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Can I Run a Business From my Home?

BusPlan

The economy is doing fairly well, which means you may be ready to take the risk and start your own business. However, when you are first getting started, you probably do not have the funds to pay for a separate office space. You figure you will start your business out of your home. After all, some of the most famous companies in the world began in garages. However, while many people work from home and run small businesses from their living rooms, you do have to be careful. Local zoning and land use laws can limit your ability to run a business in a residential space.

How Local Zoning and Use Laws May Impact Your Business

If you want to start a company from your garage, home office, kitchen or living room, you need to look into whether any local laws apply and whether zoning or use laws could impact your rights and responsibilities as a business owner.

Since you will be working in an area zoned for residences and not commercial buildings, you may be limited on:

  • The kind of business activities you can conduct in a residential area
  • Changing your home’s appearance
  • Advertising your business’s location at your home, like hanging signs
  • Having prospective or current customers come to your home
  • Having employees work at your home
  • Having prospective or current employees or customers park near your home
  • What you can store at your home, such as hazardous materials
  • The type of noise and activity that can go on at your home, which could be a nuisance

Consider Your Business’s Activities

Analyzing whether you can or should begin a business at home depends on your state and local law. However, you should also consider:

  • Could there be much or any impact on your neighborhood?
  • Will you be having people come to your home?
  • Will you need to store hazardous or noxious materials?
  • Does your business require large or special equipment?
  • Will you need employees any time soon?

If your business is entirely virtual or so small that you will not have employees or clients at your home, then it is likely to be OK. However, the greater an impact your company could have on your property, neighbors, or neighborhood, the greater the likelihood you could end up violating a zoning law or getting in trouble with local authorities.

Obtain Appropriate Licenses

If you determine you can start your business in your home with minimal-to-no risk of running afoul of the law, then your next step is to obtain any necessary permits or licenses. You should also be sure that you are set up properly for state and federal taxes. An experienced business law attorney can help you with any legal or administrative paperwork so that your venture starts entirely above board.

Contact a Local Business Attorney for Help

If you want to start a business out of your home, contact a local business attorney from the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. right away. We have years of experience helping small, medium, and larger businesses throughout Florida. We can help you get started, including with entity choice and formation. We can also research your location options and advise you on the risks and benefits of starting out at home. Call us today at 561-571-8970.

Sources:

sba.gov/starting-business/choose-your-business-location-equipment/home-based-business-zoning-laws

discover.pbcgov.org/pzb/zoning/ULDC/Articles.aspx

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