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Virtual assistant

Telecommuting has become quite popular, and with it, the demand for virtual assistants has also increased. A virtual assistant basically handles all of the tasks that a secretary handles, including document preparation, meeting preparation, and the like. If the task can be handled online, then it can be handled through a virtual assistant. This is one of the more popular legitimate home-based businesses because most states do not have any additional requirements for the job. Most of the time, you only have to satisfy local requirements for zoning, which you can find in your local courthouse.

Freelance graphic designer or writer

Working as a freelance graphic designer or writer is also quite easy in most states. Unless you are claiming some specialization that requires additional certification, you do not need to obtain state licenses. All you really need to get started is a website, clients or an account on a freelance site, and you can get started with working at home. It follows the same local requirements as a virtual assistant.

Transcriber or transcriptionist

Despite recent technological advances, transcription services remain in demand. Sometimes known as transcribers or transcriptionists, this particular home business revolves around turning audio files and written notes into properly typed transcripts. In a few states like California, the actual licensing depends on the subject you transcribe. Medical records, for instance, as well as government records, require certification and privacy consultations to ensure that you comply with state and federal privacy laws. 

Hair stylist and cosmetologist

Personal interaction, attention to detail, and a knack for making people look beautiful may all point toward hair styling and cosmetology as the ideal home business for you. The licensing requirements in most states depend on the kind of work you plan to do. Obtaining a basic cosmetology license can be done within a matter of weeks, and it will allow you to handle most services. In states like Indiana, the legislature is considering removing licensing requirements for basic services. Remember, though, that more advanced services, such as waxing, tattoo services, and the like, require separate licensing. 


If you're good with numbers and well organized, being an accountant could be a legitimate home-based business for you. In some states, you do not have to obtain special licenses to serve as an accountant, though in states such as New York or California, you will have to obtain additional certification and training to work as an accountant either at home or in an actual office. In all states, you will be held to the professional accountant standard.

If you're ready to get started with your new venture, it's a great idea to incorporate your business. It takes about 10 minutes and can go a long way towards protecting your personal assets.  

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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