As figures reveal that self-employment is at an all-time high throughout the UK, the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland (FSB Northern Ireland) is keen that the Executive takes the lead from Westminster to make it easier to start a business from home.
The call comes as the UK Minister of State for Business and Enterprise; Matthew Hancock, announced a series of measures recently to help support a home business boom, to address the growing number of the self employed.
Measures include planning permission not being required to run a business from home and that home based businesses will not require additional taxation through business rates.
With nationwide research conducted by the UK’s largest business organisation revealing that one in every five FSB members reported tenancy clauses as a barrier to starting a home business. One of the measures welcomed by the FSB includes allowing tenants to start businesses from their rented homes without infringing on tenancy agreements.
However these measures will not apply to Northern Ireland, as Wilfred Mitchell OBE, FSB NI Policy Chair explained: “As increasing numbers of people enter self-employment and we progress out of a difficult recession, it is important that the Northern Ireland Executive encourage people to start up their own businesses.
“Within the UK, 70% of small businesses were started at home, and now contribute £350m to our economy, according to official government figures.”
In conclusion, Mr Mitchell said: “In particular, FSB NI emphasise that any business that would be operating from home would be rated as domestic rates as opposed to incurring rates upon their home as a business premises. Starting up a business is the most difficult time and such a measure will assist in ensuring that the business not only succeeds but goes on to grow.
“The FSB regards this as a timely measure as the Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, is in the process of reviewing the rating system, including revaluation and the small business rates relief scheme. “