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4 key facts to know about running a home business

Running a home business has always been your dream. You may not want to be the CEO of a national corporation, but you want the freedom of being your own boss.

If so, there are a few key things you should know about starting a business in your home:

  1. Your property may need to be commercially zoned. Odds are that your current zoning is residential, which means you can't use the property for commercial pursuits. You may feel like you should be allowed to do whatever you want with a house you bought, but that's not actually the case.
  2. You can get a variance or an exception. Sometimes, companies that don't actually increase traffic with clients and customers coming to the house can get the exception quickly. Other companies may need an official variance that allows that specific residential property to act as a commercial property.
  3. These benefits can be revoked. For instance, the city may give you the variance because it doesn't seem like your business will negatively impact the neighbors -- using up their parking spots and creating extra traffic, for instance. If it does and they complain, though, the city could take the variance away.
  4. You may also be regulated by a neighborhood association, a lease or a homeowners' association. It all depends on what type of property you're living in. Make sure you check into things at all levels before your company opens its doors, or you could get shut down right away.

If starting your dream business turns into a long real estate dispute, make sure you know what legal options you have.

Source: Entrepreneur, "Is Your Home Zoned for Business?," Karen E. Spaeder, accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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