If you have the choice, working from home may be a much better option than renting or buying business premises. It's a common choice for people who just need a small office, or who spend most of their time working on client premises.
However, working from home may not be an option if it significantly changes the use of the building, or affects your local area, for example if you have lots of visitors. Also, if you rent your home, your licence or lease may carry restrictions on using it for business purposes. Drawing up a list of what you need can help you decide whether working from home is a possibility.
Planning the home office
Practical issues you need to think about include properly equipping your workspace. If you work at a desk you need a comfortable workstation. Consider any potential hazards to yourself, workers, visitors and other members of your household and how to reduce the risk of accidental damage to your work or equipment.
You also need to think about how to separate your work and home life. It helps if you can avoid being disturbed when you are working. You also want to be able to relax during your time off without being interrupted by work.
Financial and legal issues
Working from home can have important consequences for your mortgage, insurance and tax position. For example, your mortgage might not allow you to use your home for working, and your insurance might be invalidated if you do. There are also legal considerations, you might need planning permission, or you may become liable to business rates.
Even if you just have a small home office, or work on client premises, you'll need to think about health and safety. You should carry out a health and safety risk assessment, taking into account the kind of work you do and the risks to other people.
Legal considerations when choosing business premises