Government announces plans to boost working from home

This week David Cameron announced legislative changes which will make running a business from home simpler.

The measures to help those working from home include the following:

Business rates

Guidance for new business rates will be created which will clarify that, in the majority of circumstances, businesses being run from home will not attract business rates. It can be a major concern for homeowners that if they start to set up a small business from home, then they may become liable to pay business rates. This is usually not the case.

Running a business from a rented property

New laws will be introduced to make it easier to run a business from a rented home. Currently, some tenants experience problems setting up a business from home as their tenancy agreement forbids a business being run from the property. A new-style tenancy agreement will be made available for landlords, so that landlords can allow their tenants to run a business from home without it undermining the tenancy agreement.

Planning permission

Planning guidance will be revised to make it clear that planning permission isn’t normally needed for running a business from home.

1 in 10 residential properties house a home business

The government’s announcement follows research by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Enterprise Nation. According to government figures, 2.9m businesses are run from home and contribute £300bn to the UK economy.

When discussing the new measures David Cameron said, “I want us to be a nation of entrepreneurs that really respect entrepreneurialism and enterprise, something that we imbue in young people in our schools. I want this to be the best country in the world to start, to run, and to expand a new business. We are still some way away from that.”

The government figures suggest that around 70 per cent of new businesses start off in the home. Cameron wants that fact to be appreciated and encouraged:

“Sometimes when people think of home business they think of some cottage industry on the edge of the economy. 70% of new businesses are home businesses – the scale is immense.”

Further legislative changes

Business Minister Matthew Hancock also mentioned that further law changes are to be looked at, including  enabling home business owners to offer apprenticeships.

Help from Lawpack

Lawpack’s Working from Home Kit can help you with the practical and legal issues when you’re starting up a business from home. It includes expert advice on how to comply with health and safety legislation, plus it outlines the legal obligations involved, from getting insurance to paying council tax.

Published on: August 18, 2014

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