Ever wanted to start your own, at home business?
Peter Wing did about 3 years ago.
“It’s become pretty big… I do everything myself… I love it,” Wing said.
The retired bilingual teacher started Peter’s Tutoring Service.
He shows adults how to speak English and Spanish, primarily out of his McAllen home.
“I started off with like 2 or 3 people and then it really branched out,” he said.
In order to work from home like Peter, McAllen residents are required to obtain a Conditional Use Permit from the City of McAllen’s planning department.
Director Juli Rankin described to the McAllen Cable Network how city rules govern how an at home business is defined.
“A business at home that doesn’t involve customers coming or sale of an item or product (is an at home business). We have people who make wood products, they arrange flowers, they make jewelry but they don’t sell from the home. Selling from home as in a retail store is not allowed in a home occupation so they can have a mail order business and deliver the items and those are mostly the kinds of businesses that we have,” Rankin said.
Currently, about 100 residents have a conditional use permit.
“Most of our permits are for offices, home businesses such as real estate, bookkeeping service…”
The main rule for starting your at home business is don’t upset the neighbors.
Signage is not allowed.
“Your home is supposed to continue to look like your residence with no change,” add Rankin. “The activity is not supposed to generate traffic that comes to you, increasing traffic or causing a traffic problem, it should not store any equipment or supplies outside, it’s not supposed to change or remodel the house…”
Oh and what about if you live in an apartment?
“If you happen to live in an apartment and you would love to have a home business such as an office from your apartment or condominium then you would need the permission of the property owner so the owner of the apartment complex needs to grant permission for you to request having this business,” Rankin said.
The fee to apply for a conditional use permit is $150.
That covers the legal notice mailed out to all property owners within 200 feet of your address.
You’ll also be required to place one of these signs alerting your neighbors of your intent to start up a home business.
Additional conditions must be met. A complete list of rules can be found on the City website or at the Planning Department.
Peter Wing likes the idea of being his own boss, perhaps you might too.
“I think it’s a very good idea, I was a teacher for a long time,” said Wing. ” You know you have work with administration and always wait for their decisions…to do what you have to do and I make my own decisions.”