Some businesses are much more suitable to becoming home based businesses than others; similarly, some homes are much better suited as a base than others, so it is important that you consider all of the practical aspects of your new venture, before you start.
Primarily, it is important to consider whether or not the planning permission for your property allows you to operate the type of business that you want from your home. In many cases, it will not be necessary to apply for planning permission to operate a home based business. But, you should consider the issue, nonetheless.
Key factors that determine whether you need to apply for planning permission include whether the property has gone from being primarily a residential building to primarily a business building, i.e. is the property now mainly an office and only secondly a home,. If you are still living full time in the house, this is unlikely to be the case. Other issues that may require you to apply for planning permission include: (i) if the business type you are starting is likely to disturb the neighbourhood, or (ii) the home business will result in an increased flow of traffic, for example a childcare business or one that requires large, regular deliveries.
Aside from planning permission, it is important that you consider whether you have suitable space and facilities for your chosen business. This is particularly important if your chosen business requires you to store a lot of stock or to allow public access. Ideally, if you are going to have people visiting you at the property, you should have a separate entrance and a place to meet clients, without having to use your own personal space. Not only will this make your home life more comfortable, but it will also give you a much more professional image.
Some businesses are simply not practical to be run as a home based business. Typical examples might include anything that involves manufacturing or heavy machinery, unless, of course, you have an exceptionally large outbuilding! It is also worth bearing in mind that very strict health and safety regulations may restrict what you can do from home, particularly if your business involves the production of food or drink.
Businesses that are ideally suited to a from-home structure include internet based businesses or services that involve travelling to meet clients such as giving seminars or personal training, where the home is only really used as an office base.
Careful consideration should be given to the suitability of your property, before embarking on a home based business;
Planning permission is not usually required, unless the business is extensive or unusual, but make sure that you clear this, before you begin your operation;
Explore issues such as storage and access, particularly if you are going to have clients visiting the property;
The types of businesses that really lend themselves to being home based include internet based businesses, office based businesses and those that require you to travel to the client.