Notifying the authorities: The rules for setting up your home based business

Find out if your office plans will require approval from the local authorities

Creating an office space may require a quick visit to the local planning authorities to see if you need special permission. Much will depend on whether you employ others, or have regular visitors. If you are simply using a desk in the corner of a room, most councils are not concerned with specific planning permission. But if you are converting a barn or garage into a fully fledged office then, without doubt, they will want it done by the book.

Part of any planning permission will include meeting the necessary health and safety requirements. Again, these will be tailored to your specific usage but this needs to be checked.

Meeting health and safety regulations is considered standard by insurers. They may have some additional special requirements such as security. Even if you simply have a desk in the corner of a room, check with your insurers.

Most insurers will add on coverage for the business equipment at no extra cost in such a case. But they will not pay out for any claim unless they were aware that you were operating from home.

If you have a mortgage on your home, check with the bank. Again, these days it is usually accepted without any problem because so many of us work from home but they will need to know.

If you have a lease, you will need to call your landlord or check your lease. There is rarely a problem for homeworkers but landlords might be less happy if you suddenly attract a stream of callers to their house.

Meeting health and safety regulations is considered standard by insurers.

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