Home-based businesses are businesses that are run out of one’s own home. These are usually small business operations that were conceived and started by an individual. The individual must often start their business enterprise from their home as they might not have enough starting capital to purchase or rent out business property. Many home-based businesses are run by people who work full-time; that is, many of these businesses are side or part-time jobs that help supplement one's income.

What Are Some Types of Home-Based Businesses?

Some common types of home-based businesses include:

  • Various crafts production and sales (such as beads or necklaces)
  • Trade or sale of works of art
  • Online services or phone services
  • Sale of small items such as toys
  • Baking or other food production

Alternatively, “home-based businesses” can refer to people who perform office work from their home or who telecommute from their home.

What Are Some Legal Issues Involved with Home-Based Businesses?

One of the main concerns with home-based businesses is whether or not home-based businesses are allowed in the area. That is, home business zoning laws may require a person to conduct all business in a commercial or business area rather than from home. Or, the scope and nature of the work done from the home may be limited in terms of factors such as noise, pollution, traffic, storage, advertising, etc. Failure to follow business zoning laws can result in fines or suspension of business licenses.

Another main concern is that of employment or business fraud. Many home-based businesses are actually fraudulent in nature or are scams. This is especially true of businesses that are advertised online through internet fraud, spam or junk e-mail. Signing up for a “home business” may lead to identity theft or other types of scam issues.

Lastly, legal issues can also arise for other considerations such as insurance or contract matters.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Home-Based Business Issues?

Home based businesses can be enjoyable to operate, but they may also involve many legal requirements. You may wish to hire a qualified business lawyer if you have any questions or issues regarding home businesses. Your attorney can help you with filing requirements, compliance, and other issues. Also, if you are involved in any disputes, your attorney can help represent you in court during litigation.