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Things to consider if you want to run a business at home

22nd July 2021 Print

Starting a business is a common goal for many people, but knowing what to start and how to get going is a challenging and complicated feat for the majority. Besides an original and/or clever idea, an entrepreneur needs to have the available funds to invest, adequate time to commit and a place to start-up.

With the cost of commercial property and workspaces exceedingly high, particularly for new starters, many entrepreneurs look to their own domestic spaces to lay the foundations of their business in the early stages. However, there a number of things that you should be aware of if you want to run a business from home.

Check you have permission

You may want to start a business in your own home, but you will likely still need permission from a certain party depending on your living arrangement. If you live in a council property, you will need written permission from your local council or housing association, and if you live in a privately rented property then you will need permission from your landlord. Even if you own your property, you may still need the permission of your mortgage provider unless stated otherwise in your residential mortgage agreement.

Consider tax and business rates

If you set up a certain part of your property for business use, you may be liable to pay business rates for that part of the property – this is on top of your existing residential council tax. Depending on your business structure (e.g. sole trader or limited company), you may also have to account for the crossover between your personal and business costs. As a sole trader you will be able to claim a proportion of your property costs as business expenses.

Health and Safety

Even a business run from home has to abide by health and safety regulations, particularly when other employees and customers are on site. The business owner will have to manage the health and safety risks and procedures as with any other business – this includes correct PPE for staff and customers (if applicable), fire safety measures such as exit signs and fire extinguishers, as well as much more.


As with any other business, any appropriate licences must be obtained from the correct organisations. Most ventures dealing with alcohol, food and drink will require permits and licences, but there are many other licences to be aware of.


Setting up a business from home may require you to invest in business insurance in addition to your existing home insurance. Any business assets or emergencies are unlikely to be covered by your home insurance and thus dedicated business insurance will be needed to protect you and your business, should the worst happen.