Because the Navajo Nation is sovereign, individuals and companies are not allowed to purchase land on the reservation. If you want to build and maintain a physical structure on Navajo land you must apply for a Business Site Lease. As an alternative, there are existing sites on the reservation that are already commercially zoned, and some with existing structures with utilities. Go to navajobusiness.org to explore existing “Industrial Site Leases” as an alternative to a new Business Site Lease. If you plan to run a business from your home on the Navajo Nation, depending on the nature of your business (web-based vs. consulting vs. retail) you may be required to apply for a Business Site Lease. Note that you can convert your existing Home Site Lease to a Business Site Lease.
There are seven RBDOs (Regional Business Development Offices) dotted around the Navajo Nation that specialize in assisting new business owners in getting their business site lease. Visit your nearest RBDO to start the process. While the process requires multiple agencies to sign off on documentation, your local RBDO will help manage the majority of the process for you. Please note that a Business Site Lease can take as little as 3 months and as long as many years. The timeline is dependent on a variety of factors, including how busy your local RBDO is and how quickly a Chapter Resolution can be approved by your local governing Chapter. When it comes to the Business Site Leasing process, patience is a virtue.
See below to understand the process.
Interview with the RBDO.
Obtain land consent from Grazing Committee and local Chapter House with help from the RBDO.
Negotiate lease terms through the RBDO.
Obtain land withdrawal with help from the RBDO
Securing Site Clearance with help from the RBDO.
Receive approval from the Navajo Nation through the RBDO.
Like any lease or rental agreement, you must pay your lease on-time in order to keep it. You are also required to submit an annual form that states your intent to continue leasing from the Navajo Nation the following year.