Building a business on the Internet provides an excellent way to work from home and control how you spend your hours, at little start-up expense. Like any business, a home-based Internet business may need a general business license from the state or city governing authority, and depending upon local zoning laws, you may also be required to have a home-occupation permit. Before licensing your business, however, you'll need to plan which type of Internet business you will build.
Write down a list of all your hobbies, skills, education or knowledge, and previous employment experience. Don't try to analyze items as you write them, and don't try to figure out how you could use each item as a business idea at this point.
Cross out items on your list that you don't like to do or that no longer interest you. Just because you took three years of French in high school doesn't mean you'd enjoy using that skill or knowledge on a daily basis.
Highlight all items on your list that you love doing. According to the Business Know-How website, successful businesses revolve around something the owner really enjoys.
Search online for "X business ideas" or "how to start X business" where "X" is a highlighted item in your list. If you enjoy cooking for example, you'd search for "cooking business ideas" or "how to start a cooking business."
Note any business ideas that appeal to you, along with any other ideas that come to mind as you're researching. Choose the one idea from your list that appeals to you most, for which there is a demand. Starting a business offering goods, services or information that no one is interested in will cause your business to fail.
Develop a basic business plan to use as a start-up guide. Write out the type of business you plan to start and how it will make you money. A few of the ways home-based Internet businesses can earn money are: selling products or services directly, providing information that people pay a membership fee for, or providing free information and earning money from advertisements or sales commissions.
List the action steps needed to start. Many Internet home businesses get started by using free or low-cost online services, such as eBay, or by setting up free websites. Others prefer to acquire their own business domain name first and set up a professional website.
Search online for the services you need to get started. If you plan to use free website hosting companies, find several and compare their features. If you plan to register a domain name, look for domains that fit your company and are available to register.
Sign up for or purchase the services you've selected, and start creating information for or about your business to publish online.
Visit your state or city website to determine what business licenses, if any, are required in your area. Fill out and submit the required paperwork along with any fees.