Regulations and Guidelines for Home-Based Business

The Village is proud that many residents operate home-based businesses. In order to maintain the residential nature of Morton Grove’s neighborhoods and ensure that home-based businesses do not negatively impact their neighbors, the Village enforces several ordinances to regulate home-based businesses.

This guide is intended to give an overview of the most common regulations that impact home-based businesses. For complete information, please review the Morton Grove Municipal Code.

  • All businesses, including home-based businesses, require an annual business license. The fee is $100. The annual licenses are renewed April 30th of each year. Business license forms can be downloaded from the Village website or picked up at the Village Hall (Finance Department).
  • The business and all related activity or storage must be conducted completely within the residence or enclosed accessory structure.
  • The outside display of goods and the outside storage of equipment, materials, or motor vehicles utilized exclusively in the home-based business is prohibited.
  • The business must not generate noise, vibration, glare, fumes, odors, noxious matter, electrical interference, or any nuisance beyond that which normally occurs in the residential neighborhood.
  • State law prohibits food storage and food preparation businesses from being located in a private home.
  • Day-care homes must be licensed by the State Department of Children and Family Services prior to operations. Contact DCFS at (877) 746-0829 or for more information.
  • Liquor licenses for sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for home-based businesses.
  • The business must not generate more traffic than an average residence in the area; this prohibition includes the dispatching of employees from the premises.
  • The business must be incidental to the residential purposes of the home. No more than 250 square feet can be exclusively devoted to the home-based business.
  • The owner/operator of the business must reside on the premises.
  • Employees are limited to persons in residence on the premises and to one (1) non-resident person.
  • No signs, display, or activity will be allowed that will indicate from the exterior that the home is being used for any purpose other than that of a residence.
  • No alteration of any kind will be allowed to the principal building which changes its residential character. This includes the enlargement of public utility services or the installation of special equipment attached to walls, floor or ceilings.
  • Only mechanical equipment which is permissible for purely domestic or household purposes will be allowed in the conduct of the business.
  • The sale of goods and services that require receipt or delivery of merchandise, goods or equipment by other than a passenger motor vehicle, parcel or letter carrier mail service is prohibited.
  • No commercial dumpsters will be allowed.
  • All motor vehicles registered to a local address must display a Morton Grove vehicle sticker. The cost varies depending on the vehicle size. Stickers are renewed April 30th of each year.
  • The Village also regulates commercial vehicles that are located in residential areas. No more than one commercial vehicle is permitted to be parked on the property.
  • B and D plate commercial vehicles parked or stored in the open are limited to 8 feet in total height, including any roof mounted equipment or accessories.
  • F plate commercial vehicles and those taller than 8 feet must be parked or stored in a fully enclosed garage.
  • H plate and larger commercial vehicles are prohibited from parking in residential districts.
  • Vehicle Signage: Advertising or business designations affixed to the vehicle must be less than 40% of the area of the side, front, or rear of the vehicle for vehicles parked in a rear or side yard in a screened area; or if allowed in the front yard, no more than 20% of the area of the side, front, or rear of the vehicle.
      • The signage percentage is calculated independently for each side, the front, and the rear of the vehicle.
      • Advertising or business designations must be confined below a line 6 feet off the ground.
      • The area of the advertising or business designation must be the largest rectangle necessary to completely enclose all of the characters.
      • The area of the side of a commercial vehicle is measured from the rear edge of the driver's compartment door to the rear edge of the vehicle, and measured from the top of the vehicle, excluding roof top appurtenances, to the centerline of the tires.
      • The area of the front and rear of the vehicle is measured between the vehicle sides, and measured from the top of the vehicle, excluding roof top excluding roof appurtenances, and the centerline of the tires.
  • Businesses with burglar alarms must register with the Morton Grove Police Department. The registration is renewed December 31st of each year. Call (847) 470-5208 for more information.

Consider joining the Morton Grove Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MGCCI) to become involved with your fellow business owners and to take advantage of shared advertising opportunities and business-to-businesses networking events. Learn more at

Please refer any questions concerning home-based businesses to the Department of Community and Economic Development at 847-663-3063 or [email protected].

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