81 Legitimate Home Based Business Ideas You Can Start Today
Updated on: by Olivia
A home-based business gives you a lot of flexibility that the typical job can’t provide.
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Not only are you in charge of your hours, but you’re also in charge of how much you make.
If you’re ready to start an easy small business from the comfort of your own home, then this guide is for you.
I’m listing more than 80 home and internet-based business ideas to spark your imagination and get you thinking about your next big career move.
The Best Work at Home Business Opportunities
Although there are virtually endless home-based businesses you can start (your imagination is your only limit!), the following ideas are some of the best that you can get started on right away.
Blogging is, hands down, one of the best online businesses you can start right now.
There are several ways you can build a blog to make you money, including affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, advertising, and selling digital products.
You can even start a blog for free using sites like Wix and WordPress.com.
Freelance writing is one of the most popular types of freelancing right now.
That could be because you don’t necessarily need experience to start.
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You just need to find a type of writing that appeals to you and you’re good at, like blogging or copywriting.
You can get started in your writing journey with sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
Graphic design work is another popular freelancing route that you can start if you have some experience or skills working with web or computer graphics.
Babysit or Pet Sit
Love kids? Try babysitting.
Or, if pets are more your thing, go for pet sitting.
Either way, you can make a decent hourly wage spending time with the kids and animals you love.
You can also opt for dog walking if you have some extra time during the day.
Dog owners appreciate having someone to come walk their dogs when they’re at work or gone for long hours.
You can even make $20 or more per hour walking dogs with an app like Rover.
Start a Daycare
If you have a lot of available hours you can spare, then you’d probably have success with an in-home daycare.
Parents look for daycares with evening and weekend hours, so if you can work during these times, you’re golden.
Check local laws to learn about what your town or city requires you to have to begin a daycare in your home.
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As a freelance photographer, you can set up sessions for schools, organizations, or even just local families.
Put your photography skills to work in whatever way you want to.
You’ll be in total control of your pricing, so you can scale your business as much as you’d like to.
It’s surprisingly simple to make your own great-smelling candles at home.
You can sell them on your own website, take them to craft fairs to sell, or set up an Etsy shop to sell them online.
Virtual assistants have a range of skills, like creating and filling out spreadsheets, building a client base, and contacting leads for business owners.
Although they usually work with business owners, they’re also business owners themselves.
You can find your own clients and work with several at a time to build a full-time business.
Rent Your Home
Use Airbnb to rent your home or some extra space in your home, like a finished basement.
You can also use the site to host an experience.
Either way, you’re making money!
Rent Other Stuff
There’s also plenty of other stuff you can rent over and over again to keep making money without giving away your home.
For example, you can rent a parking spot with Pavemint.
Rent almost anything with Loanables.
You can even rent out your car with HyreCar.
Take Care of Homes
Use HouseSitter to find homeowners in your area who need your helping caring for their home while they’re away.
You can get paid daily simply to stay in someone else’s house!
Clean Houses or Offices
If you love to clean and organize, then this business is for you.
Use your skills to clean homes and offices in your neighborhood.
Charge by the hour and you’ve got yourself a legitimate business.
You can also charge hourly to wash windows on homes or office buildings.
Many people would rather hand the task over to someone else than do it themselves!
Create t-shirt designs to sell on shirts and other products.
You don’t even have to do all the work yourself.
Just use your favorite design software to make the design and then upload your designs to a place like CafePress, which will print them onto products for you and ship them to the customers when they sell.
Drive Your Car
Uber pays you to drive your car to pick people up and bring them to their destinations.
This could be a lucrative side gig or full-fledged business if you live in a busy area where commuting can be a pain and you have evening and weekend hours to spare.
Advertise On Your Car
If you’re already using a rideshare service to make money, then try to get a little more by advertising on your car too.
Carvertise pays you to rideshare with your vehicle while you advertise companies with car wraps and decals placed on your car.
The company works with people in several large cities and you can get paid monthly with direct deposit.
