Use your home as a workplace

Running a business from home: checklist


Before you set up a workplace in your home, you may need to check with some of the following:

  • your mortgage lender or landlord/freeholder - further information about using your home to run a business may be contained in your mortgage or tenancy agreement
  • your insurance provider, to see if you need to take out extra insurance
  • Land and Property Services, to see if you will be charged business rates - see business rates and types of premises
  • HM Revenue & Customs and an accountant, to see what your income, VAT and Capital Gains Tax position is
  • a solicitor, to check legal aspects
  • the Health & Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) or your local council, to find out the health and safety aspects of running a work-at-home business
  • your neighbours, to make sure they have no objection to you running your business from home
  • the building control department of your local council, to see if you need planning permission or to comply with building regulations

Plan for emergencies

Working from home is not generally considered a high-risk area for emergencies. However, you should take precautions in case there is a fire in the home. You should have:

  • an adequate warning system - put up a domestic smoke alarm in your work area and check it regularly
  • a way of escape - work this out in advance

You could also consider buying a domestic fire extinguisher or fire blanket and keeping a small first-aid kit in your home office - see fire safety in the home.

  • HSENI Helpline
    0800 032 0121