Many small businesses are run from home, especially when they’re getting started. Here’s what you need to know about running a business from your home.
Should I work from home?
When thinking about running a business from home you need to consider a number of factors.
Do I need permission to run a business from home?
You may have to inform some bodies of your intention to run a business from home.
Mortgage provider – even though it shouldn’t require any change to your mortgage – if you have one – it’s prudent to let your mortgage company know.
Landlord –some tenancy agreements prohibit running a business from home, so if you live in a rental property you need to check your contract. As a matter of courtesy, you should also let your landlord know of your intentions.
Local authority – you should only need to contact the local council regarding planning permission if:
you intend to make alterations – such as building an extension
your home won’t be mainly used as your private residence
your activities could disturb neighbours, e.g. increased traffic and visitors, noise, smells.
How does working from home affect my insurance?
A standard home insurance policy is unlikely to cover business activity so make sure you take out some additional insurance for things like loss or damage to office equipment or furniture. Normally this doesn’t cost much extra, and it can be covered in a combined domestic and business policy.
If you’re doing more than simply operating an office from home, you’ll probably need specific additional insurance. For example:
Running a pet grooming service will require additional insurances for care and control of animals; equipment loss or damage; liabilities and indemnities
Checklist: Can I reclaim the costs of working from home?
HMRC normally allows you claim part of the running costs of your home in your business accounts. Use the checklist below to highlight the running costs you can claim. Login to save this checklist to your profile for future use – as you work through the list, any checkboxes that are ticked or unticked will be automatically saved to your profile. (To register to join and enjoy the benefits of membership click on the link at the top right of the page. It will only take a few minutes to create your profile).