Starting your own home-based business can be a fantastic opportunity. You have the chance to work for yourself, make all the decisions and major calls, and maybe even choose your own schedule to watch the kids while you’re working from home.
However, with the power and perks of a home-based business often comes responsibility. If this responsibility is not handled properly, it could land both you and your business in hot water. There are plenty of legal ramifications to consider with such an operation, and being prepared can help you avoid potential issues that could be costly both in time and money.
One of the first things you’ll likely have to consider in a home-based business is whether your operation is indeed legal to operate. Many locales have a variety of zoning laws and restrictions. Even certain housing developments, apartment communities or condominiums may have guidelines governing the operation of a home-based business. Therefore, it is important that before you make any sort of sizeable investment to get your business up and running that you make sure you are in compliance with area zoning and business operation rules and requirements.
A home-based business can be convenient in that it allows you to work from the privacy and comfort of your own home. However, this also means that customers and clients may be coming onto or into your property on a regular basis. A simple trip and fall by a customer on your property could result in a lawsuit. By having the necessary business and liability insurance paid up and in proper coverage amounts, you could be better protecting yourself legally when it comes to the possibility of injuries or other issues that might occur upon your property.
Insurance can also be important if you are planning to have someone other than yourself working in and around your home. While many home-based businesses are sole-proprietorships and don’t have to worry about employees, should you have someone working for you on the premises, it can be critical that you take this into consideration when it comes to your policy.
It is also critical that you know and understand the state and federal laws governing employee/employer relationships in order to avoid lawsuits pertaining to discrimination, harassment, and other workplace violations. You can check with the SBA (Small Business Administration) or your state government to learn more about the rules that apply to your home-based business, ask questions or get advice.
While you may have done your personal income taxes in the past, starting a home-based business may make tax season a bit more difficult. Not only might you have personal income taxes with which to deal, but you could have business taxes as well. If you have employees or are planning to delve into the realm of business deductions, property tax deductions for a home-based business, and similar tax areas, you may want to consider seeking the advice and assistance of a tax professional. Having your tax issues squared away can help keep you out of legal hot water when it comes to you and your home-based operation.
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