Home Occupations & Professional Home Offices

Home occupationWhen

You want to operate an occupation or profession out of your residence. A home occupation or profession is defined below:

Any use customarily conducted entirely within a dwelling and carried on by the occupants thereof, which use is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes and does not change the character thereof, and in connection with which there is no display, no stock in trade and no outside storage of equipment upon the premises.


Some types of work can be conducted at home with little or no effect on the surrounding neighborhood. The home occupation and professional home office regulations of the Kenosha County General Zoning and Shoreland / Floodplain Zoning Ordinance (PDF) are intended to permit residents to engage in customary home occupations and professional home offices, while ensuring that such home occupations and professions will not be a detriment to the character and livability of the surrounding area. The regulations require that the residential viability of the dwelling unit is maintained. A Certificate of Compliance must be issued prior to the establishment of a Customary Home Occupation or Professional Home Office.


It is recommended that you meet with county development staff prior to submitting your letter of operation for a home occupation or professional home office to discuss the particulars of your proposal. Please review the Home Occupation and Professional Home Offices Ordinance (PDF) requirements and follow the Home Occupation and Professional Home Office Procedures.

Permitted & Prohibited Home Occupations

Examples of permitted home occupations include, but are not limited to:

  • Artist Studio
  • Computer services including desk top publishing and word processing
  • Dressmaker or seamstress
  • Family day care with eight 8 or fewer children or adults
  • Gunsmith for service and repair of firearms licensed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, provided no discharging; loading of bullets; preparation of ammunition; sale, trade, lease or rental of firearms and/or ammunition takes place within the premises
  • Hair dresser, provided that no more than two patrons are on the premises at any one time
  • Music or dance instruction
  • Office for construction business (no equipment or material storage)
  • Office for accountant, architect, attorney, broker, engineer, financial advisor, insurance agent, interior designer, land surveyor, marketing analysts, real estate sales, telemarketing or transcriber
  • Taxidermy

Examples of prohibited home occupations include, but are not limited to:

  • Auto body repair or maintenance
  • Auto or small engine repair or maintenance
  • Catering and food services
  • Construction and contractors’ services
  • Firearms and/or ammunition sales, trade, lease or rental
  • Landscaping and lawn services
  • Tattoo and body piercing
  • Tree services
  • Welding and machining

You must submit your letter of operation with the appropriate fee based upon the Kenosha County Department of Planning and Development Fee Schedule for the Certificate of Compliance.

Procedures & Document

Ordinance Requirements


You can anticipate that the review of your proposed operation will take approximately seven to ten working days dependent on whether the application, letter of operation and floor plan contains all pertinent information in relationship to the requirements for a Home Occupation and Professional Home Office as outlined in the Kenosha County General Zoning and Shoreland / Floodplain Zoning Ordinance (PDF).