Basic Guidelines To Keeping Your Work-At-Home Business Legal
A work at home business or home business can be an exciting, challenging, and lucrative adventure. It is, however, relatively the same as any other business, and is subject to the same laws and regulations that govern any business, no matter what the size. Simply because home businesses are sometimes "one person" endeavors (especially in the beginning) does not free them from adherence to the same laws and regulations that apply to all businesses.
In order to avoid problems both in the beginning, and in the future of any home business, it is important to do some research, spend some money, and otherwise make sure that all laws and regulations at the state, local, and national levels are followed "to the letter".
Herewith follows some basic guidelines to keeping your work at home business legal, and avoiding possible aggravation and heartache in the future:
- Call your Department of State, or other local government agency, before starting your business. All information from local government agencies is always usually free, and any required licenses such as DBA (Doing Business As, or Fictitious Name Licensing), will be fully explained, as well as Articles of Incorporation and other smaller license requirements. Usually the fees and how to obtain all necessary licensing will be explained as well in a phone call such as this.
- Call your regional or local government office for any advice on zoning permits that may be required or space and inventory requirements, depending on the type of business.
- Call an accountant or accounting firm. These firms are generally hugely knowledgeable about how to start and maintain a legal work at home business and will freely share this advice with others. They will in addition have a good knowledge of local requirements and tax issues.
- Find out before starting, what tax requirements are necessary and the forms you must have on hand before beginning. These forms and requirements will depend on the type of business, number of employees (if any), etc., and are a necessary part of setting up any home-based business.
- Call a local business chamber of commerce if possible. Other business owners can effectively impart information on other legalities, and usually do so very willingly.
All of the above require some fees, but are usually very economical means of preventing larger fines and sometimes legal action if regulations and licensing requirements are not met. Remember, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", and this statement is no truer than when applied to a work at home business.
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