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15 Non-MLM Home-Based Business Ideas

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Ways to Start a Home-Based Business Without Joining and MLM

Believe it or not, you can start a home-based business for very little money. Unlike starting a brick-and-mortar business, you won’t have rent, electricity, and equipment overhead.

People are often lured into MLM businesses because they think it’s a less risky, more accessible path to entrepreneurship. But the truth is that multi-level-marketing companies are not small businesses – they’re scams designed to make people buy products and recruit their friends for them.

Why give your money to some large company just to get a measly commission and not actually own a business?

If you really want to start a home-based business, you can do plenty of things that won’t cost a lot of money to get started.

And, what’s even better is, you can do several of these at the same time, depending on how much time you have and how much money you want to make.

How to Choose Your Business

How do you decide what kind of business is for you? You’ll need to assess your skills and what types of things you love and are passionate about.

For instance, if you love to cook, then a cooking-related business would be ideal for you. You could start a catering business or cooking blog. Or you could do both.

This list of ideas can help get your mind moving, but ultimately it comes down to your skills and what you like to do. Are any of these options more appealing than others?

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Inexpensive Non-MLM Home-Based Business Ideas


Virtual Assistant Business

Get paid to offer professional services to business owners.

If you have a wide range of administrative and office experience, along with excellent typing skills, then starting your own virtual assistant business could be for you.

A few of the services that a virtual assistant can provide are running personal errands, scheduling meetings for executives, doing transcription, responding to emails, creating reports, and filtering telephone calls.

The average pay for a virtual assistant is $19.60 per hour. However, that’s working for a company. Offering services as a business owner, depending on what kind of services you specialize in, will probably make you more money.

Not sure how to start a VA business? You can take a mini-course by going here.


Bookkeeping Business

Do you want to work for yourself but don’t know where to start? If so, a home-based bookkeeping business might be the perfect opportunity for you. 

What if you could start your own bookkeeping business? What if you could work from home and set your own hours? 

Don’t worry if you have no experience in accounting or running a small business; there are many sources available on getting started. You can sign up here to learn how to create your own home-based bookkeeping business, even with no experience.


Online Tutoring Business

Make money from home, helping students with homework. Tutors who tutor online from home are making great money without having to leave their houses. An online tutoring business is a great option for those who want to make money online and like more flexibility in their schedule.  

You don’t necessarily need a degree to tutor students, as long as you have expertise in at least one subject.

Remote online tutors can earn up to $60 per hour.

You can advertise your services through local schools, Craigslist, or community flyers. You can also sign up on platforms like TeacherOn and BuddySchool and let students find you.


Freelance Writing Business

Do you want to make money writing? Consider a home-based freelance writing business. There is no shortage of bloggers and online magazines that are always looking for writers and ghostwriters.

Freelance writers write for lots of different sources like magazines, newspapers, blogs, websites, etc., usually on their own schedule.

You can join blogging groups to find work. You can also sign up with sites like Upwork and Fiverr, where you can sell your writing services to those needing writers.

You can learn more about how to become a freelance writer by going here.


Proofreading and Editing Business

Do you enjoy grammar and spelling? Do you have an eye for spotting errors? If so, a proofreading and editing business may be just the opportunity for you. 

One of the most overlooked business opportunities is the home-based proofreading and editing service. There’s no need for expensive equipment or storefronts; you just need your computer and a good internet connection! The right person with a little bit of training can start up this side hustle and make a decent amount of money on their own time, without having to take on any major risk. 

You can sign up for a free proofreading workshop by going here.


Start a Subscription Box Business

If you’re looking for a way to earn some extra cash as well as create an enjoyable hobby, then it is time to build your own subscription box business. 

Subscription boxes are great because they offer consumers the opportunity to experience new products or services each month by receiving them in the mail without even having to go shopping themselves!

It’s also a great idea if you’re not sure what type of business venture would be suitable for you – with this type of business model, there are all sorts of different options available, from makeup, hair supplies, candles, and more. 

You can sell store-bought products or homemade crafts that you’ve made.

It’s easy to start your own home-based subscription box business by signing up and selling on Cratejoy.


Make and Sell Printables

Are you great at making graphics, taking photos, or doing illustrations? If so, then turn your hobby into a business. Create and sell printables on Etsy. This is a fantastic way to make money from home while doing what you love.

You can easily create calendars, planners, wall art, and more and sell your creations on your Etsy store.

If you aren’t sure how to create printables and would like to learn, you can go here to sign up for a course. I’ve taken this course myself, and it’s extremely easy to follow and full of useful information.


