Permits & dealing with local authorities
Dealing with local authorities
This is one of the most important factors you should consider for your own peace of mind. Depending on which city, state and country are you planning to start your Home Yoga Studio, the permits and regulations will vary. You must, however, be well aware of them to prevent any kind of problems such as fines or business shut down by local authorities.
But don’t fret! For such a small, safe and simple business operation inside a residence, your Home Yoga Studio might require just a minimum of permits and regulations, if any.
As home-based businesses are very common and plentiful around the world, we can break down the regulations in the following categories:
- Zoning and use of land
- Lease regulations (if you are renting a house or apartment for your Home Yoga Studio)
- Permit to run a business from home
- Business name
- Other permits and regulations
Zoning and use of land
Zoning and uses of land can generally be residential, commercial or mixed (a home and a business within the same premises). ‘Residential only’ use of land can potentially cause problems to open your Home Yoga Studio.
Nowadays there are easy ways to find out about the zoning and use of land of the premise. Just hop on the internet to find your local authority website for use of land of your chosen studio address, or you can talk directly to the correspondent local authority agent. This is just to make sure that you are not planning to open your Home Yoga Studio on an unauthorised space, which can cause you problems in the long run.
Lease regulations (if you are renting the premises for your Home Yoga Studio)
In case you are planning your Yoga Home Studio inside a rental premise, you should thoroughly read again your rent contract to double-check if you are allowed to start a home-based business, and whether there are restrictions to run it.
If the contract is somehow unclear about this, you should talk to your landlord or real estate agent in charge of the property you’re renting. If the owner agrees with your Yoga Home Studio being run from the premises, make sure that you get WRITTEN approval from them before you go ahead with it.
Developing a good relationship with your landlord about starting your Yoga Home Business will be beneficial for both of you in the long run. I will explain more about this in this chapter ‘Dealing with family, roommates, pets, neighbors & landlords’
Permit to run a business from home
Generally, rules and regulations to run a business from your home are not hard to follow, and not in every case you should need a permit. In my hometown in Melbourne, Australia, youdon’t need a home business permit from the local council if you run your business within an area of 50 square meters/ 538 square feet or less.
In fact, I didn’t even need to notify my local authority when I opened my own Yoga Home Studio. If you are required to apply for a permit to run a Home Yoga Studio, it should not cost a fortune, and you will also be given all the support from the local government to properly run your studio with all the rights and protections to business owners.
You don’t necessarily have to register your Yoga Home Studio as a business, because you can operate as a sole trader. However, it’s very important that you register your business name, which is the name of your studio. The first thing to do is make sure that the name you have chosen is unique and that you are not using somebody else’s.
The first thing to do is choose the name of your Yoga Home Studio. I will explain more about your studio name in this chapter ‘Name, Logo & Corporate Image’
Then you can do an online search of a business name on your country’s national business register website, and finally applying online to register your business name (most possibly in the same national business register website of your country). Check my tutorial on ‘Domain Name’
Other permits and regulations
Again, depending on your city, state or country, there can be other regulations that might not affect the running of your Yoga Home Studio directly, but can have a big impact on your monthly revenues.
Signage – It is very important to have a sign outside your studio premises with name or logo, email address or phone number so people can take notice of your new Yoga Home Studio, however there might be restrictions from your local authorities about the sign’s size, location, materials, etc. As a home-based business owner, you should be entitled to a specific size or type of sign, so make sure to check with your local authorities about this. You might have to pay some money for the right to hang a big sign, however this investment is worth it! I explain more about this in this chapter ‘Signage’
Parking – If you live in an urban area, your volume of students will multiply if there are available and unrestricted parking spaces close to your Yoga Home Studio. Make sure you check all the parking restrictions in a two-block radius around the location of your studio. Also check if there’s a parking lot nearby your students can use and what are the costs – perhaps you can negotiate with the parking lot manager to give a discount or free hour if the parking tickets are validated in your Home Yoga Studio. Any good advise and you can give to your students about parking restrictions and availability, as well as public transport options will be beneficial for them – and for you!
Emergency equipment and special needs requirements – You’ll have to check with your local authorities or yoga/health business association about any emergency equipment you might require inside your Yoga Home Studio e.g. fire extinguisher, non-slippery stairs surfaces, emergency phone numbers, first aid kit, etc., as well as special needs requirements such as handles for the bathroom, etc.
Useful links for a home-based business by most English-speaking countries:
Licenses and permits by state: https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/business-licenses-permits/state-licenses-permits
Find the Licenses and Permits You Need: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/run-home-based-business-find-licenses-and-permits-you-need
Running a business from home: https://www.gov.uk/run-business-from-home
Locating your business from home: https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/business-topics/premises-location/locating-your-business-at-home/
Home-based business: http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/2711/
Using your home for business: https://www.govt.nz/browse/work/self-employed-or-running-a-home-business/using-your-home-for-business/