Please note: Canada Business Ontario is now FedDev Ontario Small Business Services.
Our information and services remain the same.

Home-based business

Being able to work at home appeals to a lot of people, but there are a few things you should consider before deciding to start a home-based business. Depending on the amount of space you require, and on the nature of your business, operating from your home may be a great option. Consider the many factors involved to be sure that working from home is your best choice.

Advantages

  • Cheaper than renting and you can deduct business taxes for the use of your home (for example: property tax, utilities, repairs and maintenance, home insurance, rent or an interest portion of your mortgage)
  • No commuting
  • Set your own hours of work
  • More comfortable working environment
  • You can put as much time as you want into the business

Disadvantages

  • Not a lot of room for expansion of the business
  • Isolation from business associates
  • May not be able to accommodate special equipment or extra staff
  • Legal and health restrictions, if your business is in an apartment or house
  • Interruptions from family and friends, and difficulties setting boundaries
  • Having to motivate yourself, even when the business is not performing well

Do your research to determine what is right for you

Before launching your home-based business, consider these important points:

  • Pick a home business idea that you can finance, that interests you, and where there is a need in your area
  • Make sure you designate, for your business, a specific area of your house or apartment that is away from your main living space
  • Try not to get distracted by things that may take you away from your work and compromise your productivity
  • Check provincial and federal regulations for any health, safety and taxation regulations before you start
  • Do not compromise your professionalism because you are in a less formal environment
  • Make sure you are available to your clients by keeping a consistent schedule or using other approaches to get back to them quickly
  • Be careful of home-based opportunities that may be fraudulent

For more information on home-based business and other business topics, contact Small Business Services today. Telephone services are available in English or French.