Home businesses are popular, and they usually start as small side projects. As they grow, however, they can turn into full-time businesses, even when they’re being run out of residential spaces.
If you open a home-based business, are you going to run into some zoning issues?
Complications are a real possibility, especially if the neighbors complain
The reality is that cities are zoned for both residential and commercial use in different areas. You can break things down much further and consider multi-use zones, specific types of commercial zones, and much more, but the basic principle is that businesses are allowed in one zone and homes are allowed in another.
If you’re in a residential zone, then, you may feel like you have a right to do whatever you want out of the house that you own — but you may have limitations. As your business grows, you could attract the attention of the zoning board. This is especially true if your neighbors complain about things like excess traffic around your home, parking issues or noise violations. The zoning board may want to know why you’re running a business in a residential area.
Does this mean it’s the end for your company? Not necessarily. You may be able to get a variance, which allows you to operate outside of the bounds of the zone. You may be able to move the business to another location now that it is large enough to support such a move.
Working with an attorney can save your small business a lot of problems
If you’re running a growing business out of your home, there are steps you’ll have to take to make sure that you don’t encounter unnecessary trouble with zoning and other issues. You need to know about all of your legal obligations as you navigate this process. An attorney who understand small business real estate issues can help.