Starting a business from home

To run a business from your home, you may need permission from your:

  • mortgage provider or landlord
  • local planning office - e.g. if you’re planning on making major alterations to your home
  • local council - e.g. if you’re going to get lots of customers or deliveries, you want to advertise outside your home or if you need a licence to run your business

General advice

The main body able to give business advice is Business Wales, it is the Welsh Government’s business support programme designed to help businesses in Wales grow and help individuals start up a business. If you would like further information log onto the Business Wales website. If you are under 30 the Prince's Trust is also helpful. 

The Business Support and Marketing section of Torfaen County Borough Council is the section to contact if you are, or want to be, a business in Torfaen. Visit the South Wales Business website for more information. 

The Technium Springboard at Llantarnam Park, Cwmbran provides a business support service that accelerates the successful development of business start-ups. The potential business must adhere to certain requirements and go through a selection process. It provides the perfect business service, equipment, technology support and financial help, which creates a supportive environment. Each business can use the centre for up to three years, and receives an organised, bespoke programme for growth. Contact the Centre on 01633 647800 to find out about the e-pods packages which is an alternative to starting a business at home. 

Tax and National Insurance

For information on tax and national insurance visit the HM Revenue & Customs website. It is also recommended that advice is sought from a professional adviser such as an accountant or bank at an early stage. 

VAT

For VAT queries please telephone 0845 0109000 or visit the HM Revenue & Customs website.

Will I need to pay business rates?

Regulations state that all non-domestic uses are rateable. However, if your business shares the use of a family room in your home, the main use will normally be considered domestic and the room will not be rateable. An example of this is a guest room containing a desk and a computer together with a bed, wardrobe etc. 

If a room in your home is dedicated exclusively to your business, the use of your business will be considered non-domestic and the room will be rateable. 

Each case will be considered individually and you should contact Business Rates on 01495 762200 to discuss your proposal in more detail. 

Alternatively, for further information visit the Business Rates area of the website.

Will I need to apply for planning permission to run my business from home?

Planning permission will usually be needed if your business ‘takes over’ and alters the character of your home and the surrounding residential environment. 

In most cases planning permission will be needed if one or more of the following apply:

  • Your home is no longer used substantially as a private residence
  • Your business results in a notable rise in vehicles or people calling
  • Your business involves any activities unusual in a residential area
  • Your business disturbs your neighbours at unreasonable hours or it is particularly noisy or smelly
  • You employ workers at home who are not normally resident there.

If the answer if ‘yes’ to any of the above, or you would like to discuss your proposal with a Planning Officer, please Tel: 01633 648009.

Will I need to comply with building control to run my business from home?

You will only need to comply with Building Regulations if you are planning to undertake additional building work to accommodate your business. 

The following building works are exempt from Building Regulation Control: 

A detached single storey building with:

  • A floor area of no more that 30 square metres
  • Containing no sleeping accommodation
  • Situated at least one metre from the boundary of the property

A detached building with:

  • A floor area of not more that 15 square metres
  • Containing no sleeping accommodation.

All extensions to existing buildings will need to comply with Building Regulations. Please telephone 01495 766922 if you wish to discuss your proposal with a Building Control Officer.

Will environmental health regulations apply to my business?

Environmental Health Regulations apply to a range of businesses run from home. The following list includes examples of businesses operated from home where regulations generally apply. 

Home catering

  • Food Safety Act 1990
  • Food Safety (General Hygiene) Regulations 1995
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Registration as a food business

Child minding

  • Food Safety Act 1990
  • Food Safety (General Hygiene) Regulations 1995
  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Registration as a food business
  • Registration with Torfaen County Council’s registration unit as a childminder

Office based activities

  • Health & Safety Act 1974
  • If you have employees you will need to register with Torfaen County Borough Council

Animal boarding, dog breeding, selling pet animals or running a riding establishment

  • Need to be licensed by Torfaen County Borough Council
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Beauty treatments, ear piercing or tattooing

  • Registration of premises and personnel
  • Health and Safety at Work Act
Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Planning Services

Tel: 01633 648095

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