Public Permits

Home Occupancy - (a.k.a.: Home-Based Business)

Apply for a Home Occupation Waiver

Home Occupation:

What is a home occupation?

According to the Zoning Ordinance of the City of St. Louis, a “home occupation” is an accessory use of a dwelling unit that constitutes either entirely or partly the livelihood of a person living in the dwelling unit.

Who can have a home occupation?

Home occupations are allowed in any residence. This provides an opportunity for the residents of any house or apartment to operate a business from their home if they meet the conditions for a home occupation.

Can I have a business in my garage?

No. The Zoning Code limits home occupations to be entirely within the dwelling unit.

Can I have employees?

No. Home occupations are limited to residents of the home. Employees that work at an off-site location and do not come to your home are allowed.

Can I sell a product?

Home occupations are limited to service businesses and specifically exclude any on-premise display, purchase or sale of commodities. If you want to sell or distribute a product, that activity must take place away from your home at a location zoned to allow commercial uses or by mailing or delivering the product to the customer.

Can I keep a pickup truck or van at my home?

If the vehicle meets the definition of a personal passenger vehicle, it can be parked at the home just like any other personal vehicle. A personal passenger vehicle is any car, pickup truck, or van which displays no commercial signage and is designed and facilitates personal passenger travel and has not been externally altered with features not customary to personal usage.

What kind of signage can I use?

Signage attached to the wall of your residence or placed in the yard of your residence is not allowed. You may have removable magnetic signage for your home occupation on a vehicle, but it must be removed when your vehicle is parked at your residence.

Do I need any permits or licenses?

The City of St. Louis requires a Home Occupancy Waiver for all home occupations. The waiver is effective for as long as the home occupation is at that location and doesn’t change character. If you make any structural changes, replumb or rewire your home for the business use, you must also take out appropriate permits and be inspected by the appropriate Inspectors.

In addition, other licenses are required as part of operating a home occupation;
  • The City License Collector will want to know about your home occupation business for purposes of obtaining a Business License to do business in the City of St. Louis, they can be reached at 314-622-4528.
  • The Collector of Revenue will want to know about your home occupation business for the purposes of establishing an Earning Tax Account, they can be reached at 314-622-4111.
  • We highly recommend that you consult with our Business Assistance Center for step by step assistance as you go through the permitting and licensing process of starting or expanding a home occupation, they can be reached at 314-622-4120.

Short Term Lender License

Apply for a Short Term Lender License

New Ordinance: The "City of St. Louis Short-Term Lending Code"

  • You can download a copy of the entire ordinance here

You will need the following items in order to complete this online application:
  • A signed and notarized copy of the application will be required to be uploaded. You can find a link to the application here
  • A copy of your Commercial Occupancy Permit issued by the City of St. Louis Zoning Department will also be required to be uploaded
  • A copy of a Certificate of Good Standing will be required to uploaded if you are registered with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office or an Authorization to do Business is required if your organization is not registered with the Missouri Secretary of State. Both of these documents can be obtained from the Missouri Secretary of State’s office and should be issued to you no more than 30 days prior to your application date.

What if we have more than 1 location?
  • Short-Term Lending Licenses are issued per location. You will need to apply for a license for each individual location that you operate within the City of St. Louis
  • You can use the same signed and notarized application for each location, if the business organization reflected in it applies to that location.

How long is a Short-Term Lender License valid?
  • The Short-Term Lender License expires December 31st of each calendar year.
  • Be sure to provide a valid email address below where license renewal notifications can be sent

Housing Conservation

Request a Housing Conservation Inspection

Housing Conservation:

What happens during a Housing Conservation Inspection?

Inspectors examine a building's exterior, interior and interior common areas. An occupant load for the premise will also be established. (Please note that a "family" is one or more persons living as a single housekeeping unit. No more than three unrelated persons may live in the same dwelling).

Water and all utilities must be operable at the time of inspection, and access to the basement must be provided.

If a Certificate of Inspection is issued with minor violations, or if major violations are found, then the property owner has 30 days to make the necessary repairs.

Extensions may be granted due to weather or other specific causes.

When is an inspection required?
  • Sale of a Single-Family Residence:
    We recommend that you schedule your inspection before you sell (or even before you list).
  • Rental of a Single-Family or in Multi-Unit Dwelling:
    • Generally, units must be inspected before you rent or sell.
    • A Certificate of Inspection is valid for 12 months.
    • If occupancy changes inside of that 12 month period, then a new inspection is not required.
    • If there is a change of occupancy beyond the 12 months, then a new inspection is required.
  • Sale of a Multi-Unit Dwelling:
    • Certificates are valid for each unit in a multi-unit dwelling beyond the sale if they were issued within the 12 months before the sale.
    • If a certificate is expired and there is a new owner, then new inspections will be required.

** No inspection is required if there is a change of ownership of a single of two family dwelling as a result of inheritance or transfer of title to a 1st degree relative.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at 314-622-3313

Electrical - Ameren Safety Inspection

Request an Ameren Safety Inspection

Ameren Safety Inspection: This is a Re-Inspection for Disconnected Services. Re-Inspection of an electrical system that has been disconnected for 6 months or more is required before the system can be energized by the electric utility. This is referred to as an Ameren Hook Up or Safety Inspection. This is required to assure that your electrical system is still in good working order and meets current Property Maintenance Code. The cost of this inspection is $30.00.


Request a Mechanical Inspection

City Mechanical Inspection: The City’s Mechanical Section offers this inspection service to owners of properties located in the City of St. Louis. A mechanical inspector will meet you to inspect the mechanical systems of your property and give you their professional opinion and recommendations. The cost of this inspection is $40.00.


Request a Plumbing Inspection

City Plumbing Inspection: The City’s Plumbing Section offers this inspection service to owners of properties located in the City of St. Louis. A plumbing inspector will meet you to inspect the plumbing systems of your property and give you their professional opinion and recommendations. The cost of this inspection is $40.00.