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Business license zoning and home businesses information

Business license zoning and home businesses information

Business premises located within unincorporated King County, outside the city limits of any city within King County, must be compatible with the zoning or permitted uses allowed. Regulated businesses must comply with all zoning requirements of each location. Zoning requirements may differ from location to location.

A lot of zoning information is available online that can help customers determine if a business or prospective business is compatible with zoning or permitted uses in unincorporated King County, including: Check jurisdiction and zoning, Department of Local Services, Permitting Division (Permitting) FAQ customer information bulletins (see Zoning Code bulletins) and King County Code Title 21A, which is the Zoning Code for unincorporated King County. To request zoning assistance from Permitting, call customer service at 206-296-6600 or email

Zoning and Home Businesses

Unless a home business in unincorporated King County is engaged in a regulated activity, no special license is required (Title 6* of the King County Code (KCC)). However, the business must be in compliance with applicable home occupation zoning requirements. Those requirements include provisions so that the business does not adversely affect the surrounding area. Below are zoning guidelines for home occupations (KCC 21A.30.080*).

Residents of a dwelling unit may conduct one or more home occupations as accessory activities, provided:

  1. The total area devoted to all home occupation(s) shall not exceed twenty percent of the floor area of the dwelling unit. Areas with attached garages and storage buildings shall not be considered part of the dwelling unit for purposes of calculating allowable home occupation area but may be used for storage of goods associated with the home occupation;

  2. In urban residential zones, all the activities of the home occupation(s) shall be conducted indoors, except for those related to growing or storing of plants used by the home occupation(s);

  3. No more than one non-resident shall be employed by the home occupation(s);

  4. The following activities shall be prohibited in urban residential zones only:

    1. Automobile, truck and heavy equipment repair;

    2. Autobody work or painting;

    3. Parking and storage of heavy equipment; and

    4. Storage of building materials for use on other properties;

  5. In addition to required parking for the dwelling unit, on-site parking shall be provided as follows:

    1. One stall for a non-resident employed by the home occupation(s); and

    2. One stall for patrons when services are rendered on-site;

  6. Sales shall be limited to:

    1. Mail order sales; and

    2. Telephone sales with off-site delivery;

  7. Services to patrons shall be arranged by appointment or provided off-site;

  8. The home occupation(s) may use or store a vehicle for pickup of materials used by the home occupation(s) or the distribution of products from the site, provided:

    1. No more than one such vehicle shall be allowed;

    2. Such vehicle shall not park within any required setback areas of the lot or on adjacent streets; and

    3. Such vehicle shall not exceed a weight capacity of one ton; and

  9. The home occupation(s) shall not use electrical or mechanical equipment that results in:

    1. A change to the occupancy type of the structure(s) used for the home occupation(s);

    2. Visual or audible interference in radio or television receivers, or electronic equipment located off-premises; or

    3. Fluctuations in line voltage off-premises.

  10. Uses not allowed as home occupations may be allowed as a home industry pursuant to K.C.C. 21A.30. (Ord. 11621 § 93, 1994: 10870 § 536, 1993).

For more information, see King County Code 21A.30.080 and .090*, or contact the Permitting customer service at 206-296-6600 or email

*Note: To view PDFs, free software from Adobe is required. Word documents require Microsoft software. For assistance, see helpful hints.

To request this information in alternate formats for people with disabilities, call 206-296-6600 or TTY Relay: 711.