How to Start a Business from Home

Starting your home business is quite exciting and thrilling also given the high cost of fuel, the stress of commuting and the desire to spend more time with family, it’s little wonder so many entrepreneurs are setting up businesses they can run from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Not only has technology made it possible to launch home-based businesses with relatively little start-up capital and low overhead costs, but it’s a career venture that’s accessible to all ages and levels of experience.

Identify product or service

Identify the products or services you intend to provide and whether they reasonably lend themselves to a home-based business. Two primary considerations are the amount of physical workspace required to create goods and whether your clients and customers will be coming into your home. Check the business zoning requirements in your community to determine whether there are restrictions on exterior signage, parking, security, safety and noise. If you are renting, carefully review your tenant contract regarding the use of your property for commercial purposes.

Evaluate space requirement

Evaluate your space requirements for your home business. Consider factors such as how much quiet you need to conduct business, whether natural light is important, the amount of storage space needed for files and shelves, wiring modifications, and its ease of accessibility to your clientele. For tax deduction purposes, your office space must be exclusively dedicated to business activities, says Stephen Fishman, author of “Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn.”

Create a business plan

Create a detailed business plan that delineates your operating budget, profit angle, projections for growth, workspace, furniture, equipment, telecommunications, utilities, office supplies, transportation and marketing/public relations strategies. Review your insurance policy to make sure you have adequate coverage in the event of fire, theft or accidents that occur on your property.

Register your business name

Register the name of your business with your state’s registrar agency, acquire a business license by paying the appropriate fees, and take out a “doing business as” ad in your local newspaper. Consult with your tax accountant on setting up a payment plan for estimated state and federal quarterly taxes. Open a business checking account, order checks and apply for a business credit card. These steps, incidentally, are the same ones you would follow if you were opening a brick-and-mortar business.

Design a professional website

Design a professional website that describes your scope of products and services, rates and fees, an overview of your professional background and how potential clients can contact you. As your business grows, you can add endorsements from satisfied customers. Use online printing companies to customize your business cards and brochures. Join your city’s Chamber of Commerce to network with other business professionals, and join regional and national associations that relate to your field of expertise.