QUESTION ON Running a Dump Truck Business From Home
We have two dump trucks at our residence and have small office area only for our personal use in our home. Would this be considered a business out of home when we are for hire through brokers. Do we not have a right to have trucks on property?
Advice by Nach Maravilla
If you derive income from a commercial activity, you are considered running a business. A business operated from your home is governed by the zoning laws of your city or county. Certain types of businesses are allowed for home-based operation; while some are not. Check with your zoning board if your type of business is allowed to be operated from home in your community.
Also, check your homeowners’ association, as some are stricter than others in terms of operating a business from home. In my place, for example, any vehicle with markings that can be construed as business (e.g. business name stickers, URL stickers, commercial wrapping) are not allowed to be parked in the property unless it is inside a garage.
The goal of zoning laws is to curtail high-volume or high-traffic activities in a residential area. Parking on the street may be limited or prohibited. A business may be prohibited because of the potential for noise and pollution. You may want our article “Does Your Home Business Comply with Zoning Laws”. The article outlines some of the common provisions of zoning laws around the country.
The litmus test is how your neighbors react to your business and the presence of two dump trucks in your property. Zoning authorities normally do not strictly monitor home businesses, except when complaints are filed by the neighbors. I know of an entrepreneur who got in hot water with the zoning authorities in her county because neighbors complained of the frequent comings-and-goings of delivery trucks and UPS. My neighbor took a picture of my car with a removable magnet showcasing the URL of this website and reported it to our homeowners’ association!
It all depends on your neighbors. The key is to develop good relationships with your neighbors. You need to reassure them that your business won’t be a detriment to the neighborhood. If they feel they can express their concerns to you directly, about parking, traffic, noise, etc., they are far less likely to complain to the local authorities. They are sure to understand your desire to earn a living as long as you understand their desire to live in a pleasant neighborhood. Of course, you also need to be wary of neighbors who are just stickler for rules and will report anyone and everyone they deem violating any rules in the community.
Visit your zoning board and homeowners’ association as soon as possible and obtain from them their requirements for a home-based business. That way, you will be able to know what you can — and cannot do — about your business and property.
Good Luck !
Nach M Maravilla
Recommended Resources on How To Start a Dump Truck Business
- The Complete Guide to Zoning: How to Navigate the Complex and Expensive Maze of Zoning, Planning, Environmental, and Land-Use Law
- The Economics of Zoning Laws: A Property Rights Approach to American Land Use Controls
- The Law of the Garbage Truck: How to Respond to People Who Dump on You, and How to Stop Dumping on Others
- Dump Trucks
Article originally published in October 2001. Updated March 7, 2012