Start an Online Print-on-Demand Store

Do you have a passion that needs to be shared with the world? Are you looking for a new business idea? One that is simple to set up, with low start-up costs, and can be run from anywhere in the world? Well, look no further because starting an online print-on-demand store could be the business for you.  

For those unfamiliar with how it works, this type of company provides t-shirts, coffee mugs, posters, etc., printed with your design or logo on them. 

You can sign up with websites that offer high-quality products at affordable prices, which means they are perfect if you want to make money without having to invest lots of time or money into setting up your own printing factory! The best part about these types of websites is that getting started doesn’t require any upfront investment, as they allow you to upload your own designs.

Printful and Printify are two such companies. You can sign up for free and start designing and selling your own merch.


Start a Blog

Blogging can be done on any topic related to your field of work or expertise, and there are many free blogging platforms available for anyone with internet access. 

You don’t have to be a professional writer to start a blog. You only need a passion for helping people find answers on a particular topic. If you’re good at something and know a lot about it, why not get paid to write about it?

If you aren’t sure about how to start a blog, you can sign up for a free course by going here.


Online ESL Teaching Business

There are tons of companies you can sign up with to and teach English to students in different countries. But why not start your own business and teach English to students (or adults) in your own community?

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to start your own ESL business; you only need to get a TESOL/TESL certificate. And you can take a certification course online.

Get certified, advertise your services, and start teaching!


Pet Sitting Business

If you’re looking to make some extra cash on the side, consider starting a pet sitting business. It’s a great way to earn money and spend time with furry friends! 

The best part is that starting a pet sitting business doesn’t require much start-up capital or experience!

You can pet sit at your own home if you have the room or go to the clients’ homes to pet sit.

You can easily find people needing pet sitting services through sites like Wag!Rover, or Or, you can advertise your services through your local community newsletter.


Freelance Photography Business

Many people think you have to have professional training to be a photographer. Well, that’s just not true. I know several people who have photography businesses on the side who have never taken photography classes. They just have a natural eye, and they’re very good at it.

If you have a passion for photography, think about starting your own freelance photography business. You can build your portfolio and then pitch it to prospective clients.

So, grab your camera and start making money!


Create and Sell Online Classes

Are you highly skilled at sewing? Are you an excellent cook? Do you love to quilt? If so, why not teach others and get paid to do it?

You can easily start a home-based business teaching classes on things you’re skilled at to others wanting to learn.

Creating online courses is becoming more and more popular. And, there are many places where you can post your course and sell it to anyone in the world who is interested in learning from you — all without meeting them face-to-face!

To teach, you can sign up with either Teachable or Podia. Both are online teaching platforms.


Vintage Clothing Resale Business

Do you love fashion and vintage clothing? If so, why not start your own resale business?

The best part about this idea is that it’s incredibly easy. All you need to do is post photos of your items on sites like Craigslist or eBay, wait for interested buyers to respond, and then send them off!


Start a Furniture Refurbishing Business

Do you enjoy working with your hands and have a knack for crafting? Consider starting a furniture refurbishing business, which can help turn old furniture into pieces of art. 

Believe it or not, there is a lot of money in this business!

To find old furniture, all you have to do is visit thrift stores or go yard sales. And there are hundreds of YouTube videos to walk you through the process of restoration.


Frequently Asked Questions

If you wonder which home business is the right one for you, this list of frequently asked questions may answer your questions.


Which Home-Based Businesses are the Most Successful and Profitable? 

You can find success with any of the home-based business ideas featured here, but only if you target people who need what you’re selling and consistently work hard to deliver your product or service.

And, there are some home-based businesses that earn more than others. It will depend on your skills and training. For instance bookkeeping pays a higher wage and has an extremely low overhead.


Which Home-Based Business is the Easiest to Start?

What do you have to offer? Take a look at your existing skills, qualifications and experience. If you’ve previously worked in a graphic design, then you could sell printables. Or, you used to work in law office, then a VA business would probably be ideal for you.

Also, s low startup cost is a vital factor in deciding whether your home business ideas will be successful. You’ll want to be able to start your business without borrowing money or spending all your cash.


Which Home-Based Business is Right for Me?

A good home business opportunity depends on your interests and hobbies. Many home businesses start as a hobby or develop from an interest you already have. Think about what you love and are passionate about.

Final Thoughts

With so many potential home-based business ideas, narrowing down which one is the right fit for you and your skills can seem a little overwhelming. But just remember, if you want to be successful, you must do something you love!


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