Running A Business From Home

23rd October 2018

If you are looking to start up a business, it is likely to be home based, at least in the early days.  Figures suggest that over 60% of businesses start in this way and that there are 2.9m businesses in the UK operating from home.

This blog looks at some of the common questions regarding working from home.

Do I need planning permission?

This will not normally be required if your business is quietly accommodated within your home.  However, permission may be required where, for example, your business venture gives rise to more traffic or causes a disturbance to neighbours.  If in any doubt, you should contact your local council.

Will I have to pay business rates?

You will not be expected to pay business rates if you operate alone from a home office.  But business rates may be levied in certain circumstances, such as if you employ others to work at your home or if you convert your home for business purposes.  Your local council will be able to advise.  If you do need to pay business rates, be sure to check if you are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme, which may reduce the amount payable.

I live in rented accommodation; can I run a business from there?

You will need to get your landlord’s permission to start a business, but current regulations mean that landlords cannot deny permission without “reasonable” grounds.

Do I need to tell my mortgage provider?

Yes.  Whilst your mortgage repayments are unlikely to change, your provider should be aware of how your home is being used.

Am I covered by my home insurance?

No.  You should get your insurance provider to amend your existing policy to include business cover.  You should also consider whether public liability and/or professional indemnity insurance are needed.

What about health and safety?

Small businesses with less than five employees do not need a written health and safety policy.  However, you are responsible for your own welfare as well as that of employees and customers entering your home.  You should make sure potential risks are addressed, for example, workstations set at the right height, cable tidies used for trailing wires and so on.

 

Any tips on kitting out a home office?

Think about:

  • A separate PC/laptop – As you get more customer information, contacts etc., you will not want to be sharing your computer with family members/flatmates, especially in light of the new data protection regulations (GDPR).
  • A multi-function printer – A device that can print, photocopy, scan and fax all in one will save space.
  • Broadband – Fast reliable internet connectivity is a must in today’s business environment to engage with others and promote your business, so search around for a good supplier.
  • A separate business phone line is often a good idea to maintain professionalism.

If you are starting out in business and would like tips and advice, then be sure to attend one of our free start-up seminars being held throughout October and November 2018.  Click here for more details.



 
Other items in Blogs
 
Matilda Mawson
19th July 2019 Changes to Entrepreneurs Relief from 6 April 2019

Entrepreneurs’ relief allows a reduced rate of capital gains tax on disposals of all or part of your business assets. The reduced tax rate is 10% on up to £10 million of lifetime gains. There have been a number of significant changes to entrepreneurs’ relief in the last year, tightening the rules on qualifying conditions…

Read More »

Ernesta Petkeviciute
19th July 2019 New SRA accounting rules – what’s changing?

The current Accounts Rules are made up of over 40 detailed requirements, making it difficult for firms to fully understand what is required of them, as well as giving firms no flexibility to adapt them to their own practices and decide how best to look after client’s money.   The new rules coming into effect…

Read More »

Vanessa Pearson
15th July 2019 IR35: private sector off-payroll rules for contractors

This week HMRC have published draft legislation that will affect private sector personal services companies (PSCs)  from 6 April 2020. PSC’s supplying services to medium or large-sized organisations will no longer decide if they are employed or self-employed, the end engager will assess this. If caught by these rules, known as IR35, employment taxes and…

Read More »

Paul Jefferson
15th July 2019 Company car tax changes – Government will remove BIK company car tax on Electric Vehicles from 2020/21

The government has provided positive news for Company car drivers announcing that a pure electric vehicle (EV) will no longer pay benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax in 2020/21 following a review which looks set to boost sales of emissions-free cars. HM Treasury’s response to its review of the fallout from the roll-out of the Worldwide Harmonised Light…

Read More »

Barbara Nicholas
9th July 2019 31 July: Can you elect to reduce your tax payment?

Most individuals who are required to prepare and submit a self-assessment tax return to HM Revenue & Customs in each tax year should now be preparing for their next half-yearly tax payment which is due by July 31.   This tax is the second payment-on-account for the 2018/19 tax year. It is automatically calculated as…

Read More »

Jaimie King
5th July 2019 Utilising the share premium account

For some privately owned companies, negative profit and loss reserves means that they are unable to pay out dividends as they do not have enough distributable reserves. However, they might have a significant share premium reserve, which is a non-distributable reserve. The Companies Act 2006 allows a private company to utilise the share premium account…

Read More »