“Working from Anywhere” – more first steps
Check with your city, county, and state to see if you need a business license. Then check to see if it’s legal for you to work from home.
Although Internet workers and other freelancers across the country are working from their homes or anywhere there’s a WiFi connection, there may be restrictions that apply to your specific location. In addition to local regulations, if you live in a location with a homeowner’s association, there may be additional regulations or prohibitions.
Often, if you work entirely on line, no one will know the difference, but if customers/clients begin arriving at your door, your neighbors will know. If that’s not allowed, some will complain to the regulatory agencies.
You also need to know if it’s legal for you to put up a sign advertising your business – or to put magnetic signs on your car. One young woman in New York was pulled over for driving on the “wrong freeway” with advertising signs on her door.
Should clients come to your house, check with your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered if someone trips and falls on your premises.
You also may need a business license in order to obtain a business checking account – and that could be important. If clients pay by check and that check is made out to “Sue Smith Graphic Design,” your bank may not let you cash the check or deposit it in your personal account.
The same could be true if you’re being paid via credit card as opposed to strictly using Pay Pal.
There might be a tax break!
If you have a designated office in your home where you do (or could) entertain clients, be sure to talk with your tax advisor about taking the home office deduction. Specific rules apply, so do your research before taking the deduction.
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