Working from home sure comes with its rewards. You can come and go as you please, you don’t have to travel to an external office on the other side of town and you can take lunch in you own kitchen if you want to. You save money on gas, food and you don’t have to put up with office gossip; unless of course you start it. Yes, working from home is the bees knees, provided of course that you adhere to the proper work from home business laws. Here are a few things to think about so that you don’t get ticketed or, worse, arrested for running your very own work from home venture.
Work From Home Appearance Laws
These work from home business laws come to you directly from the Small Business Administration or SBA. The first group of laws that the SBA lists deal with the external appearance of your home and are held in place by local zoning codes and restrictions.
For instance, you are not allowed to change the physical appearance of your business, particularly the outside, for the purposes of running a work from home business. You cannot, for example, convert your roof to a flashing sign that advertises, “Do Your Taxes Here!” Not only will your neighbors be annoyed with a move like that, but the work from home business law enforcers will rush over to ticket you or throw you in jail. That is not what you want when you have high hopes for your entrepreneurial enterprise.
Instead, your home must appear to be just that: a quiet home that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. That will keep you in the good graces of the local and state governments.
The work from home appearance laws also state that you can’t conduct outside business activities, engage in storage or hold displays in your front or back yards. The work from home business laws also prohibit the parking of commercial vehicles in your driveway. You might be able to get away with a van or a car that you use for business, but a fleet of limos, for example, clogging up your driveway and street would be a big no-no.
Traffic Work From Home Business Laws
When you work from home, these laws state specifically that you can’t have people coming and going at all hours of the day or night. You can have people come over, just as every home is allowed to have visitors now and again; but if you have a constantly revolving door of customers, the neighbors may complain and you may get in trouble.
You are also restricted by the number of employees you keep on the payroll. Mainly this is to guard against too many cars being parked up and down the street that may prove to be a nuisance to your neighbors.
Speaking of your neighbors, the work from home business laws state specifically that you cannot have too much noise, glare or odor originating from you work from home business. Noise would be a problem if you decide to convert your home into a night club, odors might be an issue if you decide to make glue in your kitchen for the purposes of mass distribution, and glare would definitely be a problem with our aforementioned roof-sign that blinks incessantly as it tries to lure in people who want their taxes done.
The above work from home business laws are considered standard on a national level, but your local government may have additional restrictions that you should understand and adhere to if you want to be free of problems while you conduct your daily affairs.
Just to be on the safe side, however, make sure your home always looks like a home, that your yard and driveway are free of commercial effects and that your neighbors are left alone in peace. If you can manage that, your work from home business should be able to skate by without alerting the local authorities.
Working from home sure does have its benefits, but those benefits will be short lived if you fail to keep to the above work from home business laws. Now that you know what you are working with, plan your business or run your existing business as you see fit. With a small enterprise, a few employees and with respect shown to your neighbors, any business you dream up is sure to succeed; and all without drawing tickets, fines or, absolutely worst, jail time.
Image Source: Kansas Sebastian on Flickr
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