Trading from home can be particularly suitable for new businesses, allowing them the opportunity to build up a client base and to generate income before being in a position to own or lease business premises. If you feel that operating your business from home to be the most suitable option, there are some legal and financial rules you must comply with.
In some circumstances you may be required to apply for planning permission, although it is not likely to be required for a home office. To find out whether or not you need apply, contact the Council's Planning Advsiory Service.
Business rates may apply to the part of your home used solely for business purposes, depending on the circumstances. If you are required to pay business rates, the Valuation Office Agency will apply a rateable value for the part of your home used for business purposes. Further information can be found at the following websites.
Health & Safety
You would also need to consider the health & safety implications in the parts of your home used for business purposes. For instance, you would be obliged to carry out a risk assessment covering yourself, any employees working from your home, any visitors and other members of the household. Further information can be obtained at the HSE website.
Trading from rented domestic dwellings
If you are currently renting domestic dwellings, you would need to seek permission from your landlord or Hartlepool Borough Council before you can run your business from home. It is unlikely that your request will be refused by the Council, except where the nature of your business has the potential to cause nuisance to neighbours including excessive noise pollution and offensive emissions or involves a high level of visitors to your home. Please contact Hartlepool Council direct for further information.