Running a business from your home

If you’re planning to take the leap into self-employment, you may well be about to join the growing number of people who run a small business from home. If that’s the case, there are a few practical aspects you’ll need to consider.

We’ve put together a handy checklist so that nothing essential gets missed as you work on your exciting plans for world domination!


Before you begin to run your business from your home, you may need to obtain permission from the following:

  • Landlord or mortgage provider
  • Local council – depending on the type of business, you may need to apply for a license, or erect signage. You’ll also need permission if you envisage increased traffic to your home, or frequent deliveries
  • Planning office – if your business means you’ll need to make significant alterations to your home, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permissions

You’ll more than likely need to obtain some form of insurance for your business, whether that’s public liability (important if you deal with customers in or out of your home), professional indemnity or something else.

But if you plan to run your business from home, you’ll need to check that your home insurance covers any business assets you keep at home, such as stock or IT equipment. If not, you’ll need a separate policy.


If you’re a sole trader or partner in a business, you’ll need to complete a Self Assessment Tax Return.

There are a number of allowances available for people who use their home as their main business premises. For example, you can claim a percentage of the cost of your utility bills, council tax, phone and broadband. Your accountant will be able to advise you on this, or check the website to find out more.

Business rates

Not all home based businesses will need to pay local business rates, but some will have to pay business rates on the part of your property that you use for your business.

To determine this, you’ll need to check whether the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has given a rateable value to a part of your home.

Valuation Office Agency

England: 03000 501 501
Wales: 03000 505 505

If your property has a rateable value of £12,000 or less, you could qualify for small business rate relief.

Once you’ve worked through the above list and ensured you have all the necessary permissions and policies in place, you’re good to go! Good luck with your new venture!

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