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March 18, 2013

The Law and Your Business

Home-based Businesses

What if there’s a problem with the zoning authorities?

You may have several good options.

  1. Adapt the business so you comply—make sure your signs are the right size, that you don't use too many parking spaces, that you have only the maximum number of employees.

  2. Try to get the law to adapt to your business. The zoning language may go back decades, long before your type of business ever existed. It may be enough to convince those in charge of enforcement that your business does not violate the spirit of the law.

  3. If that fails, your zoning laws probably let you petition the powers that be for either a special use exemption or a variance. Either one essentially creates an exception for you. You'll have to make a formal request to the zoning board or a similar governmental body.

  4. If you're on the edge of a zone, you could try to have the small area covering your home rezoned slightly, so you're in a permissible zone, rather than one in which you're violating the law, however technically. This probably requires a vote by the city council (or whatever your local legislature is called), and going this route might be a big deal.

>>Do I have to be concerned about zoning?
>>What if there’s a problem with the zoning authorities?
>>Can I deduct my home office?
>>What are the IRS rules on home offices?
>>What, exactly, can I deduct?
>>What insurance will I need for my home business?
>>What if I want to open a day-care center?

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