Owning a Home Business When You're Renting

Published on 1 August 2022 at 09:40

You can run a successful business right from the comfort of your home, and you don't have to be a homeowner to make it happen! With a few clever organizational tricks, you can easily set up shop in a rented space and watch your business thrive.

A home business is operated from a residential location, but that doesn't mean you have to own the home. Operating a business from a small or rented space is simple if you take advantage of a few tips and tricks to keep things organized. Here's some advice from Albright Administration.

Get Permission

Before anything else, make sure you're allowed to have a business in your space. Scour your lease agreement, ask your landlord, and check any local laws. Usually, as long as your potential business doesn't require you to have customers actually coming to your physical location, there are no issues.

If you're looking to move into a new apartment in Philadelphia, definitely ask about having a business in your new place before you sign a lease or put down a deposit. Apartment living isn't cheap in that area, and you don't want to get into an expensive lease only to find out you'll need to rent out an office space, too. Studios start at around $1,400, and you'll likely want a bigger space if you plan to work from home, too. You may find it's easier to get permission to run your business out of a rental house since they generally don't have common walls with other neighbors. You may even find that single-family houses and even townhouses are less expensive because they don't come with the amenities of large apartment complexes.

Protect Yourself

Once you know operating a business from your location is allowed, take steps to protect yourself. One way to do this is to set up your business as an LLC. This limits your personal liability for any problems arising in the business, and it offers some tax benefits. All states have different requirements for LLCs, so check the rules in your state, or use a business formation service. The fees are definitely worth it when the company does all the heavy lifting.

Another way to protect yourself is to secure the proper insurance coverage. Renters' insurance likely excludes any business operations, so be sure you have the coverage you need. It may be possible to add business coverage to your renter's insurance, or you may need a separate business insurance policy.

Set Up a Workspace

Set up a place within your home to focus on work. First, having a dedicated work area may offer some tax advantages for you. Second, having all the business items, including any inventory or materials owned by the business, in one area helps things run smoothly. Finally, having a separate space for work and home activities helps you maintain a healthy work-life balance. Be sure to add some plants and plenty of light to manage your stress. When working from home, many people find they end up working even more hours than they did in a traditional job simply because the work is always there.

Stay Organized

In most rentals, space is at a premium, so make the most of your available space. Once you have your workspace defined, get organized. Clear totes are an inexpensive and easy way to store inventory and other supplies. Shelving or cubbies help with organization, and labeling helps you know where everything belongs.

You'll also want to ensure your financial organization with cloud-based accounting software. Proper accounting software will ensure that your finances stay under control and up to date. 

Be a Good Neighbor

While legally you may be able to run a business from your apartment, you can still get into trouble for violating other parts of your lease agreement, such as rules that prohibit excessive noise. Be a good neighbor to reduce instances where others may complain. Reach out to neighbors, and let them know of things that may affect them. Don't infringe on your neighbors' rights to peaceful enjoyment of their homes, so they don't take steps that may result in your business being shut down or you having to move. Remember, your neighbors have rights, too.

Running Smoothly

If you follow these tips, you can have your business up and running smoothly in no time. Running a business from home is just like any other entrepreneurial endeavor — it can be difficult yet extremely rewarding. Just make sure that your lease doesn't prohibit you from running a business out of your home. If it does, you might need to move somewhere new. And if things begin to take off and you need administrative help, Albright Administration can help remove some of that burden. They offer virtual secretarial and administrative work for busy teams like yours.

Thank you for reading!

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Written by Derek Goodman

Derek is an entrepreneur. He’d always wanted to make his own future, and he knew growing his own business was the only way to do that. He created his site Inbizability, to offer you tips, tricks, and resources so that you realize your business ability and potential now, not later.

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