Do I need permission to run a business from home?

Attractive young woman holding a tablet at home reading up on permissions to run a business from home

With the rise of technology, running a business from home is becoming more and more manageable. You can build your own website using a site builder to advertise your services or sell products on your ecommerce store, and with sites such as Google Hangouts or Zoom you’re only a few clicks away from talking with customers or clients. However, if you’re running a business from home, you need to have permission to do so.

This can depend on the type of business you’re running – if, for example, you’re using a website to advertise your services as a yoga instructor and you rent out a studio from a third party then you probably won’t need permission from your landlord or mortgage provider. However, if you’re planning on holding your yoga sessions at home then you may need to be granted permission before you can do this. 

Are you self employed?

If you’re not sure if you’re self employed, then there are guidelines to help you decide. You are self employed if you: 

  • take responsibility for your business’ successes or failures
  • have a number of customers at the same time
  • make decisions over how, when and where you work
  • hire staff for help
  • provide your own equipment
  • charge a fixed price for your work
  • sell goods or services to make a profit (including through websites and apps)

Who do you need permission from?

This depends on what type of residency you live in and what type of business you’re planning to run: if you rent or own a house then you’ll need to be granted permission from your landlord or mortgage provider. You might be refused permission if they think the let for your proposed business should be commercial rather than residential, meaning you’ll need to rent a corporate space instead of working from home. They may also refuse if they believe your business could damage the house, or lead to excessive noise which acts as a nuisance to neighbours.

If you’re planning on making large alterations to your home for the purposes of your business, you may need to seek planning permission from your local planning office. Or, if you’re going to get a lot of customers or deliveries to your door for your ecommerce store then you will need to contact your local council to be granted permission to do so. 

Health and safety 

If you have employees working in your home for your business then you’ll need to manage health and safety just as you would in any other business, and you may also need to pay business rates. As an employer, you will be expected to carry out all duties expected of you: this means you meet employment law requirements, write out contracts for your employees, carry out health and safety risk assessments regularly and make sure you have building insurance. 

Tax allowances

If you’re a sole trader or part of a business partnership then you can include business costs in your Self Assessment tax return. You can claim on certain additional costs such as heating, broadband and electricity so that working from home doesn’t put you at a financial disadvantage. Although this might seem tricky to record, you can use a flat rate to calculate your simplified allowable expenses so you know exactly what to claim on.  

If you’re running your business from home, you’ll need a website to advertise your services, or products if you own an ecommerce store. You’ll probably be pushed for time starting up a business from home, so don’t make life harder for yourself by trying to build a website from scratch. Go Sitebuilder has stunning ready to go site designs, and we include an ecommerce platform as part of our package, making us one of the cheapest website builders for those who need an ecommerce section on their site. Try us today – our 14-day free trial gives you all the flexibility you need to build your dream website for your business!