No more Dirty Soap! Zoning denied my local business permit

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Anyone who makes Bath & Body products and does not use sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. OR anyone who is interested about switching their current products to more natural versions.

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Original Post

I live in a fairly large suburban township, and wanting to to the right thing I went down to the municipal building to apply for a home based business permit & mercantile license. Long story short, because I listed my office AND kitchen on the permit as the rooms I use for business (I make bath & body products) they denied my application because my home is not zoned for the "manufacturing of cosmetics, drugs, or textiles". They want me to pay $700 with an application for re-zoning my home. Keep in mind I do not use my home as a store, customers do not come here. I sell online on Etsy and at local farmers markets, flea markets, and craft fairs (some within the township and some not). I have a sales tax license and registered LLC with the state, an EIN, and business liability insurance.

Has anyone ever had an issue like this? I'm so stressed about this whole ridiculous ordeal...apparently you can't hand make anything, even pot holders ("textiles"?) without rezoning your home. I'd love to hear from anyone that may have had a similar problem or who is in the know about L&I type legalities. Aaaarrgh!!

Posted at 9:03am Apr 12, 2012 EDT


Frankly, nobody deals with this because "big brother" makes it nearly IMPOSSIBLE for a small, home based business to do anHything "by the books". IMPOSSIBLE!!! $700 here, $300 there, another odd $47.23 for the other thing... its actually disgusting. It makes me SO angry. >:(

Honestly, you've done so much more than 90% of people, you should be congratulated!! This is precisely why small businesses are not a thriving part of America like they once were. Too much crap. I know you've already paid big bucks for your llc and insurance! Most of us can't even do that!

I hear you... government (on any level) is messing with stuff they should just stay the heck out of. People who start making and selling things from home are not trying to make money to buy a yacht to go with their 2nd vacation home!! They're moms trying to pay for preschool, or put food on the table, or college students trying to put a dent in their massive loan debts! We pay our income tax. We might even get a tax license to collect their stupid sales tax. But most of us can't afford all the other extraneous more-$-for-the-government junk.

Just keep doing what you're doing. You're awesome :)

Posted at 9:40pm Apr 14, 2012 EDT

Thank you dear! I've caused quite the stir, ha. My post in business topics is up to 13 pages:

I'm happy to say that because of this thread I was contacted by a reports from the Daily Dot ( that writes exclusively about Pinterest and Etsy, and she's also contacted the municipal building for answers. I'm just disgusted... utterly disgusted. But I have some friends in local government so we'll see if I can get around this... thanks for the support!!

Posted at 5:14pm Apr 16, 2012 EDT

Oh, here's a link to that article on The Daily Dot:

It was on the front page the day it came out :D

Posted at 5:15pm Apr 16, 2012 EDT

Holy cow!!!! You really ARE awesome!! I'm rooting for you (and "us") all the way!!! :D

Posted at 9:02pm Apr 16, 2012 EDT

:D I heard back from the Mayor today (send letters to the mayor, my councilman, committee chair of zoning & licenses, and my state rep who's office is 5 min from me). He said he'd look into it and call me back. Hooray!

Posted at 6:21pm Apr 17, 2012 EDT

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