||This article possibly contains original research. (October 2011)|
A home business (or "home-based business" or "HBB") is a small business that operates from the business owner's home office. In addition to location, home businesses are usually defined by having a very small number of employees, usually all immediate family of the business owner, in which case it is also a family business. Home businesses generally lack shop frontage, customer parking and street advertising signs. Such businesses are sometimes prohibited by residential zoning regulations.
The prospect of working from home has gained credibility over the years. Home offices can now compete with small commercial businesses and save on rent in the process. Faxes, high speed internet connections, dedicated home telephone lines, and cell phones help to make a home-based business a reality. Earlier home businesses had been where families lived on the second floor of their house while converting the first floor into a store, where upon close of business they would secure the first floor and retire to the upper floors. This type of home business is still done in some rural areas. Many home businesses are started off in a much smaller capacity whilst the owner is still employed elsewhere, and then expanded once they are proven to be profitable.
Home based business
The concept of homebased business, as opposed to the previous terminology of "cottage industry", first appeared in 1978. The phrase was coined by Marion Behr, the originator of a study to find out what businesses women throughout America were carrying on in their homes. The preview edition of Enterprising Women wrote about the search to gather information pertaining to home workers throughout the nation. Numerous magazines and organizations helped to disseminate information regarding the study. Ultimately 40,000 letters were received, many indicating the problems the respondents experienced while carrying on businesses from their homes. The problems were analyzed and confronted in two ways. In 1980 the National Alliance of Homebased Businesswomen was founded to combat the isolation expressed by the respondents as well as to fight the laws which made conducting their businesses difficult. Then Women Working Home: The Homebased Guide and Directory by Marion Behr and Wendy Lazar was published. It contained the stories of many women who ran home-based businesses throughout the country in many diverse fields, as well as information on business formation, conduct and compliance with the law. It sold 50,000 copies. During this time many national magazines wrote about these issues. At the White House Conference on Small Business in 1986, one of the major resolutions was a recommendation favoring lifting restrictions on home-based business.
The number of home businesses continues to grow due to the increases in technology. In Great Britain, 8 million people ran an online home based business in April, 2013.
Licensing requirements for home based businesses in the United States vary based on industry and location.
Expanded Home based businesses
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Numerous businesses, initially started as home based, have expanded to become significantly larger operations. These include such businesses and people as:
- Amazon.com, founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, and completely run out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington.
- Hewlett-Packard, whose original location is now a museum, the HP Garage
- Disney, the First Disney Studio was in the one-car garage in back of their uncle, Robert Disney's house in 1923.
- Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google from Susan Wojcicki’s garage in September 1998.
- Harley-Davidson, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson, built their motor-bicycle in their friends wooden shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Hurricane Electric, California based ISP backbone provider
- Southwest Technical Products Corporation, founded by Daniel Meyer
- James Avery Craftsman, Christian themed jewelry maker
- Genuine Scooters, Chicago motorscooter manufacturer
- Amigo Mobility International Inc, Michigan based mobility scooter manufacturer, founded by Allan R. Thieme
- Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning, founded by Tony Chachere
- Lindos Electronics, British audio quality measurement equipment manufacturer
- Lotus Cars, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman started Lotus Cars by building the first Lotus racing car in stables behind The Railway Hotel in Hornsey, North London in 1948.
- Maglite, In 1955 Tony Maglica started working out of a Los Angeles area garage to manufacture precision parts.
- Marion Cox, NASCAR car owner/designer
- Mattel, Harold “Matt” Matson and Elliot Handler founded Mattel out of a garage in Southern California as picture frame company in 1945.
- Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in April 1975. They tried their luck in making Microsoft in a small space garage with very little resource to start with.
- Ausenco Vector, California civil engineering firm
- Rembrandt Group, South African tobacco conglomerate founded by Anton Rupert
- Koorong, Australian Christian bookstore chain
- Joel L. Malter, coin and antiquities dealer
- Real Goods, California solar energy installation company and green business retailer
- Endress+Hauser, instrumentation company based in Switzerland
- Press-A-Print, US printing company
- Perdomo, Florida cigar distributor
- Robert A. Kleist and Gordon Barrus, inventors of the Line matrix printer
- Borland Software, California software company founded by Philippe Kahn
- John B. Moon, engineer working with magnetic materials
- iiNet, Australian internet service provider
- J. C. Bamford, UK digging equipment manufacturer started from a rented garage
- FLEXcon, Massachusetts Pressure-sensitive adhesive film manufacturer
- Holiday Magic, multi level marketer started from the purchase of another home based business
- Yankee Candle Company, Michael Kittredge at age 16 made his scented candle in his garage out of melted crayons in 1969. 
- C. Jeanne Heida (April 25, 2008), Can I Start a Business in My Garage?
- What is a Home Business?
- Jersey Woman, Sept/Oct 1981 p. 45
- Changing Times, May 1984, At Work, p. 26
- NJ Success, Sept 1982, The Businesswoman
- Family Circle, July 1981, Gerri Hirshey p. 80-83
- Jersey Woman, Sept/Oct 1981 p. 45
- Testimony:US Labor Dept (rm 2508) Jan 25, 1984
- US Senate, Committee on Labor and Human Resources. re: S2145 Proposals to amend Fair Labor Standards Act:Testimony of Sen. William S. Cohen, Mary Clement, Audrey Pudvah, Sol C. Chaiken, Marion R. Behr, Cora Lee Kern, Mark De Bernardo; February 9, 1984
- WWH Press, 1st Ed 1981, 2nd Ed 1983
- Handmade, Fall 1892
- Parents, Sept 1983, Enterprising Mothers, Phyllis Gilles p. 47,54
- Changing Times, Running a Business from Home, Feb 1983, p. 26, 51
- Inc, Oct 1984, Home is where the work is, p. 39
- New Woman, Jan 1985, Who’s News, Vivian Doering, p. 20
- Proceedings of the White House Conference on Small Business 1986, Resolution 21
- The Telegraph, 8 million Britons run online home based businesses, April 2013
- "10 World Famous Companies that Started in Garages". Retrieved 26 February 2014.