Running a business from home has a lot of perks: more flexibility, lower overhead costs, and the ability to hold client calls in your pajamas, to name a few. But while there’s a lot to gain from building a business at home, creating a professional, productive workspace at home is harder than it sounds. Not only do work-from-home entrepreneurs have to contend with distractions from kids and pets, but working from your kitchen table doesn’t exactly exude professionalism. Luckily, you can create a better workspace for your home business. Olympus Home presents some tips for how you can create a professional workspace.
A lot of people are working from home, but only half have a dedicated home office. The rest are making do with the kitchen table, the bed, and the living room.
This may work for occasional telecommuting, but when you’re building a home-based business, you need a professional workspace. That means a separate office located away from busy living areas and furnished with an ergonomic workstation. Put a separate entrance and half bathroom on your home office wishlist if you have employees or see clients and vendors on site.
If you already have a space that checks all the boxes, you’re in luck. It only takes a few furniture, storage, and lighting updates to convert a spare room into a home office. Include these essential projects in your home office renovation:
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a spare room. If your home lacks a guest bedroom, den, or other office-worthy space, look around for less obvious candidates. Do you have an oversized pantry, walk-in closet, or basement begging to be finished? What about a dining room collecting dust or a backyard shed that could be put to better use?
If you’ve explored every nook and cranny and come up blank, a new home may be the best solution. Deciding to move lets you buy a home that perfectly suits your work-from-home needs, including office space, expanded parking, and storage for business inventory and supplies. Determine what you can afford to spend on a home, then look at listings that meet your needs. If properties with home offices are in your price range, start the homebuying process by getting preapproved for a loan and talking to a real estate agent.
Whether you renovate an existing room, convert unused space, or buy a new house to accommodate your home-based business, you’re bound to accumulate a few expenses along the way. As a business owner, those expenses are deductible as long as your home office is used regularly and exclusively for business.
You can claim the home office tax deduction whether you operate as a sole proprietor or a limited liability corporation. However, it’s worth forming an LLC for personal liability protection and access to business financing, not to mention the credibility that a legal entity confers to your business. You don’t need an expensive lawyer to do it either. In most states, forming an LLC only requires a few forms and fees through a service or even your own legwork. Among the forms that you’ll need to complete is an operating agreement, though you can find templates that can help you complete this step in a short amount of time.
Building a professional office at home is a major undertaking, but for home-based business owners, it’s well worth the effort. Not only does a home office save money compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar business, but whether you renovate or buy a new home, you’ll end up with a space that’s perfectly suited to your business’s needs.