how to legally start a business | what do you need to start a small business

If you have a knack for connecting with people and the willingness to take on some risk, a commission-based freelance sales role could be a great side business idea for you. Many startups seek part-time and commission-only salespeople, especially when they’re just getting started, which means you’ll often be able to make this a home based business idea. Develop your sales strategies, become an inside sales rep and perfect your cold calling skills on the side in your free time for nothing but commission, negotiate a little equity and you could profit big time if you’re pitching a solid product and the startup succeeds. Start your sales education with the acclaimed books, Secrets of a Master Closer and To Sell is Human by famed bestselling author Daniel Pink and you’ll be well on your way to getting this side business idea off the ground.
To be clear, providing care for the elderly often requires a broader set of credentials (as it should) so this business idea isn’t one most people can get started with this weekend. These credentials may include licenses, training certificates, business permits, and tax forms depending on which state you wish to operate, the level of care you intend to provide, and whether you plan on running a formal business or just hiring yourself out as an independent worker as a side business idea. If you’re already giving unpaid care to an elderly relative or friend, you may want to review Medicaid provisions for some compensation. In all cases, you need genuine affection for the elderly, a lot of common sense, and good knowledge of first aid, CPR, and elderly care basics to excel with this side business idea.
Being practical is extremely important when you are toying with the idea of starting a business. You need a steady source of income before you can set up your business, so it’s advisable to hold onto your current job. By retaining your present job, you will be more secure when you need to take risks.
Obviously some of these small business ideas have more earning potential than others, but what they all share in common are relatively low barriers to entry and the flexibility to work at them for a limited amount of time per week. I also tried to focus on side business ideas that have some sort of online component to them, since that’s what I love most.
While you may first think of wedding planners or reunion organizers, there are many, many types of event planners out there. Some may specialize in parties for young kids, others in large corporate events. Think carefully of a specialty that you could do well in and meet participants in that field, before you open shop.
Tell Wut is a survey site where you can win prizes and earn rewards for sharing your opinion. Most surveys award 5 to 15 points per survey, but you can also earn points by referring friends (25 points), creating an account (100 points) and providing your information (100 points). Points can be redeemed for Best Buy, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Visa, and various other gift cards. Tell Wut has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Words of Worth – Read Review – Open to US, Canada, and possibly other countries. Pay rates are not listed on the website, but it will vary depending on the assignment. Get paid once a month via bank transfer.
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Hey, great list! LaunchScore estimates the earnings potential of 800+ business types in 750 U.S. cities. Unlike most lists, LaunchScore provides a custom earnings estimate that takes into account the market conditions in each city.
One of the primary amenities that small towns tend to lack is decent shopping. And we don’t just mean a large shopping mall. Often, those living in smaller towns and communities have to drive significant mileage just for basic clothing necessities. That’s why starting a clothing boutique will not only put you on the map but will make you a popular destination for most residents in the vicinity. You’ll pretty much be the mall substitute for all things teen-related. Just make sure to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. But they’ll let you know if you don’t!
Skilled at basic home repair? Let people know that they can call you for small repair jobs like basic plumbing, fixing a broken stair, and other things. You’d be amazed at the simple things people are willing to pay others to help them with.

Washing windows for retail stores is about as simple as it gets. Just get your cleaning supplies and knock on the doors of retail stores, asking if they want their windows cleaned. If you get some takers you could arrange to make it into a regular service.
I like sporting goods. It is a good local business. If you can go out and connect with local sports teams, you can further solidify your franchise. And you can further bolster your business still more by also selling used equipment.
There are several loan programs aimed at helping first-time entrepreneurs set up their business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) operates the loan programs offered by the U.S. government. To qualify for the loan, your business must meet some criteria such as your business must operate in the United States, your business must qualify as a small business according to SBA guidelines, you must operate for profit and you should have a good credit score.
With many websites getting the majority of their traffic from search engine results, it is no wonder that the demand is huge for SEO specialists. Sure, the days of playing “black hat” tricks on search engines are long gone, but there are many legitimate levers you can pull to help bring web pages to the first page of search engine results.
It’s clear by now that we’re major proponents of leveraging modern software when starting a business, and marketing is no exception. There are hundreds of programs out there designed to help entrepreneurs like you market their budding businesses, from ROI calculators to social media management tools.
More and more health-conscious and time-strapped Americans are looking for quick food on the go that is healthier than the soda and chips you usually find in vending machines. This has spawned a whole new industry of wellness-oriented, specialized vending companies that offer franchisees the chance to own and service vending machines with better foods and beverages.
There are lots of graphic designers out there but not so many people specializing in logos. Yet in the age of the Internet, a good-looking logo is more important than ever! Most businesses don’t give enough thought to their logo and end up with a weak result. You can help them create a great logo–one that can help define their business and bring them customers!
#24 – Magoosh – If you are good at GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, SAT, and ACT, and tests, Magoosh is looking to hire online test prep experts to help students prepare for these papers. As a requirement, you must be an experienced BA or BS holder with high scores in GRE, SAT, GMAT. The standard pay for weekdays is $20 an hour and shoots up to $25 an hour over the weekends.
I like the vintage clothing business because you are not competing head to head with all the retailers and online sites selling new goods. Furthermore, you can have high margins. I would look to at least double my money on any vintage clothing that I buy, and I would try to pay for items with store credit not cash, as much as possible.
Every town, big or small, needs (and deserves) a few good restaurants. Your local pizza castle won’t suffice for all occasions and events. But much like owning a bakery, opening a restaurant is not something to go into halfheartedly. You need to have the passion, the drive, and the obsession of both a great entrepreneur and a chef (or at least a hard-core foodie).
A lot of business people are good at producing their product or delivering their service, but less good about keeping careful accounting records. That’s where you come in. You may visit a small business every week or two, pay bills, send out invoices and keep accounting records.
One of my friends took over her father’s dry cleaning business that over a lifetime he had built into a dozen stores. This is really hard work. Every item has to be handled many times. Customers can be demanding. And it is competitive. But if you are willing to work hard, you can make a very solid income.
#37 – Humana – This well-known company hires Customer Service Specialists by responding to questions and providing guidance to internal and external customers. You can make anywhere from $15-$18 per hour.
With this business, you could focus on providing PC training to employees at smaller to mid-sized companies that are too small to have their own IT departments. Or you could offer classes to individuals.
DogVacay lets pet lovers make extra money dog sitting a pooch or cat from the neighborhood. Once vetted, set a price and have fun for the weekend or even during the week, schedule permitting, with a loving pet. DogVacay also offers insurance, 24-hour support and other services that makes pet sitting easy and fun.
Kids are your future customers, so gaining their loyalty now isn’t a bad idea. According to Common Sense Media, three-quarters of kids have access to a mobile device. This spells a big business opportunity for anyone who can create products or design apps just for kids. And, if they also happen to be educational or promote good health, you’ll win their parents over, too.
I first learned about TTEC from the university I was attending. I thought it would be a great idea to get a job working from home while going to school. When I first started working for the company, I was a seasonal agent. This grew into a permanent agent position. TTEC has enabled me to earn a degree, provide support to my family, gain skills in communication and technology, and meet great people from different parts of the world. What a wonderful company to work for! Every day is a great day here at TTEC!
If you do the gardening or greenhouse ideas, you could also branch out to farmers’ markets where you could sell the produce from your gardening efforts as well. People love supporting local growers and the quality of product at a farmers’ market is much higher than supermarket fare.
If you have the experience working for a company that does home repairs or contracting work, then you can fairly easily start your own contracting business where you offer various services to homeowners.

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