Hooray for starting a business at home. I did. And that business now has more than 40 employees, multimillion dollar sales, market leadership in its niche–and no debt.

Still, back then, when I started, there was a certain stigma to the home business. I fought that stigma by never apologizing for the home base and never trying to hide it. But I felt it.

I’m glad to see how much this has changed. I just read Steve King’s The Home: A Great Place to Start–And Run a Business on the American Express OPEN Forum. He writes:

The home has long been viewed as a great place to start a business.  Lower costs are, of course, the key reason.  Many large enterprises such as Ford, HP and Apple Computer started as home businesses.

He cites a recent SBA study that showed a lot of growth in home-based businesses; both in the number of these businesses in the U.S. (some 15 million) and in their likelihood to survive and prosper. He adds data from Homepreneurs: A Vital Economic Force, a study by Emergent Research, conducted on behalf of Network Solutions. Thirty-five percent of home-office businesses take in more than $125,000 in annual sales and 8 percent do better than $500,000 per year. They’ve existed on average for 10 years.

Don’t discount the home-business option.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.