Liabilities are regular duties that are performed at a business. These include accidents that cause property damages or bodily injuries. Running a business at home has the same liabilities as running one in a store. There are a few, typical liabilities that you face when operating a home-based business.
Every business owner is responsible for maintaining a clean, professional environment. The business must be safe at all times; however, accidents do happen that are unpreventable. The business owner is liable for all accidents and property damages that he or she caused on the property. Homeowners’ insurance includes protection for home businesses. If the accident was caused by a customer, that customer can be sued personally for damages or banned from re-entering the business.
The owner, regardless of fault, is partly responsible for damages that affect the neighbor’s property. If a customer starts a fire that spreads from one home to the neighboring houses, the business owner is the first person to blame. The owner has thousands of dollars in commercial insurance to help cover the costs.
When you run a business, you gather different types of sensitive personal information for the clients that you work with. This information needs to be secured in order to prevent it from being lost or stolen from you. When you run your business from your home, there aren’t many places you can secure such information. If it is difficult for you to secure it at home, storing the information and documents in a location that has a lot of security like lighting, cameras, fencing, onsite management and security guards, is a must.
Accidents that occur in the workplace are also common at home. Some people think that a home environment is safer when there are just as many dangers. There are the risks of faulty electrical systems, falling debris and slippery floors. For example, if you offer mechanic services out of your garage, then you may need to worry about you or your customers slipping on oil spills. A way to avoid these dangers is to have your garage organized and spill resistant to prevent injuries from slipping or tripping.
To avoid getting sued by injured people, business owners take out liability insurance. This ensures that they can handle the financial consequences of being sued. This policy covers the costs of hiring an attorney and defending oneself in court.
Many residential homes have hardwood floors in the kitchen, garage, or workroom. It’s common to see a slip-and-fall on concrete in garages, so epoxy garage flooring is the solution to make floors less dangerous for workers. Another option is to use slip-resistant mats or rugs and place slip-resistant tread on hardwood stairs.
Taxes and Accounting
Local and state laws require that business owners pay taxes. They are required to maintain years of accounting records as proof of their company’s assets. They can handle the taxes themselves, but most professionals hire bookkeepers or accountants to handle the paperwork.
Accidents can occur in home businesses, even if you have only a few employees and customers. However, compared to a store owner, there may be less insurance and more severe legal fees. It’s important to know your full range of liabilities as a home-based business owner. For more tips on what to watch out for when running a small business, check out our blog!