Can You Legally Operate Your Small Business From Home?


In most cases, operating a home based business is perfectly legal. If you are considering a home business, you should check the laws in your state and county to determine if there are any regulations or requirements that must be met before you begin. Some laws limit what you can and cannot do from a home based business.

Your neighborhood may also have regulations that regard your home based business. In some subdivisions for instance, homeowner’s associations do not allow for a business to be operated from your home. If you live in a subdivision then you should check with your association to see if this is an option. Some local governments do not allow home businesses in residential neighborhoods without a variance or zoning requirement being met. Of course, these laws and regulations may also depend on the type of business that you plan to operate. If you are operating a service based business, something that does not require people to visit your home, then you may not need to meet these requirements. Again, it is a good idea to check with your local government and with your homeowner’s association if you have one to determine the regulations that may affect you.

If you have to build on to your home to run your business or if you are going to operate a storefront or similar structure from your home then you will need to check to see if there are any zoning requirements before you begin. If you are selling homemade products for instance and you plan to offer these in a structure that is separate from your home, you may need certain permits and licenses before you begin building. You may also need to limit the hours of your business operation. You may not be permitted to operate after a certain time in the evening for instance, again depending on the type of business that you are starting.

Again, checking with your local government is a good idea before you begin. In most cases, you will not find any issues in beginning a home based business, particularly if you live outside of the city limits or in a rural residential area. If you are unsure of whether or not a home based business is permitted in your area, contact your local courthouse and speak with the right authorities. If you rent your home, you may also need to run the idea past your landlord to ensure that you are not violating the terms of your rental agreement or properly lease.



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