Start an eBay Business
Set up your own store on eBay and sell stuff you have or find.
The auction site is great for collectibles and rare items, but you can even sell Hot Wheels sets, baseball cards, or whatever else you want to sell there.
Stick to a niche – like toys or clothing – and watch your business soar.
Craft Stuff for Etsy
Craft lovers can set up an Etsy shop and sell on the platform.
People make stuff like jewelry, clothing, furniture, blankets, and all kinds of unique stuff, so there’s probably a spot for whatever it is that you like to craft.
If you have a massage license, you can start making appointments in your home to give people massages.
No license yet?
Look up the laws in your state, which you can usually find through your state’s medical board.
Online surveys won’t necessarily become a full-time business for you, but they can definitely become a good side gig.
Use the highest-paying survey sites like Mindswarms, Vindale Research, and Survey Junkie to boost your earnings quickly.
Use Reward Sites
Swagbucks and InboxDollars are two of the best reward sites that pay you to complete small tasks, like taking surveys or checking your email.
Like survey sites, they won’t replace a regular income, but use them in conjunction with survey sites, and you might find that you earn several extra hundred dollars a month.
Sell or Resell Stuff
Have stuff you don’t need?
Start selling them!
Once you start making money, you can turn it into a reselling business finding stuff for cheap that you can resell for higher prices later.
Be an Elderly Assistant or Companion
Check with nursing homes or hospitals to see if any elderly residents or patients might be interested in paying you to help them with tasks or simply be their companion.
Investing your money isn’t just good for savings and retirement.
It could also become your full-time income.
In fact, a lot of people make their primary income from buying properties and renting them as homes or office buildings.
You can get started in real estate investing with Roofstock.
Tutor Students Online
VIPKID is an online tutoring company that many are turning into their full-time business.
You can earn up to $22 per hour helping students online.
VIPKID also pays its tutors a referral fee when they refer students or other tutors to the platform.
Find something you love and are interested in and use your expertise to coach others in it.
Whether you want to show people how to sew or teach them how to get new clients for their business, it’s all teachable online with sites like Udemy, which let you host courses.
Put your interior design skills to use by turning them into a business model.
You can connect with real estate agents who might need your help staging homes before they get sold.
Yes, you can even make a business out of picking up poop.
Dog poop, of course.
Ask around your neighborhood if anyone would like you to set up a weekly or monthly service to clean their yards of dog poop.
The business works for these guys.
Create Meal Plans
Meal planning helps people put together meals ahead of time to spend less time each day planning and cooking.
If you’re good at that sort of thing, then you could make money planning meals for others.
Some people choose to create a food-focused blog and sell meal prepping courses and resources from their blog, but you can also advertise your services on a website, in Facebook groups, etc.
Put your language skills to use with translation services.
Use freelance marketplaces like Upwork to find work, or you can work directly with companies that pay freelance translators, like Gengo.
You can also try Rev for transcription work if you’re a fast typist but don’t necessarily have translating skills.
A lot of transcriptionists are able to also pick up work on job search sites or by partnering with journalists who need interviews transcribed.
Take old furniture and make it new again!
This is a great business to have if you’re creative and have some renovation skills.
Or, go on a much larger scale with house flipping.
This, of course, will take more time and money to get going, but it could also lead to a much bigger return.
I don’t suggest going this route if you don’t have any home renovation skills, though, or you’ll end up cutting into your profits by hiring a renovation team.
Dog grooming is a very in-demand skill, especially if you live in a smaller area where there are limited options for groomers.
Start an in-home grooming salon instead of renting a shop and you’ll save tons of money.
One area of writing that is highly in demand is resume writing.
College students especially look for resume writers to help prepare their resumes upon graduation, but you can also write resumes for anyone searching for a professional career.
If you know how to clean and care for pools, then turn it into a business during the summer months.
Many homeowners would happily pay to have this dreaded task done for them!
Know people in your neighborhood who might need help doing some laundry?
