Home-Based Business

Together we're stronger

Is a home-based business right for you? Many military spouses find self-employment with a home-based business to be a good solution to the challenge of relocation, deployments, their service member’s training schedule, and raising small children.

If you are thinking of starting a home-based business, you must first decide what type of business you would like to operate. Will you choose a traditional business that provides goods or services locally? Or will you choose a virtual business that provides goods or services to customers outside of your physical location? Examples of traditional businesses include child care services, food industry services, tailoring, or selling goods from a commercial provider. Examples of virtual businesses include medical transcribing, writing, website design, call center services, and administrative services. Home businesses owned and operated by military spouses are as unique and diverse as our military population! You can explore the challenges and benefits of operating a home-based business by attending a class or workshop through your local chamber of commerce, installation education and employment center, or Small Business Administration.

Living on Base or Overseas?

If you are operating a business from your home on the installation (whether it is a government-owned home or a privatized dwelling), you must comply with your local housing authority’s policy and guidance. For those in privatized housing, review your lease provisions, community rules, and tenant handbook. If you live in government housing (whether CONUS or OCONUS), you must comply with your Service-specific guidelines to operate your home-based business on base.

Overseas, the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) may affect the type of business you can operate. For example, the SOFA for your host country may prohibit goods distributed for resale to be shipped to an APO or FPO installation address. Before moving your business overseas, attend a moving overseas class or make contact with your new installation to discuss possible limitations with your home-based business. Click here for a home based business guide from the State Department.

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