Running a business from your basement

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Topic: Running a business from your basement

Business December 16, 2011 at 11:52 am

Running a business from your basement


I wanted to start a small hair salon out of my basement. It would only be one full time stylist who is licensed in DC and my wife would work on the weekends. It would be by appointment only so it would not be heavy traffic and I do not live in a commercial zone. Also we have a 2 car garage that the employee and client could park in while getting services done. We have have zone parking in case they needed to park in the garage. I went to DCRA and they told me I would have to hire an architect to draw plans to knock out the interior steps leading to my basement. I have a door that blocks entry from the basement to the main level of the house. Their are also two entry/exit points from the exterior of the basement. Has anyone heard of such a thing? They were also giving me grief because the business would be run out of my basement instead of the main/upper level of my home.

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best bet is to visit the DC Bar small business clinic…free legal advice for aspiring and existing small business owners.
Honestly, I bet a lot of people just operate stuff like this out of their basements without getting permits, since it’s such a hassle to deal with DCRA and other agencies.  Kudos to you for trying to do the right thing–it will likely be a gigantic headache (paying taxes, licensing, etc.) but at least you won’t have to worry about being caught. 

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