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The Legal Nuts & Bots Of Starting A Home Business


Asian Businesswoman Working From Home Using Mobile Phone

On the face of things, starting any kind of business at home is a simple process. You have an idea for selling a product or service, and you get started right away. However, like everything in life, nothing is that simple. There are a few things you need to tick off on the legal checklist, and if you fail to do so, you could end up in some hot water. Let’s take a look at the legal nuts and bolts behind starting a home business.

Trading responsibilities

As a rule, if you are planning to start a consultancy or freelance writing business, nothing should stand in your way. However, it’s important to check out your industry’s trading regulations before you even start making a plan of activities. For example, let’s say you launch a cupcake business at home, selling from a  market stall at a local farmer’s market. As a catering business, you’ll need to contact your local authority and ensure you are complying with the main General Food Law Requirements.

Company name

The next big decision is how you set up your business. Many freelancers set up as sole traders, for example, but as point out, you might be better off in tax terms establishing as a limited company. Either way, you need to choose a name that is not in use by any other company to ensure your business isn’t treading on someone else’s toes.

Trademarks, patents, and intellectual property

It’s vital to set up protections for your business ideas, as well as your physical property. Your trademark will ensure that you, your products and company names are protected by law, and no one else can use them. Filing for a patent protects the workings of your product and ensures no other business can steal them. Make sure you see a lawyer and ensure you have the right protections in place, as, sadly, intellectual property theft and industrial espionage is a genuine threat to more businesses than you might think.


In particular cases, it is a legal requirement to have insurance when starting a business. However, regardless of the law, insurance is there to make sure you don’t end up in serious financial trouble if you, your employees or your clients ends up having an accident, for example. As a bare minimum, we would recommend taking out insurance for employer’s liability, vehicles, and contracts, as well as any policies that cover you for working with specialist equipment.


Last – but by no means least – we have taxes. Do not underestimate how important this will be for the long-term health of your business. If you don’t track all your expenses and keep accurate records, you can expect action from HMRC. VAT is another big issue, and many small business owners will worry about a VAT inspection happening – which is more common than you might think. The trick is to keep your financial accounts in great order if you want to avoid any issues – hiring an accountant or bookkeeper will help.

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog

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