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Home businesses number 2.5 million

Small business owners operating from home now number 2.5 million in the UK, accounting for 52 per cent of all small businesses, according to Direct Line for Business (DL4B).

DL4B's analysis of Office for National Statistics data revealed that:

  • home business owners account for eight per cent of the total UK workforce
  • men are more than twice as likely than women to run a business from home
  • there are 432,742 home workers in the south east of England, compared with 68,160 in the north east
  • more than a quarter (27 per cent) of all workers in Herefordshire are home business owners.

DL4B's research found that, when starting out, home business owners tend to prioritise operational tasks over issues such as arranging their tax and insurance affairs. DL4B said this was 'particularly concerning' given that almost three quarters of all home businesses keep stock - worth an average £4,388 - at home.

Jazz Gakhal, head of DL4B, said: "We urge anyone looking to operate as a business from home to organise home business insurance from the start. The potential emotional and financial loss from an accident or theft could be devastating. For example, stock stored at home may not be covered by a standard home insurance policy and neither will cover public liability or loss of earnings due to an insurable event."