By Daniel Hunter

A leading commercial lawyer at Irwin Mitchell has urged the millions of UK home business owners not to operate in a bubble when it comes to dealing with legal issues.

The warning follows the announcement from insurer, Direct Line for Business, that there are now 2.5m home businesses in the UK - a figure which represents 52% of the total number of small firms and 8% of the UK’s total workforce.

“These findings are interesting and should be welcomed as they clearly highlight the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in the UK. This is something which must be supported as many of these businesses have the potential to be the larger organisations and employers of the future," Steve Beahan, a partner at Irwin Mitchell and a member of the firm’s SME Group, said.

“Working from home can be popular as it allows owners to keep costs low and operate in a way that suits their own lifestyle. It is important, however, that bosses don’t get lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to legal issues and think that some are not relevant to them.

“There are still many areas that a business owner must consider and although the Government has attempted to reduce some bureaucracy through its ‘Red Tape Challenge’ initiative, there remain a great number of legal obligations in areas such as contractual terms & conditions, the recovery of late payments from clients and taxation. These can often be forgotten, or in some cases the business attempts to deal with them on their own.

“Ambitious SMEs will not always be based at home and it is important for owners to look at the next stages of their development. Expansion brings a whole new set of challenges and regulations and early consideration can be crucial.”

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