Tips for Choosing A Legitimate Home-Based Business Opportunity

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own.

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and the desire to work from home, a home-based business opportunity can be a great option.  Business opportunities provide you with a turnkey system and support so that you can be in business “for yourself, not by yourself”.

Unfortunately, a multitude of unscrupulous companies have cropped up on the internet over the past several years, making the search for a legitimate home based business a bit of a challenge.  The good news is that there are legitimate and profitable home-based business opportunities out there and if you’re able to identify certain “red flags”, it won’t be that difficult to eliminate the “scams” and spot the opportunity that’s right for you:

Unfortunately, a multitude of unscrupulous companies have cropped up on the internet over the past several years, making the search for a legitimate home based business a bit of a challenge.  Here are 5 signs of a work at home scam.

Red Flag #1:  You visit a business opportunity website and there are pages of copy promising financial freedom and personal wealth but it doesn’t tell you anything about what the company does.  If a company doesn’t clearly state their product and/or service, be wary.

Red Flag #2:  The company website states that you’ll make unrealistic amounts of money, with minimal effort, in a very short period of time.  This is simply not true.  Businesses take time to grow.  If any business opportunity website promises that you’ll be a millionaire in 3 months or less, ask yourself, “If there was a way to get rich overnight, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?”

Red Flag #3:  While there may be several testimonials of successful business owners listed on a business opportunity’s website, you still need to ask for references and contact them by phone or e-mail.  And, if a company isn’t willing to provide references, they’re not legit.

Red Flag #4:  Once you’ve found a business that interests you, request additional information.  If the company asks you to provide a credit card number or to pay a fee for information that should be available free —no matter how small—it’s a scam.

Red Flag #5:  Ask how your business will make money.  If your ability to make money relies on you recruiting other people to sell a product or service, the company is most likely a multi-level marketing business and, in most cases, the only people who make legitimate money with MLM’s are the people at the top!

Finally, keep in mind that when you do find a business opportunity that feels like the right fit for you, don’t fall in love too quickly.   Take the time to research your market for competition to be sure that your area isn’t saturated with a similar product or service.   And most importantly, make sure that the business capitalizes on your strengths and talents and allows you to do something you love each day.  It’s a well-known fact that entrepreneurs who love what they do are much more likely to succeed!

Debra CohenDebra Cohen is President of Home Remedies® of NY, Inc. and founder of the Homeowner Referral Network (HRN®) business model. Her HRN business pre-screens and refers home improvement contractors and has been rated “The No. 1 Business Start-Up” by Small Business Opportunities and featured in numerous media including Working Mother, Parents, Remodeling and Good Housekeeping.  

Ms. Cohen is also the author of The Complete Guide To Owning And Operating A Successful Homeowner Referral Network©–a comprehensive business manual that documents all of the “how-to’s” of running a HRN® business.  To date, she has assisted 300 entrepreneurs launch successful HRN® businesses across the US and Canada.

For additional information, visit her website at  Or, sign up for the HRN Affiliate Program at


  1. says

    I always tell people I know that if you have to pay for information alone, it’s a scam! Because I work from home as a freelance writer, I get plenty questions about things like this. And your red flag #4 is the first thing I share with them. What most don’t realize is that many who work-from-home do it more by self-marketing than working as a traditional employee.

    Getting out of the employee mentality is probably the first thing most need to rid themselves of before even seeking out work-from-home opportunities. The scam companies prey on newbies who are just looking for someone to tell them what to do.

    Working from home requires a little more entrepreneurial thinking than that.

    Great list. Thanks for sharing!

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