Running a Business from home

What you need to know to make your decision.

1. Permissions

You may need permission from a few entities before you can run a business from home; one of these is your mortgage provider or landlord. You should check with your landlord/mortgage provider to find out what their stance is on running a business from your home. You should also contact your local planning office if it is necessary for you to make major alterations to your property.

You should also request approval from your local council if the following are applicable to you: you’re going to get lots of customers or deliveries coming to your house, you want to advertise outside your home, or you need a license to run your business.

2. Insurance

You may need insurance for your home business. Home insurance may not cover your business (e.g. stock, computers, and customers visiting your premises). It is advisable to check your policy and contact your insurance company if you are unsure whether or not your business is covered by your home insurance.

3. Tax Allowances

You can include your business costs in your self-assessment tax return if you’re a sole trader or part of a business partnership. You can also claim a proportion of the cost of things like council tax, heating, lighting, phone calls and broadband. However, you may be liable to pay capital gains tax on the part of your property that you use for your business.

4. Business Rates

You may have to pay business rates on the space within a property that you use for business. This depends on whether the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) (local assessor in Scotland) has given a rateable value to a part of your home. Additionally, you may qualify for small business rate relief if your property has a rateable value of £12,000 or less. You will still have to pay council tax on the rest of your property.

5. Health and Safety

Last but not least, you need to be aware that you will need to implement health and safety procedures as you would with any other business.