Home Based Business/Office
Are there any rules or regulations governing the operation of a business from a home in the VI?
The need for a business license (and fire inspection) is understood, but, beyond that is there any other things to be considered? Zoning?
We have a successful internet-based business that we run from home or wherever in the world we happen to be.
Is there any legal or regulatory stuff we need to be concerned about with a home office/business in the VI or is it pretty much wide open?
I'm no expert as we are trying to get a business license here ourselves from our home. You probably will not need a Fire inspection, what you will need is a lot of patience. You need to get your LLC first approved for around 400 dollars and is really quick. Then you can apply online for your business license for another 300 and play the waiting game. We had our VIPD and DPNR portion approved within a week, now 6 months later we are still waiting. I thought I read they removed the BIR check, but it's still showing as not approved as well as the other three approvals needed. I'm calling next week as they do not respond to any emails and have no way to contact the individual handling your application on their web portal, which is crazy. They wonder why no one wants to start a business here. You can use an attorney, but they wanted 1500 to do the application and maybe it might be quicker, I don't know.
I'm calling next week as they do not respond to any emails and have no way to contact the individual handling your application on their web portal, which is crazy.
You might consider dropping by the DLCA office in Golden Rock rather than calling or emailing. Make a pest of yourself and stop by every week. I know the delays and foot dragging are frustrating but it can be done. When we first bought the existing business we have now about 20 years ago, it took 6 months and an attorney to make it happen. Now that we're all set up, everything is easy peasy.
I am a newbie and am interested in a home based startup. Thanks for the advices
We recently went through this process as we started a home based business on St. Croix. The best advice I can give you is to reach out to DLCA before you start the process. It took several attempts, but my wife was able to reach someone there who helped walk us through the steps, ensured we applied for the right type of license, etc. Once we applied, my wife would follow-up once or twice a week (politely) and inquire about our status. Several of the steps in the process (police background check and Department of Natural Resources approvals) happened quickly. We did need to have our fire extinguisher "certified" before we got the fire Marshall approval, but that wasn't a big deal once we figured out the steps. We actually had to have a company "certify" ours, but they actually came out to the house the same day. The charge was $150, but once we had that done, we called the Fire Inspector and he had us text him photos of our electric panel properly labeled, pics of our fire alarms and the extinguisher certified and gave us his approval asap.
Without contacting DLCA first we would have gone down several wrong paths. Without regular, weekly follow-up, I feel our license request would have been stuck at the bottom of the pile. The staff was quite friendly and helpful when we reached them and found the right contact person for our request.
And also check there are no community restrictive covenants, bylaws, etc. for your house that would restrict operating a business.