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Business Support Helpline: Conduction your business from home

Are you starting a business and considering operating from your residential address? Lee Whyte, a Business Support Helpline adviser, shares some insight on the things you need to consider when working from home. 

When running a business from home there are some organisations you need to contact, no matter what your residential status is. This “Running a business from home” guide can help you with this:

You may need permission depending on your residential status and/or nature of your business.

Any existing property-related insurance cover you have may need to be updated and you may wish to consider insurance related to your business.

The organisations you’ll need to contact are:

  • Your local council – you may be required to change the planning permission of your property and you might need to pay business rate.                                                                                                                                                            
  • Your insurance providers – If you have any insurance policies for your property and items that you may use for your business then you will need to make them aware of this. For example, buildings and contents insurance and vehicle insurance.

If you run your business from your home address, then you may be able to claim some of the costs associated with your business back as expenses.

Not all costs can be claimed, so it is best to check what you can claim. You can hire a chartered accountant to do this for you, or you can check out this useful guide on self-employment home expenses.

As previously highlighted, subject to your residential status, you may need to seek further permissions to operate from your home address. We’ll break the different living situations down into the 4 most likely scenarios. These would be:

Living with Parents

If you are living with your parents whilst setting up or running a business, you will need their permission and your parents will also need to consider their residential status - if they fall into 1 of the 3 categories listed below, they will need to follow that instruction.

Renting a Property

If you are living in rented accommodation you will need to seek permission from your landlord, this may be referenced in the tenancy agreement if you’ve been provided with one. It is sensible to have something in writing to confirm you have their consent if granted. If you trade from home without your landlord’s approval you may be in breach of your tenancy agreement.

Owned with a Mortgage

If you are the owner of a mortgaged property and are looking to use the building for your business, then your mortgage provider needs to be aware of this. It is advisable to check your mortgage policy and you may also need to speak with your mortgage provider to find out if it is possible.

Owned without a Mortgage

If you own a property and have no mortgage, then you only need to seek permission from the organisations mentioned at the start of this blog.

If you are unable to gain permission from the relevant organisations, then you’ll need to consider an alternative address which may include renting a commercial property. This may have an impact on your cashflow, so making sure you have a detailed forecast as part of your business plan will allow you to identify viable options.

Get in touch

Backed by the UK Government, the Business Support Helpline offers free, impartial business support and signposting services to pre-start, start-up and established businesses in England. To book a free one-hour appointment with one of their advisers, give them a call on 0300 456 3565 or head over to their social channels.


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Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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