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QUESTION: I am constantly hearing about work-at-home opportunities that sound promising, but when I check them out with the Better Business Bureau, they always turn out to be scams. Are there any legitimate work-at-home opportunities out there?
ANSWER: One of the lessons we learned while writing Home Businesses You Can Buy (Tarcher) is that legitimate franchises and business opportunities are as interested in the kind of representative you would make for their company as they are in selling you on a franchise or business opportunity package. That is because they expect to make money from your ongoing efforts, not just from the initial sale.
Despite receiving thousands of pieces of junk mail over the years, we can't remember ever seeing one from a solid, legitimate business opportunity. We always forward get-rich-quick offers to the FTC's complaint section (firstname.lastname@example.org). Because we live in California, where spam must always be labeled as an "ADV" (for "advertisement"), we also send them to the site that handles complaints for the California attorney general (email@example.com), who then takes court action against state-based spammers.
So yes, legitimate opportunities to work at home do really exist out there, but they'll be advertised according to their type of business, not by the fact that the work can be done at home. In addition, they won't spam you; on the contrary, you'll usually be the one to seek them out. Some advertise in magazines like this one; others can be found in various books and directories describing franchises and business opportunities, and almost all have Web sites.
The work of many franchises and most business opportunities can be done at home, so search for lists of companies online. But then check out their history and the experience of other people participating in the franchise or business opportunity before you actually invest.
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business opportunity is really a work-at-home scam:|
Paul and Sarah Edwards' most recent book is The Entrepreneurial Parent. Send them your start-up business questions at www.workingfromhome.com or in care of Entrepreneur.