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Working out working from home

Tue 6th Aug 19

Working from home is big business in the UK, with more than 1.54 million people doing so for their main job, according to the ONS Labour Force Survey. Starting up a new business is also hugely popular in the UK, with a record 663,272 forming in 2018.

Starting up a business can be daunting and finding a location to work from can add to the challenge. But if your choice of career allows it, working from home can be a great option. In fact, according to an Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) survey in April 2019, a third of home workers feel more productive at home than they do in an office.

So how do you get started and what do you need to know? As with any start up, you’ll need to do your research and create your business plan (more on this here) but there are other things to take into account. We’ve collected some tips from our home-working policyholders to get you started…

Making your home your place of work

What you need to do to make your home your place of work depends on the sort of business you’re setting up. Here are some things to bear in mind:

Planning permission

If your business doesn’t impact greatly on your home, and there will be no big changes to the way you use it, planning permission shouldn’t be required.

If, however your home will no longer be mainly used as a private residence, or if there will be more traffic and people coming and going as a result, planning permission will be required. Planning permission may also be required if your business activities may cause disturbance in a residential area, whether that’s from noise, car parking or rubbish disposal, through to cooking smells.

If you’re unsure whether you’ll need planning permission, you can check with your local authority.

Your mortgage

While working from home shouldn’t affect your mortgage repayments, it’s a good idea to let your mortgage provider know if you plan to make your home your business address.

Keeping your neighbours in the know

Unhappy neighbours can cause all sorts of problems, so letting them know of your plans to start a business from home can help to keep them on side. This is especially important if you’ll start receiving more deliveries, if your business may cause disturbance, or if you’ll be having a lot of customers coming to your home.

Your home business insurance

Wherever your business is, you’re likely to need insurance, and that includes businesses that are set up from your home. While you’ll likely already have home insurance in place, it’s a good idea to let your insurer know that you’ll be working from home as well and, depending on your activity, some changes may be needed.

You may also need other covers, and your broker can help you to determine what these may be. Some of the covers you may need to consider are:

Employers’ liability insurance

If you’re working alone, you probably won’t need employers’ liability insurance but if you employ anybody else as part of your home business, it’s a legal requirement. Most employers must have at least £5 million of employers’ liability cover to ensure they can pay the costs if an employee is injured as a result of their work, otherwise they are at risk of fines of up to £2,500 a day.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is important if customers or suppliers will be visiting you at home. It protects you if someone is injured, or their property is damaged, as a result of your business and can cover the resulting legal fees and compensation costs, up to the indemnity limit.  

Products liability insurance

Products liability insurance helps to protect you against claims for personal injury or damage to property caused by products and goods you’ve sold or supplied – whether you made the product or not.

Professional indemnity insurance

If your home business offers services such as accountancy, copy-writing, designing or marketing, or some other consultancy, professional indemnity insurance will help to protect you if a claim is made against your business for negligence or error.

Other types of insurance

As well as the liability insurances above, you may also need to investigate cover for business interruption, stock, contents and vehicles. Your insurance broker will be able to work through the unique requirements for your business.

Keeping your home working business covered with Ryan’s

If you’re thinking about starting a business working from home, the team at Ryan’s is here to help. To find out more, call our Enterprise Division on 01473 343491 today.