Model making
      • Painting
      • Photography
      • Sculpturing
      • Weaving
    • Office activity such as:
      • Computer programming
      • Consulting
      • Drafting
      • Telephone answering
      • Tutoring
      • Writing


  • A Residential Unit Business approval shall be issued for a 90 day trial period during which time the activity may be observed to make an initial evaluation possible.
  • Upon issuance, the Planning and Zoning Department shall send a copy of the approved license to abutting property owners along with a letter explaining the license. The adjoining property owners have the right to request a further review by the Planning and Zoning Commission during the ninety trial period.
  • If a review has been requested, all abutting property owners shall be notified of the time and date of the Planning and Zoning Commission review.
  • If no objections by abutters have been filed during said ninety day period, the issued license may be permanent subject to licensee's compliance of the approved uses contained herein.

Show All Answers

1. I am looking for a location for my business in Middletown, can the Planning Department help?
2. I am starting a new business in Middletown, what should I do at the Department of Planning, Conservation and Development?
3. Where can I set up my business?
4. What are the allowed uses of my property?
5. What kind of signs are not permitted Downtown?
6. What is te maximum height a sign can be?
7. What parking requirements affect my business?
8. Are there any programs offered by the City that can help my business?
9. I want to get a new sign or change the current sign for my business, what do I need to know?
10. Can I start a home-based business?