Starting and running a business from home
Before starting your business you should check with your:
- Mortgage lender, freeholder or landlord to see if it is against the terms of your mortgage or tenancy agreement.
- Home insurer to see if your home contents insurance covers business related items.
- Local council to confirm that it is permissible, to obtain consent for any required alterations and, if applicable, to register your business. In addition you may have to pay business rates via the council.
Gosport Borough Council
You will not necessarily need planning permission to run a business (or work) from home – as long as the dwelling’s main use continues to be as a private residence. However you are advised to check and, if necessary, obtain a Certificate of Lawful Use to confirm that it is permissible. To do this, in the first instance please contact the council’s planning department via email outlining the proposed business and how you will be using your dwelling to run it.
If you are making physical alterations to your dwelling to accommodate the business you may need planning and/or building regulation consent to do so and this can also be confirmed in the approach to the planning department.
In addition, if your business is either food or health and beauty related e.g. hairdressing then you potentially need to inform and/or register with the council and be licensed. For more information see council services for business.
There are various reliefs, allowances and expenses you can claim to reduce your tax bill in relation to the business use of your home, as well as for being self-employed. The HMRC also provide some online examples of tax relief to illustrate potential deductions. However you may need to pay Capital Gains Tax on the part of your property you used for your business if you sell your house.
Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
Having a home based business means that it is possible that the part of your property used for work should be assessed for business rates. The VOA and not your local council will determine this and what gets taken into consideration includes the extent and frequency of the business use of the room(s)/space; and any modifications made to the property for that use.
For more background information see the VOA website and its working from home leaflet. If you want to find out if your property should be assessed for business rates please contact the VOA regional office in Southampton.
Other useful links
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