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Business Rates/Running Business from Home

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  • Business Rates/Running Business from Home

    It looks like there are several opinions on what constitutes running a business from home for insurance purposes or rates.

    I have an office at home but don't see my clients here. I can do my paperwork, answer emails, use the phone etc but my insurer doesn't count that as "running" the business because where I actually earn the money is away from home. So I still have to travel to "work" elsewhere.

    For my craft sideline business, I'm thinking of coverting some or all of my garage into a workshop. This is where things seem a bit blurred. If I use it only for preparation of my materials and don't have anyone on the premises is it still a business? We've been asked to do some pottery workshops locally at the customer's site but will need to store materials etc and maybe prep some clay before taking stuff to the other location.

    As we're earning the money for this business elsewhere would the workshop/prep room still be a business? Maybe if we do get a kiln that would change things. Currently looking at using one at a local studio but may want our own later.

    Defining what running a business is, is looking difficult. I keep garden tools etc in shed and use them in the garden but that doesn't make it a business, unless I started to sell plants, then maybe I running a garden centre!.....I'm going round in circles.

    Advice please.

    __________________________________________________ __________
    "..I went from adolescence to senility, trying to bypass maturity.." Tom Lehrer

  • #2
    I just got house/ contents insurance that has a bit in it about the house being used for 'clerical business only - no callers', and it cost no extra because it was in the standard wording. Perfect for beaders!


    • #3
      I have a workshop on our garden ground, which was purpose built for the business, using a timber garage template. We use half of it for working in, and have the other half as a showroom/shop.
      When the council came to inspect it for rates, they asked what % of the building was retail and what was for working in. I slightly exaggerated the working area, thinking the shop part would incur a higher charge. But they said - what a pity, it was the working part ( for some unexplained reason) that they would be charging rates for!
      It's minimal though - only £5.00 per month.
      It's important to have insurance cover for the business though, as house contents won't cover it. We had a heck of a job finding a business insurer at first, because the workshop is a timber building, but were finally recommended one which is reasonable.
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      • #4
        From what I understand if you're running a business from home you only need to pay business rates if there is part of your house (or garage I guess) that is exclusively for business. I know someone who has a clerical business but because after 5pm the office room is used as a normal household room they are ok.

        If you're looking for insurance then I know when I worked from home I used to have mine with Nationwide - I paid a little extra to upgrade to a slightly better package which also included home business. I also came across when sorting out my shop insurance t'other day and noticed they did insurance for businesses from home.
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        • #5
          It seems to me that the main defining factor

          It seems to me that the main defining factor used by many local authorities as to whether they would try to charge business rates is if you have customers calling or employees at your premises.


          • #6
            Sticky Business!

            For four years I used a bedroom in my house as my workshop, it was only when I moved it downstairs that the problems started. My neighbour got in touch with the local council to say I had an unauthorised workshop. When I recieved a letter from the council I invited them in straight away because I did'nt want to do anything illegal. They inspected the whole property! It was really scary but the outcome was fine and there was no problem with what I am doing. I have pottery and enamelling kilns in the house but only use them when I am around and I dont leave them on when I go out. Another problem that came to light was insurance and finding an insurer was impossible until I opened a business account and the bank were really helpful. One thing leads to another and it is a minefield, you have to be really careful on all fronts. Different councils may have different criteria but actually garages if they are not attached to the house are far less problematic. I wish I could use mine it would save me on insurance and there would be no problem with the council. If you have people coming into your house you need public liability, even I am getting bored with all the red tape!


            • #7
              There are some spe******t craft insurers who are sympathetic to having sharp pointy things and firey thing in your home. Other problems crop up with insuring the stuff you've made if it's in the house or in your car.
              Once you get into the selling at fairs thing joining the National Federation of Market Traders might start to solve lots of your problems. Public liability insurance comes with the membership fee and they have insurance packages for houses and cars that covers your stock (with Marketline), but always read the small print.
              Your square peg in a round hole,


              • #8
                We have house and contents insured with NFU - with an addition which is their Country Business policy which covers my crafts and Jones' restoration of vintage agricultural machinery and implements (if he decides to sell any of them), no callers to the house.
                ElaineJ soap and other stuff


                • #9
                  I used to have a work from home policy with Axa...


                  Not sure about the firey things, but I would think this would cover most scenario's with equipment etc

                  Think you can also add on Public Liability, Employee Insurance, Personal Indeminity etc, plus you get legal fees and other cover.

                  I can't remember exactly what it cost but it wasn't much and you can get a quick quote online
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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the suggestions. That'll keep me busy for a while. Saying that we've been offered the use of a local studio's workshop and kiln so may solve the problem in the short term while we look into the ins and outs of setting up a workshop here. R


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rossa View Post
                      Thanks for all the suggestions. That'll keep me busy for a while. Saying that we've been offered the use of a local studio's workshop and kiln so may solve the problem in the short term while we look into the ins and outs of setting up a workshop here. R
                      My suggestion is to build your shop in the format of a medium sized shed.
                      It may prove more effective than actually working in the house.
                      Dumitru from Summerwood cabins


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dumitru Ivanov View Post
                        My suggestion is to build your shop in the format of a medium sized shed.
                        It may prove more effective than actually working in the house.
                        He’s probably sorted now, the post is Nine years old...



                        • #13
                          Originally posted by santander
                          When I started doing business from home, I did not immediately adapt to this format. I tried to do everything myself, performing functions unusual for me. Later, I solved one of the issues by concluding a contract with an accounting service,[MODERATOR EDIT, LINK DROP REMOVED] All the same, counting taxes has never been my hobby))
                          This is not an advertising and selling site unless you want to pay for the privilege.
                          Last edited by 3dDave; 21-08-2020, 07:11 PM.
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                          • #14
                            I'm amazed - it doesn't usually take the spammers so long to have a go...


                            • #15
                              Any business is undoubtedly an extremely difficult process, which cannot be improved by itself and this must be clearly understood. You need to work on any business, but what can I say, even if you are an ordinary freelancer, you still need to be able to keep records and keep track of many things. I am now studying which payment systems are in the top in order to choose an option for myself with a minimum commission, you know.
                              Last edited by drinkman; 07-02-2021, 09:01 AM.