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New measures to help home-based businesses

In recognition of the rapidly changing face of UK employment, the Government says it will implement new legislation to encourage business owners who start up from home, including protection for those working from rented accommodation.

According to the Department of BIS, around 10% of UK homes now play host to at least one small business, and taken as a whole, the nation’s 3 million home-based enterprises contribute around £300 billion each year to the economy.

And given the rapid rise in self-employment numbers since the recession, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Government has decided to put in place a series of measures to help, and protect home-based entrepreneurs.

New measures to encourage home-based businesses

Some of the new measures, announced last week, include:

  • New legislation will be put in place to make it easier for would-be entrepreneurs to start their businesses from rented homes. Key to this will be changes to tenancy rules, to ensure that residential tenancy agreements won’t be undermined if the tenants are running a business from home. The Government will create a model tenancy agreement to download to protect both landlords and their tenants.
  • Reassurance that the vast majority of home-based businesses will not be expected to pay business rates.
  • The Government will update current building planning guidance to reassure business owners that they will not require planning permission to run their enterprises from home.

Commenting on the proposed changes, the chief executive of the British Property Federation, Liz Peace, said that many of today’s ‘kitchen table’ firms will be future seekers of commercial property.

As a result, it is important for the property industry and lawmakers to adapt to modern ways of working, and implement new legislation which acknowledges the move away from traditional employment towards self-employment.

Rapid rise in self-employment numbers

Last week, we reported that the proportion of people working for themselves is growing at a faster rate in the UK than anywhere else in Western Europe, and around 2,000 people come off benefits to start their own businesses each month.

Although many of the nation’s estimated 4.58m self-employed are not ‘entrepreneurs’ – far from it – it has always been the UK’s small businesses which have been the key to economic recoveries.

Announcing the new measures, Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “There’s never been a better time to start a business, and even more people are choosing to start up from home.

“It’s this spirit of personal endeavour and self-determination that is driving our economic recovery.”

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