Work Vans In the Driveway and Municipal Ordinances – Home Based Business Strategy

Well after franchising my company all over the US in 23-states, I sure learned a lot about local politics and witnessed so many archaic rules at every level of government. One rule that we ran into was a city that allowed one of our franchisees a business license to operate his business from his home, but they had a rule that no work vehicle with signage could be parked out front, or in the driveway. Our franchisee built a side carport, but that wasn’t good enough, as the back of his service van could still be seen from the street and it had advertising on it. Okay so, let’s talk, because we came up with a really smart solution.

We went to a sign maker matched the color of the vehicle and made a large magnetic sign that had in part a wood grain like paneling design on it. Before he turned onto his street he would take out that magnet and put it over the back of his van and then pull into the driveway and carport. The code enforcement said that was fine as long as “no signage was visible from the street” or sidewalk. In a similar case in another suburban city outside a large metro city, having already dealt previously with the other issue, we created magnetic advertising signs for the rear of the vehicle while working and large panel sized magnetic signs 4′ by 8′ for both sides that were blank, again matching the color of the van.

With the economy the way it is today there are more and more mobile service businesses, and more people operating out of their home. Some folks use magnetic signs on their vehicles and take them off at night when they get home so they don’t interfere with various ordinances their local municipality may have. If you are going through one of these challenges in your own business in your city, rather than get into a pissing war with the code enforcement officer because I guarantee you, you cannot win that fight, you might try some of the strategies I suggest above.

Further, you should talk to your neighbors in advance, up and down the street to make sure they don’t have a problem with it. If you are not on good terms with one of your neighbors, it’s time to get back on good terms with them because they can make your life hell by calling you in for all sorts of rules and regulations or local municipal ordinances that you may have never heard of and trust me you don’t want to.

Most code enforcement officers will not show up unless they get a complaint, so you can stop most all the complaints in advance if you make good neighbors and keep good friends. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.