Starting a home-based business

Assured Angel By Assured Angel, 20th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Starting A Business

"Do not despise the days of small beginnings" says the Good Book. When starting a business from scratch, this should certainly be the case. Long days, financial uncertainty and sacrifices can mean that even the smallest success can be overlooked. So setting up your business from home is something that should be considered. Many successful companies started out this way and have gone on to succeed beyond all expectation. Why shouldn't yours?

Using your home as your workplace

Many people, when setting up a business, decide to work from home. Avoiding stressful commutes and saving money on expensive journies to work are two of the strongest reasons why working from home is a such an excellent option for someone who is just starting out. However, there are special rules for people who use their home as their workplace. If you decide to do this, there are a few things that need to be considered before you do and this article will look at them. This article refers to just some of the issues from a British perspective but they may well be applicable all over the world. So here goes..

Firstly, remember that your mortgage and/or tenancy agreements may have terms which may prevent you from running your business from the house. It is imperative that you check before doing anything. In addition to this, you will also need to look at your home insurance to make sure that you have adequate cover for running a business from your house. It is possible that you will need to add extra terms and conditions to make sure that your home is protected.

Secondly, running your business from your house does not mean that you escape health and safety rules and regulations. If you work from from home, you must carry out a health and safety assessment. You as your own employer means that you have to ensure that you are in a safe, clean and comfortable working environment and that all your equipment is up to standards. This is not just for your protection but for the safety of any visitors, employees and other people that may be onsite in your house. This is especially the case if your company deals with dangerous or hazardous substances.

If during the course of running your business, you need to make changes to your home in order to expand, you will need to seek planning permission. There are some key questions that you need to ask yourself. They are:

Will the house be mainly for business or still mainly residential?
Will any surrounding noise/sights and smells disturb your neighbours and surroundings?
Will the business mean that more people such as visitors be coming to your residence?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you will need to get permission from the local council. If you do not do this, then you stand the risk of being heavily penalised. Furthermore, there are tax considerations. If you have a room or buildings on your property that you do work in, then you may be liable for capital gains tax (a tax levied on assets that are sold). However, you may be able to get tax relief on domestic bills for the areas of the house that you need for the business. One way that you can do this is to install a separate phone line so that it is easier to claim the full tax relief. Also, you can claim VAT back on equipment that you buy for the business. If you pay council tax, then you will be liable to pay business rates on the parts of the house used to run the business and council tax on the rest. You will need to check with the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) for advice and support.

So there you have it. Working from home has its advantages but you have to do the necessary research and check with the relevant authorities to make sure you and your business are protected. I would be grateful if you could tell me how it works where you are, if it is any different cos I am always keen to learn these things - as they say Knowledge is Power.

Tags

Home-Based Business, Start Up, Start Your Business, Starting A Business, Starting In Business

Meet the author

author avatar Assured Angel
Talented and experienced freelance writer/ businesswoman with a legal background whose engaging, confident but professional attitude is reflected in her writing.
I have also written extensively (over 100 articles) and continue to do soon many subj...(more)

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Comments

author avatar drelayaraja
26th Jun 2010 (#)

Very informative :) Congrats for being the author of the day.......

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author avatar Assured Angel
26th Jun 2010 (#)

Thank you so much. I am honoured.

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
1st Jul 2010 (#)

Great article and good advice.

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