You can offer to bring the laundry to the laundromat or do it at your home for a convenience fee.
If you find enough clients, you could carve out a unique business niche for yourself.
Write Greeting Cards
Some writers choose to make a living making poems and sayings for greeting cards.
Blue Mountain Arts and Oatmeal Studios are two of many greeting card companies that will pay you to help them with their greeting card content.
Direct sales companies are ones like Avon and Beachbody that let you sign up to become part of the company, start your own business selling their products, and earn commissions on everything you sell.
There are several legitimate direct sales businesses that you can join in different niches, from health and beauty to books.
While not everyone is able to turn their hustle into a business, you can if you’re good at selling and have a lot of people who can join your team.
Get Paid to Be a Friend
Do you have a friendly personality and get along with anyone?
Then get paid to be a friend!
Rent A Friend lets you do exactly that.
People might hire you to party with them, attend an event with them, or even just talk to when they need someone.
Repairing or maintaining cars can be a great side gig, but if you have a garage or driveway to work from, you could even make it a full-time business.
Keep growing it until you can buy your own shop!
You could also work on home repairs and renovations if you’re more skilled in that area.
From small fixes to large repairs, there’s always something that homeowners need help with.
Write books to publish yourself, which you can do easily with Kindle Direct Publishing through Amazon.
You can also write print books (KDP only offers eBooks) but you’re better off doing that with the help of a publisher, which can cost a pretty penny.
Help others plan their dream vacations as a travel agent!
WorldVentures is one direct sales business that’ll let you hop on board and start selling its travel packages to customers.
Teach a Skill
What are you good at?
Set up a class and let people in your neighborhood know you’re open for teaching!
This is a good part-time business for someone looking for flexibility and a few hours of work a week.
Check with your local newspaper about how you can become a delivery person.
Call Center Representative
If you have a quiet spot in your home to work from and a separate phone line for work, then try your hand as a call center representative.
There are several companies you can go through that connect you with clients of your own, like LiveOps and Arise.
Install driveways or walkways, build retaining walls, plant flowers – if you have landscaping skills, it shouldn’t be a challenge for you to find local customers.
Take Care of Lawns
You can also take care of lawns throughout the season by offering services like shoveling, mowing, mulching, weeding, raking, etc.
Delivery companies like GrubHub and DoorDash rely on independent contractors who want flexible hours and the opportunity to start their own business.
Sound like you?
Hop in your car and start delivering!
Manage Social Media
Take over the social media accounts of people or business owners who simply don’t have the time or desire to work on them.
You’ll get paid to post new photos and messages, respond to others, and grow the accounts.
Sell Your Body…Kind Of
Your body can make you a lot of money!
Or, donate sperm or eggs.
You can even make money when you donate blood…if you donate blood plasma, that is.
Start a mystery shopping business posing as a customer as you visit stores in your area and provide feedback based on your experience.
BestMark and Pinnacle are two companies you can try to get started.
Those with programming chops can certainly turn app designing into a career!
You can also opt for web designing if your talent is more in the realm of creating websites for people.
You can even sell your own website themes on Etsy!
Get out those guns and put them to work!
Personal training is a huge industry right now as busy people try to maximize the little spare time they have to stay healthy.
You can even train people in a local gym without needing to buy your own equipment.
Host Art Classes
Invite people to your home for $20 each and give them an art lesson using your skills.
Just 10 people in a class gets you an easy $200.
Pick out outfits and accessories for people who are somewhat style-challenged to help them with everyday wear or business attire.
You can even start a business with a fashion company like Stella & Dot.
Plan Parties and Events
Put your love of parties to use as a party planner!
Charge per project to plan weddings, birthday parties, fundraising events, and more.
Got a website or social media accounts?
Then you can get started with affiliate marketing, which, when done correctly, can absolutely become a business.
It’s best to start with a niche website that’s laser-focused on a particular subject.
Then, pick out products or services that align with your topic and get to work promoting them!
