Can I Operate a Small Business From Home?

Many business owners want to keep costs down when they first begin operating. Buying or renting office space or a location for a business can be a significant expense. You may also be forced to sign a lease that extends for months or for a full year. This can be a major obligation for you to take on if you are not sure if your business is going to become profitable within the course of a year. house

To avoid the expense and hassle associated with finding and leasing a location for your business, it may be possible to operate a small business from home. However, there are zoning laws that you must understand in order to ensure that you are in compliance with the rules and requirements where you live. An experienced San Jose business law attorney at the Law Offices of Mike Ross can help you to make a determination regarding whether you will be able to operate a small business form home or whether that will run afoul of the rules.

Can You Operate a Small Business From Home?

In determining whether you can operate a small business from home, you must consider the zoning laws in your area.  Most locations are zoned either Residential or Commercial. If you live in a neighborhood with lots of other houses and no business, there is a good chance that you are in a location zoned Residential. This will limit or restrict your ability to operate a business out of your house.

Generally, if you are running a service business and you do the work yourself or with a limited number of employees, you will likely be able to operate this type of business from your house even if you are in a residential area. For example, if you plan to provide accounting services or graphic design services to clients and you will be working on a computer from your house, this should not be a problem even if you are in a residential space.

However, if you intend to have customers coming to your place of business, if you are going to have people working for you, or if you plan to formally incorporate your business and create a separate legal entity, you need to ensure you find out if you are permitted to do this where you live. You may not be permitted to run this type of business or may need to seek a zoning variance.

In addition to the zoning rules, it is also a good idea to determine if you have a Homeowner’s Association that may impose additional limits on your ability to run a business out of your house. Finally, you should be aware that operating a business from your home can impact a homestead exemption or result in you being required to pay capital gains taxes on your house when you sell the house.

A San Jose business law attorney at the Law Offices of Mike Ross can help you to learn the rules and determine if you are permitted to operate a business from your house or not. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.

Mike Ross

Having been a general counsel of a prominent local companies for over 25 years and an attorney at Orrick, a large international law firm, Mr. Mike Ross possesses a rare combination of expertise, insight and value, resulting in a deep appreciation for how clients want legal services delivered: quickly, cost-effectively and with a focus on results.
Mike Ross

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