Working from Home
2.1 million businesses are operated from homes in the UK, with 1400 starting each week. The main reason is obviously to keep running costs to a minimum. There are pros and cons to this arrangement. Pros are flexibility and family friendly, cons being unable to escape from work and lack of privacy.
If you are considering running a venture from your home then there are some points to consider:
- Does the nature of the business require meeting customers or suppliers? If so then increased volume in traffic and lack of parking can cause problems with neighbours
- Lack of commercial address – having business premises may still be regarded as important to some clients
- Working from home requires lots of self discipline
- Check your mortgage agreement, are you allowed to run a business from home?
- If you are a tenant you must get your landlord’s permission before starting a business from home
- Check your home insurance policy for any restrictions on running a business from home
- Contact your local council as you may have to pay business rates
- There may be a need for planning permission to adapt the home for business purposes
- You may need a grading licence to operate
- You may need to register with the local authority before commencing trading – especially if preparing food or working with animals
- Check what level of insurance cover is needed
- If using part of your home exclusively for business use it may become liable for Capital Gains Tax when selling in the future
In addition security should be assessed. Are you storing anything valuable or a large amount of stock. If this is the case extra locks and/or a burglar alarm may be worth considering.