HB 917: Home-based business freedom

House Bill 917, sponsored by Rep. Jansen Owen, prohibits local governments from restricting home-based occupations.

We have seen tremendous growth in home-based businesses thanks to new technology, and that was only accelerated by the pandemic. There are roughly 15 million home-based businesses in the United States, which makes up about half of all small businesses. Sixty-nine percent of startups are home-based, and 58 percent are women-owned.

So, there is great upside, but there are irrelevant regulations that can stifle a business before it even gets started. While regulations on noise, signage, or excessive parking are understandable and can be handled by normal zoning, we also find ordinances targeting home-based businesses that limit, for example, the amount of square footage your business can occupy in your house. Or who can work in your house.

For example, in Jackson, only family members can work in your house. In Biloxi, only 20 percent of your house can be used to conduct business. And you probably have to pay a fee for the privilege of running a business from your house.

These bills would prohibit local governments from enacting such regulations, allowing entrepreneurial Mississippians to launch their careers.

Empower Mississippi supports this legislation.

HB 917 has been referred to Ways and Means. You can read the bill here.