New support for home based businesses

It is estimated that seven out of ten small businesses are managed in the first instance from home. Home based entrepreneurs contribute £300 billion to the UK economy. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Government have woken up and realised that they should be supporting this sector.

 Recently, the Business Minister, Matthew Hancock, announced a package of additional support for home based business owners. They include:

  • The law will be changed so that landlords can be assured that agreeing to home working by tenants will not undermine their residential tenancy agreement. A new model tenancy agreement will also be made available shortly;
  • Updated planning guidance will make it clear that planning permission should not normally be needed to run a business from your home; and
  • New business rates guidance will clarify that in the majority of circumstances home based businesses will not attract business rates.

This is welcome news. It is a pity that the announcement did not include a relaxation in the complicated Capital Gains Tax rules that can affect individuals who claim for the use of a room at home to run their business.

Readers may be interested to know that there are already 2.9 million businesses being run from entrepreneurs’ homes. As mentioned above, these businesses contribute £300 billion in annual turnover to the UK economy. They also have a marked affect on employment.

If 1 in 10 home businesses took on just 1 extra employee it would create 300,000 jobs. Unemployment fell in June 2014 to just over two million so the 300,000 reduction would represent a significant 15% fall.

On the face of it, home based businesses can take encouragement from these announcements. Let’s hope that these will be the first of a number of initiatives to encourage entrepreneurs to take the plunge.