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.[1]

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.[2]

Home based business Edit

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[3] wrote about the search to gather information pertaining to home workers throughout the nation. Numerous magazines[4][5] 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.[6][7][8][9] Then Women Working Home: The Homebased Guide and Directory by Marion Behr and Wendy Lazar was published.[10] 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.[11][12][13][14][15] 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.[16]

The number of home businesses continues to grow due to the increases in technology, with 8 million Britons now running an online home based businesses.[17]

Expanded Home based businessesEdit

Template:Unreferenced-section Numerous businesses, initially started as home based, have expanded to become significantly larger operations. These include such businesses and people as:

  • Apple Inc., started by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from Steve's garage
  • 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
  • Marion Cox, NASCAR car owner/designer
  • 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
  •, internet retailer founded by Jeff Bezos

See also Edit


  1. Template:Citation
  2. What is a Home Business?
  3. Jersey Woman, Sept/Oct 1981 p. 45
  4. Changing Times, May 1984, At Work, p. 26
  5. NJ Success, Sept 1982, The Businesswoman
  6. Family Circle, July 1981, Gerri Hirshey p. 80-83
  7. Jersey Woman, Sept/Oct 1981 p. 45
  8. Testimony:US Labor Dept (rm 2508) Jan 25, 1984
  9. 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
  10. WWH Press, 1st Ed 1981, 2nd Ed 1983
  11. Handmade, Fall 1892
  12. Parents, Sept 1983, Enterprising Mothers, Phyllis Gilles p. 47,54
  13. Changing Times, Running a Business from Home, Feb 1983, p. 26, 51
  14. Inc, Oct 1984, Home is where the work is, p. 39
  15. New Woman, Jan 1985, Who’s News, Vivian Doering, p. 20
  16. Proceedings of the White House Conference on Small Business 1986, Resolution 21
  17. The Telegraph, 8 million Britons run online home based businesses, April 2013

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