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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Home-Based Business?

Last Updated: Oct 07, 2015 10:45AM EDT

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

Is working from home right for you? Find the answer by asking yourself the following questions:
Can you live and work in the same area?
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?
Have you thought about the characteristics and challenges that are most commonly involved in launching home-based businesses?


Start a Home-Based Business

If you have 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.
Take not of the first steps for starting any small business, obtain a checklist of things to do, get planning ideas by reading articles that provide comprehensive approach to developing a business plan for a home-based business and 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.
Research and learn 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. Research to find out grants, loans 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 businesses success. Research on how to successfully market your home-based business.


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.)
Social Security Guide for the Self-Employed (Covers how to report your earnings since you are self-employed.)


Source: U.S. Small Business Administration
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