of Working from Home in the United Kingdom
Working in the comforts of home
might sound quite appealing; however, there are legal
complications that must be considered. Like any other
working environment, a home that has an office or space
set aside for business becomes vulnerable to the same
risks that any other business faces. The protection of
the proper insurances play a key role in protecting the
well being of a home based business, just as they do in
any off site company run business because most of the
risks involved in running a business likewise apply. For
example, should a client or third party enter a home to
conduct business and trip or fall over a computer cord,
the same rules of public liability would apply as it
would have done had the premises been an office, shop or
factory. The client or third party would likely file a
claim for injuries. On the other hand, should a home
business owner travel to a client or third party's site
to conduct business and caused some damage or injuries,
he or she could well be held liable for damages.
It is also necessary for any one running a business from
home with help from other employees, other than close
relatives, to carry employers' liability cover. This is
not an option, as is public liability - it is mandatory.
Anyone with employees must have an official certificate
clearly accessible to any employee or official should
one stop by. The certificate must give all details
pertaining to the type of employers' insurance in place.
Hefty fines are enforced, usually on a daily basis,
should this insurance not be in place.
Another type of cover to consider
when running a UK home business is professional
indemnity insurance. This is important because it
protects a home business owner in case damages occur to
a client or third party, as a result of alleged
professional negligence. For instance, a home based
architect could provide a set of plans for a building
which subsequently collapsed, a computer programmer
working from home could provide a programme which caused
a catastrophic loss of data, a home based trichologist
could recommend a course of hair treatments that caused
a clients' hair to fall out. All these should be covered
by a professional indemnity policy.
Many home based businesses require an individual to hold
stock at home. Tools and other equipment may not be
covered under a general home owner's policy. Therefore,
it is important to consider tool and equipment cover,
which can be added on to a homeowner's business policy
for a modest fee. In the unfortunate event that tools,
stock or equipment are lost or stolen - this insurance
is vital to ensure a home based business can continue
without catastrophic effects.
Another insurance consideration for those running a
business out of a home is income replacement, should the
owner become disabled for a variety of reasons. Taking
out an accident or sickness policy will help make up for
the income lost, whilst the owner recovers or is in the
process of trying to recoup losses because of the
sickness or accident.
In addition to insurance, a home-based business owner
should also check with local officials to make sure that
the business is abiding by the local rules and
regulations in place. Any home business owner in the UK
must realise the legal structures involved and think
carefully about what structure applies to the type of
business. A list of questions that should be addressed
-Who should be notified in the way of city officials to
know your business is up and running?
-What tax structures need to be in place to legally run
-Are you competent to handle the financial liabilities
should your company face hardships?
-Are you ready to take on employees if you cannot handle
all the work yourself?
When running a home based business, the best advice that
can be offered is to cover all possibilities, and ensure
that where possible they are covered by insurance