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Training Clients at Home

Legal & Risk Management
By Sean Riley, MS, JD

Training Clients at Home
Smart steps you can take to manage the risks of at-home training. As an entrepreneur, your work environment may vary over the years. At some point in your career, you may choose to set up a small gym in your home to train clients. While this can be a convenient and lucrative approach, you need to be aware of legal risks associated with the athome training option. You can help protect yourself by becoming familiar with the two areas that demand the attention of every at-home trainer: zoning ordinances and landowner liability duties. conducting any business from your home, be certain the local laws permit it. The case of City of Madeira v. Furtner (1994) offers a cautionary example of zoning challenges. It involved a trainer who conducted 40% of his business from home. The home was located in a typical subdivision with the usual restrictions. The home’s location was zoned as a residential district. Restrictions placed on the subdivision prohibited any industry, business, trade, occupation, profession or commercial activity within the residential premises except for customary home occupations such as the office activities of insurance agents, realtors, accountants, teachers or architects. The trainer’s basement contained 18 pieces of exercise equipment with an estimated value of more than $30,000. The defendant trained 20

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