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Home Biz Notes

Look Before You Leap into a Home Business

by Mary Emma Allen on August 25th, 2007

We’ve mentioned here several times the need to check out zoning regulations pertaining to your home before you decide to set up a home business, particularly one that involves customers/clients coming to your home.   (However, online business might be affected, too, in some areas.)

 I just read a news item, License Denied for Existing Home Business, that concerned this topic.

The aldermen decided, according to the mayor’s statement ” they’re running a business in a residential area and we can’t approve that.”  He did say if the owners moved their lawn mower service business to a commercially zoned area, the license would be approved.

There were very few details in this news story, so we don’t know:

*how long this business existed at the owner’s home

*why they didn’t check out zoning and licensing

*are there other home businesses in that area

*is the business an obvious eye-sore, with lawn mowers and parts all over the place

*have licensing and zoning regulations always been followed strictly or are the aldermen suddenly becoming more stringent

However, no matter what has happened in the past or what the owners did or didn’t do, it points out that you should check out zoning and licensing requirements before becoming involved in a home business.  If your business has been operating from your home and new regulation are placed into effect, a “grandfathering clause” regarding existing businesses usually is in effect.  In other words, those in existence, can continue to operate.  However, the business, if sold, could not stay there.  If you stop operating the business for some time, then decided to start up again, the grandfathering clause probably would not be in place.

So…before starting a business, find out the regulations for your area, your town, county/provomce, state and country.


Yvonne Russell also mentioned this in her guest post about establishing an online bookstore, Start Your Own Specialist Home Based Bookstore.

I refer to this topic in Insurance, Taxes & Licensing Issues for a Home Business an mention Karen E. Klein’s article, Before Setting Up Shop on eBay that talks about this topic, too.)

Tags: , , , grow+your+writing+business, , , , , home+business+licensing, , , Yvonne+Russell, zoning

POSTED IN: CheckList, Laws & Regulations

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