Ewa Yartey is a military spouse who has been operating a successful home daycare business at Fort Lee, Va., for the past seven years. Registered to do so through the Family Child Care program, she received free training and assistance with setting up her residence to ensure the safety of the children she watches.
Ewa Yartey is a military spouse who has been operating a successful home daycare business at Fort Lee, Va., for the past seven years. Registered to do so through the Family Child Care program, she received free training and assistance with setting up her residence to ensure the safety of the children she watches. (Photo Credit: Terrance Bell) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEE, Va. – On-post family housing residents running a home-based business without permission could find themselves facing eviction if they get caught doing so.

The Fort Lee Family and MWR Support Services Division, along with the family housing offices, facilitate the HBB registration process here. SSD Supervisor Ed Manuel pointed out there’s nothing new about the requirement, and it’s pretty much the same at any other Army installation.

“The lease agreement that a resident signs when they move into military family housing mentions the need to register home-based businesses,” Manuel further noted. “Whether people forget or simply disregard the requirement is not acceptable. It is a rule that exists for good reasons.”

One of them being how it will impact the community. A home business “cannot negatively affect the safety, community tranquility, or good order and discipline of an Army installation,” as stated on the HBB application form.

Those routinely providing more than 10 hours of daycare per week for youngsters who are not their own must be certified as Family Child Care providers. For businesses requiring a state or local license and/or liability insurance, the registration process is critical to verify that the individual is not in jeopardy of facing fines or other civil penalties.

A page on the FMWR website addressing this requirement acknowledges that home-based businesses are “an important contributor to Army Family quality of life.” They allow members of the military community to “develop rewarding careers” that are transportable when moving to new duty stations or transitioning back to civilian life.

“We applaud the ingenuity and entrepreneurship that exists within our military community,” Manuel confirmed. “That is why we’re engaging the Fort Lee community to ensure those living in our housing areas are setting themselves up for success by meeting the Army-directed registration requirements. If you’re already operating an HBB and skipped this step, now is the time to correct it so you’ll be in good standing, again referring to the earlier statement that violations could result in eviction.”

The FMWR HBB registration page (lee.armymwr.com/programs/home-based-business) provides forms and step-by-step instructions. Applicants will need to do the legwork of obtaining signatures from Garrison Family Housing and RCI Asset Managers. Those providing services that require a state/local license or certification must have that step completed as well.

“When we get the paperwork, it takes about 60 days to complete the review process by Installation Safety, the Judge Advocate General’s Office and the Garrison Commander,” Manuel said. “There has been recent Army guidance that encourages installations to ‘find a way to say yes’ to HBB owners, so it’s unlikely an application will be turned down unless there is a serious safety or legal concern.”

The FMWR HBB registration page stipulates what is not considered to be a home-based business. The list includes book-keeping and tax preparation; personal training that is conducted at a location other than the person’s residence; photography, graphic design and advertising services; tutoring and music instruction; entertainment or travel planning; housecleaning and lawn care; and selling items from multi-level marketing companies.

Family and MWR’s Support Services Division office is located on the first floor of the garrison headquarters, building 12010, corner of A Avenue and 34th Street. The phone number is 804-734-7195.