Always check the zoning plan with the municipality where you live and start your business. In a zoning plan, the municipality specifies how you may use a specific piece of land or building. It says, for example, where catering companies, shops, industrial companies or homes can be located. The zoning plan applies to citizens, entrepreneurs and the municipality itself.
You can see the zoning plan for your house via Ruimteplanning.nl. By entering your city and postcode, you can see which environmental category your house has. Usually this will be category 1 and your house is intended for residential use. This means that a home business is possible as long as you do not cause inconvenience to the neighborhood. Are you stuck? Then contact your municipality.
Is it not possible to start a home-based business in your municipality according to the zoning plan? Then you can apply for environmental approval. This is an environmental approval for the activity ‘acting in violation of the physical rules’. After an investigation, your municipality will assess whether there is a possibility of an exemption from the zoning plan.
Mortgage loan agreement or lease
Also check in your mortgage agreement or lease whether you can start a business from or near your home. If necessary, discuss your plans with your mortgage lender or landlord. Do you live in a rented house? Always ask your landlord for written permission. If you live in an apartment complex, check if there are restrictions in the articles of association of VvE.
Differences per commune
The rules for starting a home-based business are different from municipality to municipality. For example, one municipality has prepared a policy memorandum or supplementary rules on home-based businesses, while another municipality has not. A municipality can deviate from the zoning plan if there are many inconveniences or complaints. Examples of such agreements and differences are:
The differences per municipality are therefore large. Therefore, check with your municipality of residence if they have drawn up deviating rules for certain sectors in addition to the area plan.
You can apply for environmental permits and permits to build and live in the environmental service’s environmental service counter.
Does your company pollute the environment? Then you must apply for an environmental permit or report an activity order. You can find out what applies to you via the Internet Module Activities Decreet (AIM).
Are you going to renovate or tear down? Then check with the permit check whether you need an environmental permit for this.
Advertising or nameplates
Placing a billboard on your facade should not change the look of your home. So do not put neon signs on your facade or place a large billboard in your garden. If your facade advertising complies with the municipality’s rules, do not apply for environmental approval. You can also check this via the environmental counter.
Do you receive customers at home? Check in advance with your municipality which conditions apply. If you have a home-based business, there should be no inconvenience to your environment. In case of inconvenience, think of excessive noise, stench and parking lots that are constantly occupied by your customers. For example, a construction company in a residential area will not make anyone happy, but a nail study in your attic will in most cases not cause inconvenience.
Webshop at home
Customers are not allowed to pick up products that you sell in your webshop from home. This can cause inconvenience to the neighborhood. In addition, the municipality can see this as a retail store, and it is not allowed from a residential home.
Do not forget to take out your business insurance when you start from home. Your household insurance and home insurance are for private property and the home itself. These insurances do not cover damage to business assets and the workplace.
Find out which business insurances are relevant to you. For example, have you stored items in the attic or in a shed? Be sure to take out corporate inventory and goods insurance. Then flood, theft and storm damage are in any case covered for storage of goods. Do you work a lot with customers or outside the home? Damages to customers or at external locations are covered by corporate liability insurance.
You can deduct the cost of your business insurance from your profits.
Workplace deductible expenses
Do you have a workplace or office in your home with its own entrance, toilet and water connection? In some cases, you can deduct the cost of the workplace in your tax return. Think about the cost of interior design and electricity. The tax authorities also look at how many useful hours you spend at your workplace. If you work a lot outside the home, you do not meet the conditions. Check which deductible costs apply to you with the Tax Authority’s Workspace tool. You can also seek advice from your accountant or auditor.
Small business scheme
Do you expect an annual turnover of less than 20,000 euros? Then you might want to make use of the Small Business Scheme (KOR). Then you are exempt from VAT. Think carefully, because the election to KOR is valid for at least 3 years or until your annual turnover exceeds 20,000 euros. If you have to make a lot of investments in your business, KOR is usually not interesting. You can not claim VAT back on these investments. Even if you have business customers, KOR may not be interesting because these customers would like an invoice with VAT. And you can not give it to them through KOR. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of KOR here.
Register Chamber of Commerce with private address
Legally, your company’s home address and business address are 2 different addresses. However, if your business is located at your home address, that address is visible in the Chamber of Commerce’s Trade Register. The business address is always public. Read how to limit your findability.