Start a business from home

Workspace for a home-based business


It is important to create dedicated work space - it allows you to work without distraction and close the door on work at the end of the day.

Workspace priorities

The area that you use for work should ideally be clearly marked as such. A spare room with a lockable door or an outbuilding are popular choices enabling home business owners to:

  • deal with clients in a professional manner
  • resist demands from other members of the household
  • keep work equipment separate from home equipment and therefore protected

Allocating part of your house as a workplace can have tax and insurance implications - see tax considerations of working from home.

You can create a space to call your own by:

  • using office equipment in a general area of the house and putting it away when not in use
  • housing your workstation in a cupboard, wardrobe or under-stair space with lockable shutters or doors

Work equipment and workstation set-up

When setting up your work area:

  • your chair and desk should be fully adjustable and suited for computer use
  • your desk should be big enough for your computer, keyboard and monitor
  • use storage to keep office clutter free
  • when sitting at your desk, keep your feet flat on the floor and your back straight - the top of your monitor should be at eye level

For more information read use your home as a workplace.

You must carry out a health and safety risk assessment on your work space - see manage the risks in your business.

Home business and planning permission

If you are making substantial changes to your home to accommodate your business you should contact your local council regarding planning permission. The Planning Service provides information to help you find out whether you will need planning permission to work from home.

Set up a virtual office

If you need to see clients for your business but you still want to run your business from home, a possible solution is usng a virtual office. Whatch the following short video to help you decide if a virtual office could work for your business.

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