Resources - Chapter 10 Supplement

Home Office Bill of Rights

  1. Limit Zoning Rules. Zoning rules affecting home-based businesses must focus only on whether a particular activity actually has an impact on the true residential character of a neighborhood. Legislators should not pass any zoning restrictions affecting the inside of a home or nearby structure (such as a garage) used in a home-based business.
  2. Disallow Excessive Licensing Fees. Any administrative licenses for home-based businesses should be easily obtainable, and any fee for such licenses should be no greater than that required to cover the costs of administrative paperwork.
  3. Permit Hiring of Employees. Employees are important to many home-based businesses. Rules should not be passed which arbitrarily restrict the number of employees that can be hired by such a business or that can work at the same time in the home.
  4. Permit Access to Customers. A home-based business must be allowed access to customers. Zoning rules must recognize that for many types of businesses, such access is critical. No rules should be placed limiting the number of customers which a home-based business can service during a particular period of time or at the same time.
  5. Eliminate Unfunded Mandates. Lawmakers must consider how proposed laws and regulations impose additional costs on home-based businesses. Any legislation which imposes additional cost on home-based businesses are unfunded mandates which should require offsetting compensation.
  6. Ensure Tax Deductions. More and more people are attracted to conducting home-based businesses because of the flexibility such arrangements allow. Legislation should be enacted to allow for greater tax deductions for expenditures incurred by such businesses.
  7. Allow Greater Expensing. Cash flow and accounting simplicity are critical success factors for home-based businesses. Deducting business expenditures in the year incurred, or "expensing," helps cash flow, encourages capital formation and is simple, negating the need for the hiring of multiple accountants and lawyers. Legislation should be passed which allows home-based businesses to expense $100,000 each year.
  8. Eliminate Location Restrictions on Tax Deductions. Many home-based businesses must be conducted in a variety of locations in addition to the home. Tax laws should be passed to ensure that business expenses are deductible regardless of the number of locations at which the business is conducted, as long as the business is based in the home.
  9. Provide Equitable Health Insurance Treatment. A home-based business should be able to provide health care coverage to its owners and employees. Because many home-based businesses are not structured as corporations, legislation should be enacted providing a 100 percent deduction for the health care costs of self-employed individuals.
  10. Permit Flexible Customer Service. A home-based business should not have to use the home for all customer contacts. Laws should be passed allowing a home-based business to deduct expenses even where the customers are serviced on site or at the customer's business or home.