What You Need to Know About Virtual Offices and the Law

Did you know that you may need to consider Texas law (or Florida, Alabama or law in some other state) before you launch your virtual office? Indeed, there are laws that you need to consider when employees are going to telecommute from home.

The laws may be different in Miami than they are in Boston, New York City than Seattle. But there are may be zoning issues you need to be aware of before you give the green light to employees to work from a virtual office space on the home front. Although doing light office work from a home office is generally acceptable, manufacturing and shipping widgets from a virtual office might not be.

Here are a few questions you may need to determine:

• Is your home zoned for business use?

• What type of business can you legally operate from your home?

• Do you need special permits or licensing?

• Are there any parking restrictions to consider?

• What tax issues need to be considered?

Here’s a practical example: An accountant may do well with a virtual office, but a hair dresser could run into problems with so many people coming and going all day. Again, how this impacts your virtual office set up may be different in Houston than it is in Cleveland. What might be acceptable in one city might be against the law in another.

Virtual offices and tax issues

On the tax front, it would seem that you could write off your virtual office space. Well, you may be able to write off the service. But whether or not you can write off part of your home as an office rental depends on various factors.

We’ll talk more about virtual offices and taxes in another post. But be sure to consult with your accountant, attorney or city officials if you aren’t sure how working from home via a virtual office might impact your business.


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