We live in the age of the mobile office where people are choosing to work from anywhere they can rather than being confined to an office complex.
Sure, this makes it a lot easier for those who have families and those who are running businesses to simply pack up the laptop and work from wherever they choose.
Many people choose to work from home mainly because it is more affordable, flexible and it is easier to manage, especially if they have children.
However, there are a handful of things you should pay attention to before setting up office on a residential property:
(1) Certain businesses can easily be run from home, but as soon as you start seeing clients on the property things start changing.
For a normal residential property to be used as a business, the main function of the residential area should still be accommodation and occupation!
This is set out in municipal guidelines as follows: “the dominant use of the property must remain the accommodation of a single family, the proprietor of the activity must live on the property and no more than three employees may be engaged in the activity concerned”.
(2) This makes it easy for people to start bed and breakfasts in their residential home as many elderly and young couples do to supplement their income. There is still a family living on the property, but it is also being used as a mode of income.
There are still certain guidelines that need to be followed and you should seek assistance from the municipal council regardless, but it is an easy way to make use of the extra bedrooms in your home.
Even when this is done, there are regulations that you should adhere to, for example, you will have to comply with the minimum off-street parking requirements.
(3) When looking for a house in which you want to run a business, you need to be established in an area where the demand is high. A bed and breakfast would work great in an area where tourists frequent or close to a university.
The structure of your property will also be dependent on the type of business you want to run.
It is very important that you establish beforehand whether or not the property is commercially viable!
Whereas this may sound as a ‘duh’, you’d be surprised to see how many starting businesses fail because the owners assumed that their new product/service will ‘take off in no time’.
Which it might have if they had been more careful in the selection of the business location!
(4) Bed and breakfast aren’t the only business that you can run from home: quite a lot of people choose to set up shop and become retailers from home.
And this is where things might get even trickier:
- Parking will become a problem if you don’t have enough space so it is important that you buy a property with enough parking in your own yard.
- Your signage will also have to be in accordance with municipal guidelines.
- Furthermore, anything that is sold has to be manufactured on the property where the business is located.
When looking for this type of house, it is important that you find a property with enough storage and workspace so that you can run your business professionally.
Whatever the nature of your business, when property hunting, it is important that you make use of a reputable, trustworthy real estate agent. They will be able to assist you in any and all legalities and they will be able to find you a home that is perfect for the type of business that you want to start.
Have you recently started a home business? Which challenges did you initially encounter? Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments below 🙂
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