A lot of people start working from home part time, as a hobbie or to get a small business off the ground. Many of these type of small business owners don't understand what is needed legally to continue doing business or growing a business from home.
Below are some facts to think over and/or address when running your own work from home business:
If you own a house, are there any zoning ordinances that would prevent your running a home-based business? Local government officials may not bother a solopreneur tapping away at her computer, but any more activity than that may draw attention.
Another issue will be your business name. Generally, activities in the realm of “creative services” don't require a “license” — such as the way plumbers need to be licensed or lawyers need to be licensed to show a degree of educational proficiency in their profession. That said, if you are engaging in business using any kind of trade name (such as “Susan Smith Graphic Design”) beyond your given name, you'll need to file a certificate with your local county clerk.
But the inquiry doesn't stop there. Just having a trade name does not protect you from personal liability. As a result, you may want to form a business entity such as a corporation or limited liability company. You will want to speak to a local business attorney and accountant to decide which form is best for you.
One of the most important things is to make sure you have is a contract for your client's covering your artistic and creative services. This will cover you in almost any client discrepancy and is very important to have an understand.
What other advice would you give to someone who has started their own work from home business?