State Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) recently introduced House Bill 282, legislation to improve the security of Ohio’s small businesses that operate out of the owner’s home. Currently, the Ohio Department of Taxation publishes identifying information-- the type, location and contact information-- of all Ohio businesses online.
“Information of this nature being so readily available can leave individuals and their families more vulnerable to criminals with an interest in what might be found in the home,” said Rep. Rogers. “With internet driven start-ups becoming more and more popular, our state should address the safety concerns that arise from running a business out of your home.”
Through the bill, identifying information about home-based businesses would still be accessible to consumers at the point of sale, but not readily available through an online database when the business and home address are identical. The information of home-based businesses would remain printed on vendors’ licenses.
Several other States including Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania treat identifying information as confidential tax filing data and do not make it readily available to the general public.
“This is just a small step that we can take to support small businesses in our state,” added Rep. Rogers. “Common sense says you don’t really want to broadcast this type of information to just about everyone. It creates safety concerns for our entrepreneurs and their families.”
House Bill 282 has bipartisan support and is currently awaiting committee assignment.