Running a business from home can be great fun but it is not entirely without its pitfalls.
Here are some frequently asked questions on this perennially interesting subject.
Will I need legal permission to start my business?
Unlike in many European countries, in the United Kingdom typically you do not need special permission from any legal body to start up the vast majority of business types.
There are a few exceptions, such as companies handling hazardous materials or businesses such as banking or lending etc. For the majority of home businesses, these few exceptions will not be an issue.
However, as a point of technicality you may need the permission of your mortgage lender and local authority. It might also be sensible to discuss the matter with your provider of household insurance, as you will be technically changing the use of your property from domestic residential to commercial.
Depending upon the legal status you choose for your business, you may also need to register it on line at Companies House.
Is it easy to get start-up loans funding?
Contrary to some popular myth, it has never been easy to secure business loans when you are starting up. However, it has become noticeably harder since the financial crises of 2007 and 2008 onwards.
The traditional sources for embryonic businesses are the banks, business angels and possibly venture capitalists. You will need a solid business plan and it probably has to be admitted that many small home businesses will be so small as to be under the radar of many conventional lenders.
So, no, it won’t be easy – but it is possible.
Note that once you have become established and have some years’ worth of trading history behind you, business loans may be readily available from business specific lenders like Everline.com. The application process is quite robust, which is understandable considering the inherently higher risk involved with offering these sums of cash to applicants over the internet. However it’s certainly worth exploring this option to keep your funding options as diverse as possible.
What sort of businesses work well from a home owner base?
Ideally, you should be starting a business based on your interests, skills and identification of a commercial opportunity rather than by looking for a business that happens to fit a particular location or lifestyle objective. However, there are sources of inspiration available.
What is the biggest problem in running a business from home?
Different people will inevitably provide very different answers to this apparently simple question.
Perhaps the four most commonly cited problems are:
the difficulty in switching off from your business life and into personal life mode when required;
- Interruptions from children, family members, pets, neighbours and tradespeople, while you are trying to work;
- Finding the space required for filing and products storage;
- Missing the daily social interactions that typically come with a conventional work environment.
Is it really possible to run a successful business from home?
Yes it is and there are many such examples! Notwithstanding some of the challenges and issues mentioned above, in many respects making a success of a home business is no different to making a success of any other form of enterprise.
Knowledge, research, hard work and enthusiasm (probably also mingled with at least a modicum of good luck) can help you succeed whether you are working from your own front room or anywhere else.
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