Protecting home business owners

Illinois Capitol News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– Security is a top priority for people who run businesses out of their house.

Anyone can have access to your home address, and that is not always safe.
A new law will change that.

The new measure will allow business owners to hide their home address if they have a legitimate reason to fear for their safety. Lawmakers hope it will prevent stalking and other predatory behavior.

Susan Danenberger and her family operate a full-scale winery out of their home. The business has grown over the years, but it all started with a home office turned into a wine tasting room.

“In the beginning, it would be weird, I would look outside and ‘I’m like people are in my yard.’ It was a strange feeling,” Danenberger said.

Danenberger said she feels pretty secure at her business. While Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray said most other home businesses in Sangamon County feel safe too, there is a new law to protect people who do not.

“To operate a third party name under an individual, you have to register that under the county clerk. A part of the category of that information is their address and we have to publicly disclose that address of the business,” said Gray.

The law allows people to list the county clerk’s address for their home business. It only applies in certain cases. A business owner has to have a police report or court order proving the need to keep their address confidential.

“There are instances where individuals’ personal safety may be at risk from some sort of domestic violence or battery situation. We certainly don’t want to expose them ore preclude them from being a part of the process for owning their own businesses,” Gray said.

Danenberger said she’s happy other business owners will now have the ability to feel safe. “It sounds like a great idea, especially for a small business where you have cash and products, I think it’s a great idea.”

The law goes into effect January 1, 2020.

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