You may be one of the many people lured by the dream of starting a home business. If so, you are probably well-aware of all the enticing benefits: flexibility, convenience, and (the most alluring of them all) being your own boss. With technologies being more affordable these days, owning a home business is an attainable dream. But don’t be mistaken: A home business has its pitfalls too. Here are a few suggestions to make sure your launch into self-employment from home goes smoothly.

Get started Start Your Incorporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Before You Begin: Ask These Questions

Ask yourself some key questions before you even begin: What part of your home will you dedicate to this business? Is this a realistic use of your home space? Is your business going to require that customers come to your door? If so, are you willing to have strangers enter your home? What technologies will you have to invest in? And most importantly, are there any zoning laws or homeowner association rules that might prohibit you from running a home business?

First Step: Starting a Home Business

So where do you begin? You can decide to start your home business from scratch, or purchase a franchise or existing business (where much of the startup work has already been done for you). Regardless of where you begin, you need to determine the legal structure of your business before opening the doors to your business (or home, in this case).

There are basic structures that you can choose from: Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation (S or C), Limited Liability, or Non-Profit. Depending on the state you live in, these may vary slightly. Each legal structure has features that affect your financial and legal risks.

Your state’s website may have resources to help you with this decision, or you may want to find a lawyer, CPA, or business consultant. Once you’ve determined the appropriate legal structure, you can use our convenient online incorporation service to get started.

Second Step: State Licenses

You will need to find out whether your state requires a license for the type of business you are proposing and follow the steps to become properly licensed. Licensure frequently requires educational requirements, so this could be a time-consuming obstacle if you are not prepared.

Also, your state may require you to obtain a sales tax license. Will you be selling any products to your clients? Or just providing a service? If you’re selling products, follow the steps provided by your state to obtain your sales license.

Third Step: Protecting Your Home Business

Incorporating doesn’t automatically give you and your new business protection. We offer an online tool to create your own customized Service Contract, which helps you protect your rights if anything goes wrong. If you have any questions along the way, you can get legal advice from one of our lawyers.

Good planning is the cornerstone of a successful business launch, and your home business is no exception. Take these measured steps to realize that dream of becoming your own boss.

Get started Start Your Incorporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Incorporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.