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Home-Based Business Regulations

The City of Surrey allows most businesses to be operated from home, provided that the zoning regulations for home-based businesses are followed.

Businesses that are not permitted from home are:

  • automotive services,
  • social escort agencies, and
  • tow-truck operations.

Single Family Properties

Businesses operated from residences have specific regulations. For single family dwelling or duplex zoned properties, the following regulations apply:

  • No person other than a member of the immediate family occupying the dwelling may be employed.
  • No goods may be displayed or sold on the premises.
  • No alterations may be made which change the character of the building as a dwelling.
  • The aggregate floor area of all home occupations may not exceed 25% of the area of 1 floor of the principal building regardless of whether the home occupation is, or will be, carried on in the principal building or in an accessory building or structure.
  • No evidence of the home occupation, including storage of materials or illuminated signs, may be visible from outside the confines of the dwelling.

Multi-Residential Properties

For multi-residential zoned properties, such as apartments, townhouses or condominiums, the following regulations apply:

  • The use of the premises shall be confined to the incidental use of a telephone and records pertaining directly to the business.
  • No goods may be displayed or sold on the premises.
  • No alteration may be made which change the character of the dwelling.
  • No signs may be displayed on the premises.
  • The storage of vehicles or equipment associated with a home occupation is not permitted on or near the lot.
  • In the case of rental premises, the business license applicant will be required to obtain the permission of the owner of the premises before a business license can be issued.

Bed & Breakfasts

A Bed & Breakfast is a business operation carried on by the members of a family as a home occupation, providing temporary sleeping accommodations, with or without meals being provided, for a prescribed charge on a daily basis.

  • The maximum length of occupancy by any patron is not more than 30 days in a 12-month period.
  • Not more than 6 patrons shall be accommodated within 1 dwelling unit.
  • Not more than 3 bedrooms shall be used for the bed and breakfast.
  • No cooking facilities or other facilities for the keeping of food shall be provided within the bedrooms intended for the said operation.
  • Parking of cars, trucks, house trailers, campers or boats operated by the patrons shall be provided for within the lot.
  • A business license is required for a bed and breakfast. The following zones permit bed and breakfast operations: A-1, A-2, RA, RA-G, RH, RH-G, RFO and RF
  • Every proprietor of a bed and breakfast must:
    • supply the Bylaw and Licensing Section with the number of bedrooms intended for the operation, the daily rate of charge, and whether meals are to be provided;

    • keep records of all patrons, including dates of arrival and departure;

    • post the daily rate of charge at an easily visible location in the premises; and

    • request inspection of the premises at the time the business license application is made.

Contact our Licensing Office at or 604-591-4370 if you have questions about your home-based business licence application.

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