Things to Consider When Setting up a Business from Your Home
by Mashum Mollah Starting a Business 30 November 2019
Even if you own your home outright, you cannot necessarily do whatever you want either with it or in it. If you have a mortgage or rent, then there are likely to be even stricter limits on what you can actually do.
With that in mind, here are some people who might need to know about your plans to set up a business from home, why they might be interested and how to get them on board.
Things to Consider When Setting up a Business from Your Home:
Your local authority:
A local authority’s job is, basically, to manage their area so that, insofar as possible, everyone is kept happy. Traditionally, this has meant separating commercial areas from residential areas, although there has long been some degree of flexibility here (think of flats above commercial property).
These days, there is a lot more scope for mixing commercial activities with residential housing and as long as your business is unlikely to cause a disturbance to your neighbours, they’ll probably be fine with it, so the key to getting them on board is to show how you’ll be able to run your business without causing unreasonable inconvenience to anyone else. You may, however, have to designate part of your property as a business location and pay business tax rates on it.
Your insurance company:
If you are keeping business equipment and/or supplies in your own home, then your insurance company will need to know about it. They will also need to know if your business will increase the number of people who may enter your home.
You may also need separate insurance for business purposes, such as public liability. In general, if you’ve received the appropriate permissions from the relevant people, your insurance company will probably be fine with it, although you may have to pay extra.
Basically, your landlord is going to want to know if you are doing anything which could get them into trouble with the law as they are the person who is ultimately responsible for what goes on inside the house.
They’re also going to want to know about anything which could increase wear-and-tear on the property and/or increase their expenses in any other way. The way to get them on board is to be prepared to demonstrate what your business will mean for them and how you will compensate them for any extra expense.
Your mortgage lender:
Your mortgage lender is in a similar position to your landlord. Until you have bought your property outright they have a stake in it and will want to make sure that they can get their money back if the property needs to be sold, hence they may not welcome any alterations you may make to it or any activities which create any extra risk to the property. The way to get them on board is to show that your activities will not reduce the value of the home to the point where their capital is at risk.
There may be covenants on your home restricting what you can do with it so that you do not cause an inconvenience to your neighbours and if there are it will probably be down to your neighbours to enforce them. If this is the case, as a minimum, you’ll want to ensure your neighbours are on board with your business, which means showing them that your business will not impact them.
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