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Turn your home into an office or classroom? Not so fast ...

August 17, 2010 |  6:44 am


Our recent article on backyard bartering is making the rounds on social networks, and one question that's popping up is: Are businesses run from home legal? The answer depends on where you live and what you're doing. Laura Randall reported on homeowners who aren't working from home themselves. They're letting yoga instructors, massage therapists, gardening coaches and other service providers use the property as part of a barter agreement.

The Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning has a list of frequently asked questions about home building and property usage. It says home businesses generally are OK if they meet certain criteria, including:

It is not located in an illegally converted garage or carport.
It is not located in a detached accessory building.
No signage is permitted.
Products or materials for the business cannot be stored on-site.
No mechanical equipment can be used other than light business machines such as computers, fax machines, and non-commercial/industrial copying machines.
No commercial vehicles, tractor trailers or heavy-duty delivery trucks can be used for the delivery of products to or from the premises.
A maximum of one nonresident employee is permitted, and one on-site standard parking space is required for the employee.
A maximum of one client or one vehicle visit per hour is permitted only from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
It cannot create or cause noise, dust, vibration, odor, gas, fumes, smoke, glare, electrical interferences, hazards or nuisances.
The home-based occupation must cease when it is a nuisance, is in violation of any regulations or is detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.

As our article states, these types of arrangements may not thrill neighbors but do help entrepreneurs trying to eke out a living. Interested? Read the full article.

-- Craig Nakano