About half of all businesses are home-based, which means aspiring entrepreneurs are eager to start building on their ideas.
While passion and initiative are valuable traits, conducting business from your apartment or other rental property could put you at risk personally and professionally.
Before getting started, OfftoCollege.com encourages you to do some research, beginning with the suggestions below.
Check Your Lease or CC&R
Check the terms of your lease or the covenants, conditions, and restrictions. Some agreements don’t allow you to use the property for business purposes. Others may be flexible but stipulate the types of businesses that aren’t allowed.
Look at Your Insurance Policies
In 2019, there were only three recorded cases of occupational injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers across all businesses, but depending on the industry, that number could be much higher.
Your home, rental, and vehicle insurers need to consider these statistics in case you have business-related injuries at home. More than likely, they’ll tell you your business activities nullify your coverage and recommend you invest in home-based business insurance.
Licensing or Permits
Based on your industry and state, you may need a business license as well as a professional license and certain permits to operate legally. Failure to get all the necessary paperwork can result in penalties or being shut down.
Luckily, ZenBusiness can help you make sure you have all the licenses and permits you need to operate in Virginia.
Zoning laws regulate how real estate can be used. For example, your home is zoned for residential use, but if you’re running a home-based business, it needs to be zoned for business or commercial use.
Some localities are flexible depending on the type of home business, while others aren’t so accommodating. Either way, check your local government for more details.
Discuss Your New Business With Your Landlord or HOA
This is one of the simplest steps, but in some cases, it can be tedious. Your landlord needs to know about your home-based business and ensure it won’t be a nuisance to other tenants.
The homeowners’ association may require additional paperwork and time before giving you the green light. Regardless of the process, be honest about your business and provide all the necessary documents to show how prepared you are.
Setting up Your Office Space
Running your business from your dining room table may be convenient, but there’s something to be said for keeping your home and business life separate.
Establishing that boundary keeps you from going stir-crazy and reduces the risk of burnout. This is one of the reasons creating a dedicated office space helps—even if it’s just a corner.
If your business requires you to meet with clients in your home office space, remember first impressions matter. Damaged or scratched furniture lessens your credibility.
Resist the temptation to fix the damage yourself and delegate that task to a professional upholstery service. Search for “reupholstering near me” online, discuss your needs, and get a quote, bearing in mind that fabric size, fabric type, and any custom work will affect the cost.
Once you’ve managed to successfully set up your home office and separate your business life from your personal life, though, the mere fact that you’re working from home will inevitably lead to some crossover.
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So for your own mental health and wellbeing, it’s a good idea to optimize your entire home to make it as happy and stress-free as possible. After all, if one isn’t humming along smoothly, it’s bound to impact the other.
Start Your Business on the Right Foot
Building a modern business that lets you work for yourself takes time and research. Not only do you have to worry about growth, customers, and revenue, but you also need to consider how the practicalities of your physical location can help or hinder your objective.
That being said, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of running your own successful business from your home!
Image Credit: starting a business in your rented home by Pixabay
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