For More Workers, Home Is Where the Office Is

According to The Wall Street Journal the home is the new hotbed of entrepreneurial activity.

For those who have temporarily joined the ranks of the self-employed, a home office is the natural (and cheapest) place to get work done. For others who are using severance packages to take a shot at entrepreneurship, the home can be an ideal incubator to test out ideas. Many a successful venture began life in a garage (Hewlett-Packard, in 1938) or launched from a living room (LinkedIn, in 2003).

In many cases, it makes sense to grow the business at home before moving into a separate physical location. Other times, your new venture, career or sideline is simply well-suited to be run out of your home. And in a tough economy, a business owner who has rented office space might return to a home office to trim costs.

About 52% of all small businesses are home-based — representing a broad swath of industries, from software development and mail-order sales to plumbing and general contracting — according to statistics from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

What are the advantages of working from home? The easy commute, for starters, followed by the flexibility and the informal dress code. There also are tax write-offs: As long as you use a portion of your home exclusively and regularly for business, you can deduct a percentage of your rent or mortgage interest, utility bills, repairs and other costs.

Photo by SBA/WSJ.

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