Florida House Bill 403 now allows businesses to operate in a residential neighborhood and be rid of pesky rules like the how much square footage a person uses inside their home to work, what products are sold, and how many family members can work for a home-based business. It isn’t always necessary to rent or lease commercial space to have a successful business. You can start and run your small business from the comfort of your own home.

Running a business from home allows you to profit without dealing with the high overhead typical of traditional business settings. You also avoid long commutes. Running a successful small business from home isn’t always easy, however. Home businesses require investments of planning, time and effort.

What Should I do to get Started with a Home-Based Small Business?

After planning your business, you should look into state and local regulations for running your chosen business. Be certain that you are obeying all zoning laws when it comes to running a business in a residential house. Comply with the business licensing or fictitious business name requirements in your state and city or town. You may need additional licensing and permits to run certain types of businesses.

To find out if you need a home business license, call the main number of your local government. Ask to speak to someone who handles business licenses.  In the alternative, ask for the zoning department. Or you could check with the Reference Desk of your local public library. Once you find someone knowledgeable, they can point you to forms and how to apply for your business license.

There’s one other place you should check. And that’s your Homeowners Association (HOA). See if anything in your HOA documentation restricts home businesses. 

Finally, create space for running your business out of your home. The amount of space you need to run a business from home depends on the type of business you choose. If you need an office, clear out a spare bedroom or clean up a basement for this purpose. Some businesses can be run from a kitchen table. If you stock products, consider shelves in a garage or an unused walk-in closet for storage.

How Can I Successfully Run My Home Business?

Investopedia emphasizes the need for consistency in running your small home-based business. Set business hours. One of the keys to success in business is developing a routine. If you fail to set business hours, your business may encroach on your personal or family time. Likewise, you may put off important business tasks in favor of doing things around the house.

Develop a system of accounting. Purchase a filing cabinet for storing receipts, invoices and statements, and use a ledger or computer program for recording input and expenses.

Insuring your business is important, according to The Hartford. Many homeowner or rental policies don’t cover damages or injuries related to the business use of your home. Your insurance agent may recommend adding business liability coverage to your current policy or purchasing a new policy altogether.

Take tax deductions allowed by the IRS for business use of your home. If you have a designated space from which to run your home business, you may qualify for deductions on your federal tax return.

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