Running a business from home in a Garden Office or Garden Studio
What you should be considering running business at home (Your essential checklist):
Do you need planning permission?If you are considering running a business from home In a Garden Office planning permission could be necessary.
Also if the business may substantially change traffic patterns, parking availability or create abnormal deliveries and collections. This may trigger a change of use and require additional compliance with building regulations. Common sense normally prevails here. If there is little change to any traffic, noise, pollution or general risk it seems unnecessary.
An honest chat with the immediate neighbours should determine this.
To be absolutely sure you must contact your planning office. Don't be surprised if they are not sure and if you are asked to submit an application this could be a protracted and costly process. Use Common sense don't stake all on a business at home, which involves noise, pollution or excessive traffic and deliveries without contacting planning.
Be prepared to take some risk and prepare a contingency if you are not sure. If your business is your livelihood then disruption when up and running could be serious.
What if permission is required?Planning issues see more on this subject in detail (the current legislation with expert analysis) click planning permission link above.
Should you need to make a formal application that will take about 6-8 weeks to process. More information is available about this process on the planning portal all the links you require are on our planning page.
Do you need Building Regulation approval?
You may do. It will depend on whether the business use of your home is of a scale where a change of use would occur. If so, there may be a need to make certain alterations to meet fire safety standards.
If you are concerned about any aspect of safety or pollution contact your council building control.
Remember breaching regulations could lead to court orders and criminal convictions.
Food regulationsIf you are proposing to operate a business with any food-processing element, you should contact the Council's Environmental Services section as catering activity needs to meet strict regulations and registration is necessary. Further advice and training is also available. You will need to register as a Food Premises and your property will need to be inspected periodically to ensure that they meet current food hygiene regulations.
Disruptive Other ThingsNoise, smells or any drainage use change may require separate consents under the Environmental Protection Act, for example for paint spraying use of solvents and inflammable substances in general. You should contact the Councils Pollution Team for advice.
Rubbish and Waste DisposalArrangements for trade waste and recycling should be made separate to your domestic waste. You should be aware of the waste management legislation that is enforced by the Environment Agency.
What about Business Rates?If you are handing over part of your home to business use then it makes sense that council tax should be reduced to compensate. In most cases rather than invite this re-valuation it is probably better to just keep paying the council tax. If in doubt you can contact the valuation agency that are part of HMRC.
Health and SafetyYou should be aware of your responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act and may wish to change a few things to ensure business visitors and any employees are aware of safety required in the business.
General SummaryUse common sense Don’t get into conflict with neighbours. Don’t do things, which are noisy or antisocial, don’t use dangerous or highly flammable chemicals; don’t process food without correct hygiene.
If you follow this advice you will be just like hundreds of thousands of businesses running from their owners homes successfully.
Good Luck and welcome to the growing band of home workers avoiding traffic pollution and helping the environment.
This page "Advice on running business at home" written by Richard (our project director since 2002)
You can email enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Garden Structures, Garden Building Specialists Bracken House, Woodlands Road, Chester, Cheshire CH4 8LB or telephone anytime on 07376 746265