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21 Steps To Home Business Success

Fifty million home-based businesses will be in operation by 1997, according to Link Resource's National Work-at Home Survey. All around the country, people who want more control over their lives are starting home businesses In New Orleans, Rick Hart's home based cajun Cargo ships seafood nation wide. In Palatine, Illinois, Stephaine Heavey works from home designing and selling original patterns for fabric dolls. And in Dallas, Lisa McElya published the Dallas Party & Event Planners Guidebook from the entire first floor of her two-story home. These three people are living the new American dream of owning a business, but avoiding the high overhead and start-up costs of a commercial location. If the idea of working from home is appealing, but you don't know where to begin, here is a step-by-step guide.

STEP #1 DECIDE WHAT PART OF THE HOUSE TO USE Select an area away from family activity. The perfect space is a separate room (or perhaps the garage), but any area will do, if it can hold all the business supplies and equipment, and also provide enough work space for desks, tables, or counters.

STEP #2 DETERMINE HOW MUCH TIME YOU CAN SPEND ON THE BUSINESS Many people start a home business on a part-time basis while raising children or working outside the home. Others start full-time when family and finances allow. However you begin, figure out how may hours per week you can devote to the business Make a weekly chart of your activities, examine it, and determine where the business fits. Don't assume you have time and find out later you don't.

STEP #3 DECIDE ON THE TYPE OF BUSINESS Make a list of things you like to do, your work and volunteer experience, and items you own that can be used in a business. Look over this line-up, and using ideas from it, list possible businesses to start. Eliminate any business that isn't appealing or doesn't fill a need people have. For ideas on different types of businesses, consult the end of this article. Other ideas can be found in the source material listed at the end of this article.

STEP #4 CHOOSE A LEGAL FORM The three basic legal forms are sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation. The most common is the sole proprietorship. As its name implies, a sole proprietorship is owned by one individual. It is the oldest form of business, the easiest to start, and the least complicated to dissolve. Here are some of the advantages of this business form: 1. You own all the profits

2. Your business is easy and cheap to organize. You don't need any government approval, although you may be required to carry a city, state or county license. Your only other obligation is to notify the Internal revenue Service (IRS) for the purposes of sales tax.

3. You're the boss

4. You enjoy certain tax savings. You must pay regular individual taxes on your income, property, and payroll, but these are not levied as special taxes, as with a corporation. You will also have to pay sales tax which you have received from your customers.