What is Needed to Run a Business From Home?

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If you’re about to start a home-based business, then you may be wondering what is needed to run a business from home. Earning money from home can be a rewarding career, especially if you’re doing what you love, but there are some important steps that you’ll need to take to get your business up and running legally. Whether you’re selling personal care products, styling hair or doing people’s taxes, having your ducks in a row before you start will enable you to reap the benefits of a home-based business without any added stress.

Licensing and Documentation

For starters, you’ll need to look into getting the appropriate permits, licensing or certification for your business. Some professions require more licensing than others. Accountants, bookkeepers, psychologists and cosmeticians, for instance, need to hold the same licensing and certification for a home-based business as they would in the outside world. If you’re selling products from home, then you may not need as much certification. For a list of the permits that you might need, start with the U.S. Small Business Administration. They outline the following permits and licenses that are common for home-based companies:

  • General business license
  • Professional and trade license
  • Home occupation permit
  • Sales tax permit
  • Health and safety permit
  • Sign permit
  • Construction permit

You may not need many of these permits and licenses. Consider the type of business that you’re starting to determine whether some or all of these documents are needed. Also, see if your neighborhood association allows home-based businesses. Some areas don’t allow people to run commercial businesses from their homes, so make sure that you’re able to do so.

Office Supplies, Equipment and Gadgets

Once you’ve cleared all of the legal requirements, you’ll probably wonder what is needed to run a business from home in terms of equipment and supplies. The answer to that question depends on your business. For sales-based businesses, you’ll want a home office that’s fully equipped to handle consultations, day-to-day computing and sales calls. Start by making a checklist of things that you’ll need, according to Intuit. Essential equipment and supplies include high-speed internet, a good phone and fax line, a sturdy and supportive office chair, a reliable copier that triples as a fax and scanner, and the technology that you need to get your work done. If you plan on taking payments at home, you’ll also need a secure method for accepting credit cards and cash. It’s also a good idea to have comfortable seating for consults and clients.

Helping Hands

Being self-employed doesn’t mean that you have to work alone. Many home-based companies utilize a support staff, even if it’s just one extra person to help take phone calls and make copies. If you don’t know anyone personally, then you can take out a traditional ad in the paper or an online ad to seek help. Another option is to hire a virtual assistant. There are legitimate websites that screen applicants looking for assistant-type work, and you can find someone who fits in with your work demands and budget.

Related Resource: How To Start a Franchise Business

Starting a home-based business can be exciting, but it also might feel daunting with the amount of work required to get it going. Fortunately, there are a wide number of resources available to small business owners. If you’re researching what is needed to run a business from home, start with your area chamber of commerce.

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