How To Run Your Business From Home
There’s often a good deal of romanticizing that goes on when people imagine running a business from home. And while it’s true that there are some definite advantages to being your own boss and working from the comfort of your own home, there are also a number of challenges that come along with the lifestyle.
In this guide, Brisco Business Insurance will be giving you the rundown on everything you need to know about running a business from home. From the initial set-up process to the ongoing maintenance of your work-life balance, we’ll cover everything you need to make sure your home business is a success.
- Can you legally run a business from home?
- What permissions do you need to run a business from home?
- How do you register a home business?
- How do you run a business from home?
- Final Thoughts
Can you legally run a business from home?
First things first, we need to talk about the legality of running a business from home. In the UK, it’s perfectly legal to run a business from your home, provided:
- It isn’t causing unreasonable disturbances to your neighbours.
- You have the necessary permissions.
If you meet these two requirements, you’re free to register and operate your business!
What permissions do you need to run a business from home?
While laws may vary slightly around the UK, there are generally between zero and three permissions you’ll need to obtain before you can legally run a business from home.
1. Mortgage Provider or Landlord
If you don’t fully own your home, you’ll need to get permission from either your mortgage provider or your landlord before running a business from home. This is to ensure that your business doesn’t violate the terms of your contract and put your home at risk.
2. Local Council
Depending on the type of business you want to run, as well as its size, you may need to get permission from your local council. For example, if you’re planning on running a business that has customers coming to your home, you’ll likely need to apply for a change of use for your property.
3. Local Planning Office
If you live in a listed building or conservation area (or if you plan on making alterations to your home), you may need to get permission before running a business from your home. This is to ensure that your business doesn’t have a negative impact on the historic value or appearance of the area.
How do you register a home business?
Now that you know what permissions you need, it’s time to register your business!
To do this, you’ll need to:
1. Choose a Business Structure
There are several different business structures you can choose from, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The most common business structures for small businesses are:
- Sole Trader: A sole trader is the simplest and most common business structure. This type of business is owned and operated by one person, and you’re personally responsible for all aspects of the business.
- Partnership: A partnership is a business structure that two or more people operate together. Partnerships can be either general partnerships or limited partnerships, and each type has different rules and regulations.
- Limited Company: A limited company is a more complex business structure, and it’s typically used by larger businesses. In a limited company, the business is owned by shareholders, and the liability of the owners is limited to their investment in the company.
2. Choose a Business Name
Your business name is what customers will see and remember, so it’s important to choose a name that is both memorable and relevant to your business.
When choosing a name for your business, keep the following in mind:
- Make it easy to spell and pronounce.
- Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms.
- Keep it short and simple.
3. Register with HMRC
Once you’ve chosen a business structure and name, you’ll need to register with HMRC. This is so that you can get a National Insurance number and pay taxes on your business income. The bad news is that there’s a mandatory £15 fee each time you apply, so make sure you get everything in order the first time!
4. Get a Business Bank Account
It’s important to keep your personal and business finances separate, so you’ll need to open a business bank account. This will make it easier to track your business expenses and income, and it will give you a professional image.
Tip: Want to kill two birds with one stone? Challenger banks like Tide and Anna offer great business accounts and will allow you to register your business while applying for the account. If your registration is successful, your account is activated—and they even cover your £15 application fee!
How do you run a business from home?
Once you’ve got then necessary permissions and registered your business, you’re free to start trading! Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Choose the right business for you
Not every business is suited for a home office set-up. When choosing a business to run from home, be sure to consider the following factors:
- Can you run the business without customers coming to your home?
- Do you need a lot of space to operate?
- Will you be able to keep work and personal life separate?
- Is the business low-maintenance?
2. Create a dedicated workspace
One of the most important things you can do when running a business from home is to create a dedicated workspace. This will help you stay focused and productive while working, and it will also give you a place to keep work-related materials and equipment.
If you don’t have an extra room to dedicate to your business, try setting up a space in your basement or attic. And if you can’t do that, try to create a designated area in your living space where you can work without distractions.
3. Invest in the right equipment
Depending on the type of business you’re running, you may need to invest in some specific equipment. For example, if you’re running a home-based business that requires computer use, you’ll need to make sure you have a reliable laptop or desktop, as well as a printer and scanner.
4. Get insured
Another important step in starting a home business is getting insured. This is to protect your business (and yourself) in case of any accidents or mishaps. Depending on the type of business you’re running, you may need different types of insurance.
At Brisco, we understand that specialised businesses need specialist policies. That’s why we offer business insurance for a wide range of small businesses, from home-based businesses to online businesses. Comparing policies is easy using our quote comparison tool and if you have any questions we’re just a phone call away!
5. Promote your business
Once you’ve got everything set up, it’s time to start promoting your business! There are a number of ways you can do this, including:
- Creating a website or blog
- Setting up social media accounts
- Developing marketing materials
- Attending local events and networking functions
- Running ads in local publications
6. Stay organized and maintain a work-life balance
One of the challenges of running a business from home is maintaining a good work-life balance. It can be easy to let work consume your life when you’re constantly being reminded of it, so it’s important to make a conscious effort to take breaks and enjoy your personal time.
Another way to stay on top of things is to keep a well-organized schedule. This can help you stay on track with both your work and your personal obligations.
Running a business from home can be a great way to get started in the business world. But it’s important to make sure that you’re taking the necessary legal steps to take so. Once you’ve got that sorted, you can start brainstorming which business is right for you!
Starting a business can be stressful, but finding the right insurance policy doesn’t need to be. At Brisco, we make it easy to compare and buy business insurance policies online. And if you have any questions, our team of expert brokers are always just a phone call away.
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