Share-A-Sale and CJ are some excellent affiliate networks to get started with.
Rent Some Chickens
I’ll admit that this one sounds a little out there.
It kind of is a little out there.
But it could work for you!
Belbeck’s Family Farm lets you rent chickens to raise from an egg to a full-grown adult.
You can keep the chickens for a while and then give them back once your rental period is up.
You’ll get to keep any eggs they lay, though, which means you can sell them if you don’t need them!
You can always choose to keep your chickens, too, at the end of your term.
Dress Up for Parties
Position yourself as a character for parties.
Dress up as a superhero, princess, animal, or whatever the party entails.
It’s not uncommon to make $25 per hour or more with this simple gig.
Design elaborate weddings for clients as a wedding planner!
You don’t need any special degrees or experience for this, but it could help to have a couple of testimonials from even small weddings you’ve helped plan.
YouTubing is incredibly popular right now, although not everyone will hit it big on the video platform.
However, it’s completely possible if you have a unique angle for your videos and an exciting personality.
Become a Voice Over Artist
Use your voice to do voice overs for videos, TV shows, and other media.
Fiverr offers an easy way to start getting yourself out there by setting up your own gigs and naming your prices.
Style Hair or Makeup
Offer to style your friends’ hair and makeup to get a few shots for a portfolio.
Then, venture off to paying gigs to build your business!
Cooking or Catering
Those with cooking skills can turn their love for food and the kitchen into a business by becoming a personal chef or caterer for events.
You can also start with EatWith, a company that helps you find people who want unique dining experiences.
Do you know everything there is to know about your city?
Become a local tour guide with ToursByLocals and build your business exploring the place you love.
Offer to chop wood for neighbors to save them time.
Bonus if you can also trim trees and then use the limbs you trim to chop into firewood and sell yourself!
Offer to use your pickup truck to remove junk from people’s homes, like cardboard, trash, or large items they aren’t sure what to do with.
You might also do odd jobs like trimming trees or removing limbs for firewood, hauling dirt piles, or disassembling playground equipment and trampolines.
Home or Office Organization
Put your love for organization to use by offering to organize home and offices for a fee.
You could become the next Marie Kondo!
Dropshipping can be even better than a regular ecommerce business because you don’t need to hold any inventory yourself.
Instead, when customers place orders on your site, you’ll order the products from other businesses and keep the profits.
That means no overhead and more cash in your pocket.
Rent Baby Gear
Start a rental business for your baby gear using BabyQuip!
This site matches you with other parents or daycare owners who could use your extra baby stuff for kids in their care.
You can keep renting your stuff over and over again to give you a steady income.
Be a Human Mannequin
Human mannequins are sometimes needed in clothing stores.
You basically stand there, model an outfit, and get paid.
You can find these jobs on online job search sites like Indeed, or ask around local businesses to see if they need your help.
Become a Nude Art Model
You could also pose nude for art classes at colleges and universities.
This type of gig pays $25 per hour or more!
Complete quick gigs on Amazon Mechanical Turk, which is a site that offers a variety of tasks meant to be quick and flexible.
Accounting or Bookkeeping
You don’t necessarily need certification to find some clients and start an accounting and bookkeeping business, although having previous experience in this industry can certainly help prove your abilities.
You can also opt for helping people prepare and file their taxes when it comes close to tax time.
Tax professionals can work year-round, too, helping businesses pay quarterly taxes.
Gardening or Farming
Start a garden and make money off its growth!
Cake or Cookie Baking
Bake and decorate cakes and cookies to sell to local bakeries, bring to events to sell, or even sell to your friends, family, and neighbors.
Legitimate Home Based Business Ideas
It’s now time to find the path that interests you most and get your home-based business underway.
With so many possibilities, it’s nearly impossible not to find something that triggers you to want to get started right away.
Use these ideas to carve out your own unique niche and build a business with a bright future.
What other ideas do you have? Have you started a business for yourself? I’d love to hear it – leave a comment!
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