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Stand Up And Be Counted Trying to determine the number of homebased entrepreneurs.

By Carla Goodman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Homebased business owner. Seems like a simple enough term, doesn't it? Well, apparently not for people trying to determine the number of homebased entrepreneurs in the United States.

Depending on the source, there are 10 million to 50 million U.S. homebased entrepreneurs. So what's the problem? In this age of space walks, fiber optics and e-mail, why can't anyone come up with a single, accurate figure?

"There are a lot of answers to that question," says Tom Miller, vice president of the Internet Strategies Group for Cyber Dialogue (formerly Find/SVP), a New York City-based Internet research firm generally credited with producing the most accurate homebased business figures. "[The homebased market] is notoriously difficult to measure, in part because people frequently start businesses that are here today and gone tomorrow." Also consider the problem of people operating multiple dbas from home--according to Miller, these people dramatically over-inflate the trend.

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