The two dirtiest words in the work at home world are laws and taxes. When it comes to operating a legal home business, I find it alarming that so many entrepreneurs are living under the impression that these things don’t apply to them.
I have heard many excuses for not checking into things. I don’t plan on making much money. This is only a part-time business. I will worry about that after I see if it is profitable. The government isn’t going to worry about me until I’m rich. I do not feel that is a safe way to live. Would you rather spend 20 minutes now getting advice, or potentially pay a bunch of fines if you get caught?
Why does this concern me? Call me paranoid. With the government’s recent push towards telecommuting and work at home, I can’t help but think they are going to want to make sure they are getting their piece of the pie. I think we are soon going to find ourselves under a microscope with how we are managing our home business affairs.
Following IRS guidelines is always the biggest concern, but there may also be local regulations that apply to you as well. I was surprised to find when digging around, that many cities and counties require special licensing to operate a business out of your home. And you may recall a few months back when Philadelphia cracked down on their “business privilege license” and started notifying blog owners and others they consider a business who hadn’t paid up.
Lesson of the Day: Ignorance isn’t an excuse for not following the law (Boy, I sure wish it was). You can find out if you are complying by making a phone call. Take some time to call your local SCORE office and get some free advice. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.