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Home Business

In Petawawa, we have two definitions for home-based businesses, home occupation, and home industry.  Review the zoning definitions below to determine if your business model is eligible to operate a home-based business.

All home businesses must be registered with the town.  To register your home business, review business registration information and contact our Economic Development Officer.  Depending on the type of product or service you are creating/selling from your home you may also be required to obtain and provide additional documentation and licence information. 

Note: When submitting a business registration for home occupation you will need to provide a sketch of your home layout indicating the location of the business space within your home with some rough details so staff can determine that the area for the business is not more than 25% of the liveable space.  For any business type that allows the public into their space, a fire inspection will also be required.

Home Occupation

Any occupation for gain or support, which is carried on as an accessory use within a dwelling unit and operated by members of the one family residing in the dwelling unit. Such home occupation uses may include a service or repair shop; a personal service shop; the office or consulting room of a doctor, dentist, chiropractor, drug-less practitioner, lawyer, real estate agent, insurance agent, planner, architect, photographer, teacher, music or dance instructor or engineer, but does not include a clinic, a hospital, a nursing home, a tea room, kennel, a taxi business or a small internal combustion engine repair shop.

A home occupation shall be permitted in any Zone provided such home occupation conforms to the following provisions:

  • The use shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling unit and carried on by the person(s) residing in the dwelling unit. One employee, other than a resident of the premises, will be permitted to be employed.
  • There shall be no external display or advertising other than a non-illuminated sign not more than 0.3 of a square metre in area, to indicate to persons outside that any part of the dwelling unit is being used for a purpose other than residential.
  • Not more than 25% of the dwelling unit area shall be used for the purpose of home occupation uses.
  • Such home occupation shall be clearly secondary to the main residential use and there shall be no change to the outside appearance of the dwelling unit or premises or any visible evidence of the conduct of a home occupation.
  • There shall be no storage of equipment, vehicles, or supplies associated with the home occupation outside the dwelling.
  • The use shall not require additional off-street parking spaces for clients or customers of the home occupation.
  • The use shall not generate additional pedestrian or vehicular traffic beyond that normal to the neighbourhood in which it is located.
  • No equipment or process shall be used in a home occupation that creates excessive noise, vibration, glare, fumes, or odour detrimental to the health, safety, and general welfare of persons residing in the neighbourhood.
  • Where instruction is carried on, no more than six pupils are in attendance at any one time.
  • A private garage shall not be used for a home occupation.

Home Industry

A gainful occupation including carpentry, electrical shop, woodworking, window framing, welding, plumbing, machine or auto repair shop, riding stables and a kennel with a maximum of four outdoor runs; a service shop; or a storage building for school buses, boats or snowmobiles and conducted in whole or in part in an accessory building to a single detached dwelling or to a permitted farm use.

Where a home industry is a permitted use (rural designation only), such home industry shall conform to the following provisions:

  • No more than two persons, other than a person(s) residing on the premises, shall be employed in the home industry.
  • There shall be no external display or advertising other than a non-illuminated sign not more than 0.5 square metres in area.
  • Such home industry shall not be a hazardous or obnoxious trade, and shall not create or become a public nuisance.
  • Such home industry is clearly secondary to the main use and does not change the residential character of any dwelling, or the agricultural character of any farm unit.
  • The parking requirements of this By-law shall apply to any home industry use.
  • No goods, wares, or merchandise shall be offered or exposed for sale or rent on the premises unless such goods, wares, and merchandise are either:
    • (a) incidental to the home industry; or
    • (b) arts and crafts produced on the premises; or
    • (c) farm produce resulting from the main use.
  • Not more than 10.0 percent of the gross floor area of the dwelling unit shall be dedicated to the home industry.
  • Accessory buildings may be erected, altered, or used for the purpose of a home industry provided that not more than fifty (50) square metres of the gross floor area of all accessory buildings shall be used for the purpose of a home industry

A Guide to Starting a Home-Based Food Business

If you intend to operate a home-based food business, the provincial government has a useful summary resource entitled selling low-risk food info sheet, which can provide entrepreneurs with assistance.  Please note that you will be required to get approval and a business licence from the local health unit (Renfrew County and District Health Unit) and submit that licence with a business registration to the town. 

Renfrew County and District Health Unit website information on food premise inspections. You can also call 613-732-3629 extension 505 with any questions about food premise inspections.  Here also is a FACT Sheet and checklist with information on Opening a Food Premise.  

Please note that even if you are able to meet the Health Department requirements necessary to open a food business in your home - you must also adhere to the municipal requirements as outlined above.