Top home based businesses can help a person kiss the 9-to-5 commuter gridlock routine goodbye, and say hello to a better return on investment. More time with family, lower stress, better overall health and a better quality of life. Top businesses provide training, ongoing support, and multiple streams of income. Many have over-hyped claims of earning potential.For the more industrious, working for yourself can take two primary roads. You can work to assist with someone else’s requirements as an independent contractor or consultant. Another road is to launch your own small business. While the employment market is not as flooded with opportunities, home based businesses are flourishing. The avenues to find these opportunities have expanded along with the home based workforce. Top home based businesses are in direct competition and as successful as the more traditional businesses. It’s common knowledge that both “eBay” and Microsoft started out at home. Since the internet boom, dot.com and web brethren have seeded businesses that blossomed into business giants.Types of home based businesses that are performed for a third party have benefits and disadvantages. Just as an employee would compete for a traditional job, working from home for others involves winning the job. This entails market research for job opportunities, applying, winning and successfully performing. Applying for contracting jobs includes proposing at the right mix of labour types, responsibilities, costs and time line.Performing the role as a consultant or contractor has benefits and drawbacks. Contractors are often responsible for deducting and paying IRS taxes due. Contractors and consultants are typically responsible for tasks and deductions normally handled by a Human Resource department. Health care and life insurance are critical benefits that garner much interest from the independent workforce. For independent workers, self employment organizations, such as the National Association for the Self Employed, can assist with payroll, business, legal, marketing, and accounting requirements.YourNetBiz – provides products, training and support and only sold through sponsors who partner with you in the business to help you succeed. It allows greater potential for success if you choose the right mentor or sponsor.Industry market research data can be instrumental in establishing which industries are stable, declining or growing. Occupational research provides critical rate and salary data, identifies standard training, education, and staff composition. Data can be incorporated into competitive proposal strategies to become a contractor, consultant or to win business, contracts or grants for your own company.Not surprisingly, top home based businesses include administrative support. Independent work portals typically have virtual assistant, administrative, typing, transcription, reception, data entry, and similar employment assignments. Each of the following sites offer administrative employment and employees:Guru.com, freelancer.com, ifreelance.com, odesk.comFor the artistically inclined, deviantart.com, etsy.com and eBay offer marketplaces to sell and buy products. Crafts such as clothing for people and pets, candles, bath and body products are bought and sold from home. These products are among the best home based businesses. Specialty or gourmet edibles like cake, candies, and cookies are a self renewing customer need. Specialty coffees, teas or drinks are sold online from homes around the world.Technical work such as programmers, coders, developers and support positions such as web content developers and designers, are among top home based businesses. Practically any employment website has countless technical opportunities. A web master can be self created. Much like an artist, technical workers can create a portfolio of work to demonstrate knowledge, skill, and abilities to develop a small business, or provide contract services. Anyone who is technically inclined can rack up credentials and certifications as quickly as they’d like to progress into earning a living.The contracting arena is a wide net. It casts out primary and secondary players like those who need a product or service, and those who can provide it. In between are other entrepreneurs. Proposal or grant writers, for example, are another cottage business. Much like an artist and a technical person, to step into this world, you can take an alternate route by demonstrating via portfolio what you can do. To get an edge on competition though, a business should strive to win at least one grant, contract or award for their portfolio, and grow it from there. The internet has enabled many businesses to conduct business via phone, fax, internet, and online meetings. Proposal manager or proposal coordinator staff are responsible for shepherding grants or proposals through the system. Any of these positions can be done from a home base.Despite challenging economic times, the good news is that the best home based businesses are everywhere, where the heart is, and most importantly, at home.