Starting A Home-Based Business in Pennsylvania


If you are thinking about starting a home-based business, you are not alone. Seeking to reduce overhead during the economic turmoil of recent years, many small business owners have gone home, converting a portion of their home into an office space. Business Week reports census bureau statistics, which suggest 58 percent of non-employer businesses are home-based, and an astonishing 22 percent of employer businesses are home-based.

What do you need to do to join the crowd? Many guides (free and otherwise) are available online to help you start a home-based business. Most professionals will suggest you consider the following:

  • Will your homeowner’s or renter’s policy cover a loss of inventory or other loss of your home-based business? Check with your insurance carrier and read your policy to get details.
  • What are the zoning restrictions in your neighborhood? 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.
  • 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? (Over 90 percent of home-based businesses are sole proprietorships, but this may not be the best choice for your business.)
  • Do you need to obtain an EIN, or employer identification number? The answer depends on a number of factors, including whether you intend to have employees, although this is not the only factor in this decision.
  • Do you need a license to conduct business in your city, county, or state? (Or all three?)

Most owners of home-based businesses list flexibility and savings as their top reasons for staying home to work. Whatever your reasons, be sure to have a business plan and all the necessary permits and licenses in place before you open for business.

For more information about getting started, or making sure your business complies with existing laws and regulations, seek the help of a professional business 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.