This article possibly contains original research. (October 2011)
A home business or home-based business (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.
Remote work has increased. Home offices compete with small commercial businesses and are cheaper to operate. It may also be possible to tax deduct some home expenses while running a home based business. High speed internet connections and smartphones 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.
The concept of home-based 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.
Licensing requirements for home-based businesses in the United States vary based on industry and location.
Expanded home-based businesses
Numerous businesses, initially started as home-based, have expanded to become significantly larger operations. These include:
- Apple Inc., started by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from Steve Jobs's garage
- Hewlett-Packard, whose original location is now a museum, the HP Garage
- Amazon.com, internet retailer founded by Jeff Bezos
- C. Jeanne Heida (April 25, 2008), Can I Start a Business in My Garage?
- Phillips (10 October 2013). "How to run a Business from Home". theGuardian.com. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
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- Proceedings of the White House Conference on Small Business 1986, Resolution 21
- Porteous, Chris (2019-01-24). "Mastering Your Niche: How to Run a Craft Business From Home". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
- The Telegraph, 8 million Britons run online home-based businesses, April 2013
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