If you’re thinking of setting up a business then working from home can be a great idea. Running a business from home is easy and convenient, you save time and money on commuting, and you also save lots of money because you don’t need to rent business premises.

However, if you want to work from home there are a few important checks you need to make before you start.

Checks you need to make before setting up a business from home

Your landlord. If you rent your home then some tenancy agreements don’t allow use of the property for business purposes. Most small office-home office biz opps will probably be OK, but it would be sensible to check.

Your mortgage. If you’re buying your home with the help of a mortgage then you ought to check with the relevant bank or building society how a home business might affect this, or if you need permission. Chances are most lenders won’t unreasonably withhold permission, but again you need to be aware of this.

Your insurance. Nowadays most insurance companies recognise that lots of people work from home, so they cover for doing office work and even for basic business equipment like PCs and so on in their home contents insurance policies. But do check just in case yours is one of those that doesn’t.

However, most home insurance policies won’t automatically cover you for large amounts of business stock, or for doing anything that could be considered hazardous.

Planning permission. Under planning regulations every property only has planning consent for different types of use, shops for use as shops and offices for use as offices and so on. And domestic properties don’t normally have planning permission for business use.

If you’re thinking of running a business from home then you probably won’t need planning permission – just to do office work from home, or use a spare bedroom or garage for storage and so on. But anything more might need planning permission. Your local council are the people you need to ask about this.

Tax considerations. There are a couple of ways tax could have an impact on your plans. Firstly, if you use more than just a small part of your home for business purposes you could have to pay Business Rates rather than Council Tax on that part. There can be advantages and disadvantages to that. Also, if you come to sell your property there could even be Capital Gains Tax to pay on the sale of the business part.

This probably won’t affect the majority of small businesses but, if you’re unsure, you can get more info from your local authority and HM Revenue & Customs respectively. It would also be a good idea to get individual advice from an accountant if you think it might apply to you.

Practicalities. As well as the rules and regulations do think about the practicalities of working from home. Do you have the space? Are there any health and safety or environmental issues to consider? Also, could what you do cause any problems with your neighbours?

One more important point. Don’t let these issues put a dampener on your plans for working from home. Just make sure that you check everything out before getting started.

More information. If you’re working from home here’s another article you might find useful: Tips To Make Your Home Based Business More Successful