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Can I run a franchise business from home?
Yes you can. However, there are three things you should check beforehand. The first is your franchise agreement. Check whether it permits you to operate from home or if the franchisor has a right to approve your business premises. Next, unless you own your home outright, check your lease. This may have restrictions on using your home for business. The key consideration is planning permission. This may be needed for any proposed building works. However, household development often benefits from permitted development rights, which, depending on the extent of the works, mean you may not need express planning permission. However, these rights may not apply in a conservation area or national park. If your home is listed, you will also need listed building consent for any internal or external works. Planning permission is also needed if operating your business makes a material change in the use of your home. Relevant considerations include your particular business activity and whether your home remains mainly residential in character and use, or becomes primarily business premises. As a guide, if your home is no longer mainly a living place, or the business involves activities that are unusual in a residential area, planning permission for change of use is likely to be required. You can ask the local council for an informal opinion on whether you need permission. Alternatively, you can apply for a formal decision in a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development.
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