Start a business from home

Advantages and disadvantages of starting a business from home


Becoming a home-based business owner is an option if you don't actually need to run your business from rented or owned business premises.

It's a common choice for people who just need a small office, or who spend most of their time working on premises owned by their clients.

However, working from home may not be an option if it significantly changes the use of your home, or affects your local area, for example if you have lots of visitors. If you rent your home, your licence or lease may include restrictions on using it for business purposes.

Advantages of starting a business from home

Some of the main advantages of a home-based business are:

  • you do not have a sizeable expenditure on office rental or office purchase
  • you can save time and money by cutting your commute
  • you can be flexible around the hours you work
  • you can avoid the distractions and noise of the workplace
  • you are taking less of a risk with your new business as less start-up money is required
  • working from home can help you save money on tax 

Your business will be able to claim tax relief on domestic bills for the areas of the house used for your business.  If your business is VAT registered, you may be able to claim back VAT on articles you buy for business use.

Disadvantages of starting a business from home

The disadvantages of a home-based business can be:

  • it may prove difficult to keep work and home-life separate, and there may be domestic distractions and interruptions
  • a lack of contact with other people and businesses
  • you might end up working long hours
  • you may feel a sense of isolation if you are working alone at home with few social interactions on a day-to-day basis
  • your mortgage, home insurance and tax situation may be affected - see how to use your home as a workplace

Addressing the disadvantages

It is important to keep your home and work life separate, especially if you have a family. There are simple steps you can take to make this separation - see workspace for a home-based business.

If you are feeling isolated from other people, our events finder can help you find information on local networking events in your area - search our Events Finder tool. 

You can also get involved in online networking - see Northern Ireland business networks and social media best practice for business.