Starting a Home-Based Business in Pennsylvania


HomeYou may be tired of the nine-to-five grind or ready to spend more time at home with your children. The reality for most people, however, is that you must continue providing constant income for your family. Starting a business in your home can be a way to put your business ideas into motion while saving money on overhead. Home-based businesses can also help make ends meet during a company layoff or government furlough.

Before you start, you need to make sure you can legally operate a business from your home while keeping the neighbors and your homeowners association happy.  Before launching your new home business, take time to research and answer these questions:

  • What are the zoning restrictions where you live? Zoning restrictions are designed to protect residents from the traffic often associated with businesses. Your city’s website may be a good source of information.
  • What will you name your business? You may need to reserve and register your name with the appropriate state agency. In Pennsylvania, check with the Corporations Bureau.
  • Do you need a business license to conduct business in your city, county, or state?  (Or all three?)
  • Will your homeowner’s or renter’s policy cover a loss of inventory or other damage to your home-based business?  Check with your insurance carrier and your written policy to find out.
  • Will your business have a life of its own?  In other words, will you conduct your business as a sole proprietorship or will you choose a legal entity such as a corporation, partnership, or LLC?
  • Do you need to obtain a federal EIN, or employer identification number? Find out more at the IRS EIN application website.
  • Have you contacted an experienced Pennsylvania business law attorney who can answer other questions you might have along the way?

Here’s a tip — start with investigating any zoning restrictions related to your home. It would be an incredible waste of time to go through all of the other steps only to find out a zoning restriction was a deal breaker all along. Next, be sure to contact an experienced Pennsylvania business law attorney, whose business start-up advice can more than pay for itself in time and money saved.

For more information about getting started, and to make sure your home-based business complies with existing laws and regulations, seek the help of a professional business law attorney.  The attorneys at the Scolieri Law Group, P.C. can help you get your home-based business off to a great start.  Contact us today at (412)765-0546 or info@scolierilaw.com.