Running a business from home

You may need permission or separate insurance to run a home business, and you’ll need to check if you have to pay business rates.


To run a business from your home, you may need permission from your:

  • mortgage provider or landlord
  • local planning office - eg if you’re planning on making major alterations to your home
  • local council - eg if you’re going to get lots of customers or deliveries, you want to advertise outside your home or if you need a licence to run your business


You may need insurance for your business. Home insurance may not cover your business (eg stock, computers, customers visiting your premises). You can find an authorised insurer on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) website.

Tax allowances

You can include your business costs in your Self Assessment tax return if you’re a sole trader or part of a business partnership.

You can claim a proportion of the cost of things like council tax, heating, lighting, phone calls and broadband. You can use a flat rate to calculate your simplified allowable expenses starting from the 2013 to 2014 tax year.

You may need to pay Capital Gains Tax on the part of your property you used for your business if you sell your home.

Business rates

You may have to pay business rates on the part of your property that you use for your business.

This depends on whether the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) (local assessor in Scotland) has given a rateable value to a part of your home.

You’ll still have to pay Council Tax on the rest of your property.

To check if you have to pay business rates, contact the VOA (or your local assessor in Scotland).

Valuation Office Agency
03000 501 501 (England)
03000 505 505 (Wales)
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You may qualify for small business rate relief if your property has a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

Health and safety

You’ll need to manage health and safety as you would with any other business.