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Home Based Business

What do Apple Computer, Hershey's, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Ford Motor Company have in common? These well-known corporations all started out as home based businesses. In fact, more than half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner's home.

Starting a home based business has many rewards as well as challenges. This guide provides resources that will help you learn more about working out of your house, starting a home-based business and managing your business within the law.

Before you Begin

Are you ready to start a business? In less than five minutes, the Small business Start Up Assessment Tool will help you understand your readiness for starting a small business. Your responses will be scored automatically and an assessment profile will be provided after you click the Submit button. This is an automated self-assessment tool. SBA is not collecting information, tabulating or utilizing individual visitor's results.

Can you live and work in the same area? Find the answer by asking yourself the following questions: Where in the home will the business be located? What adjustments to living arrangements will be required? What will be the cost of changes? How will your family react? What will the neighbors think?

Zoning - How to find out whether you can work from your home. Learn about several factors you should consider when starting a home based business.

Starting a Business in Your Home: Weighing the Pros and Cons. Have you thought about the characteristics and challenges that are most commonly involved in launching home based businesses? View the pros and cons before you begin a home based business.

Start a Home Business

If you decided you are ready to start a home based business, then you might already have an idea and/or the products you want to market. If not, think about your background, what you are good at, and what experience you have. This exploration can get you on your way to coming up with a sound idea. For additional guidance on how to start your business, use the resources listed below.

Check out the first steps for starting any small business.Obtain a checklist of things to do at How to Set Up a Home Based Business.

Get planning ideas by reading an article that provides a comprehensive approach to developing a business plan for a home based business.

Learn how your local government's zoning ordinances may affect your business. Not knowing the potential legal and community problems associated with having a business at home, and the rules, can have devastating consequences.

Buying a Work-at-Home Franchise

Home based franchises are becoming more common, but buyer beware! Some "work at home" franchise opportunities are schemes to get your money.

Visit the Consumer Guide to Buying a Franchise for more information about evaluating and buying into franchises and related work-at-home business opportunities.

Financing a Home Based Business

Federal agencies do not provide grants for starting a home based business. However, there are a number of low-interest loan programs that help individuals obtain startup financing. Visit the Loans and Grants Search Tool to get a full list of grant, loan and venture capital programs for which you might qualify.

Marketing a Home Based Business

There are several ways to market your business and get in touch with your customers. Customers are a key component to business success. Learn how to successfully market your home based business: Home-Based Business - Market Your Product.

Filing Taxes for a Home Based Business

Doing your personal taxes can be a pain, but now you have to do the taxes for your home based business as well. Use the resources below to learn how to correctly file your small business taxes and get the proper deductions.

Small Business Self-Employed One-Stop Resource
Provides access to the official IRS gateway for tax information for small business owners.

Small Business Expenses and Tax Deductions
Explains how to deduct business expenses on your income taxes

Social Security Guide for the Self-Employees
Covers how to report your earning since you are self-employed.

Related Articles:

Follow These Steps to Starting a Business
Green Guide for New Businesses
Self Employed & Independent Contractors
Related FAQs:
If I am running a business out of my home, am I required to have a dedicated business telephone line?