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How zoning laws affect your brick-and-mortar or home business

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2020 | Business Law |

Many people in Oklahoma have given up their nine-to-five jobs to create their own businesses. Entrepreneurship is a rewarding experience, but it does come with some obstacles. One of the most pressing is zoning laws. Business people encounter this whether they open up a brick-and-mortar shop downtown or decide to operate their businesses out of their homes. 

According to Oklahoma City’s website, for instance, zoning determines how people can develop the land. While many business owners find these laws to be cumbersome and annoying, they do serve a purpose. Oklahoma City states that the laws are in place to protect the safety, health and overall welfare of the community. It also plays a role in the comprehensive plan for the city. 

As is the case in most areas, Oklahoma City has several zoning districts to section off areas and group them together. These determine permitted uses and affect the densities, setbacks, screening, landscaping and even the size of each of the lots. Because of this, many areas require design approval before business people can move forward. 

When creating a home business, many people believe they have successfully found a loophole. After all, their property should be theirs to use as they please, right? False. Zoning ordinances affect these too. Inc. shares that some areas across the country allow people to have home businesses that may even factor in two employees. Others do not allow business people to have employees at all. 

There is another aspect of homeownership that closely resembles zoning laws and has a similar effect: Homeowner’s Associations. HOAs have the right to restrict certain commercial activities within a community, no matter what the laws allow. These may include owner-occupants only, no vacation rentals and no home businesses that bring in physical customers. This is why it is so important for people to do their research before choosing a business type and location.