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Zoning 101

It's a tricky business, but we rounded up a crash course on the basics.

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This story appears in the March 2001 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

The purpose of zoning laws is, essentially, to provide a happy medium between the rights of an entrepreneur and those of local residents-to allow free enterprise and community peace to co-exist. Although zoning laws vary depending on your locale, Angela M. Cerino, Esq., an assistant professor of business law at Villanova University's College of Commerce & Finance in Villanova, Pennsylvania, says there are some general rules to remember as you set up or grow your homebased business.

Cerino suggests first contacting your local government to find out how your property is zoned, whether it's residential or commercial. Then try to determine how the government regards your particular business; a professional business with visiting clients may have different restrictions than a business that specializes in warehousing or storage.

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