12 popular online home-based businesses in the Philippines: a 2023 guide

Launch your home-based business in the Philippines

Starting a home-based business in the Philippines might have become more appealing for many Filipinos. You might be inspired to make a change from your 9-5 job and embark on your entrepreneurship journey given the rise of home businesses from the pandemic. With commuting times becoming arduous and more expensive, at least 50% Filipinos now prefer working from home. With 9 out of 10 professionals wanting more work from home arrangements in the future, the future of business is starting to look different. Business ideas no longer need to be large-scale businesses that require huge production costs or financial outlay. You can definitely start small.

If you have a business idea, the best place for you to put it into action is probably from home!

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur in the Philippines, setting up a home-based business may be the perfect way to go about starting your own enterprise. Not only does it save you considerable time and effort in terms of sourcing a physical space. It also allows you to create a start-up business with minimal capital investment.

In this guide, we will discuss the different types of home-based businesses that you can set up in the Philippines and how to go about registering them. We will also look at 12 popular online home-based business ideas that have been successful for entrepreneurs in the Philippines. This way, you can gain a better insight into the various opportunities that are available to you.

So let’s get started!

What is a home-based business?

A home-based business is exactly what it sounds like – a business that is run from the comfort of your own home. This type of business allows for a flexible work schedule and low overhead costs, as there is no need to rent out a physical storefront or office space. 

Home-based businesses can range from small, one-person operations to larger enterprises with multiple employees. This means this type of entrepreneurship is good for beginners as well as seasoned business professionals.

Related: How to start a business in the Philippines 2023

How to register for a home-based business in the Philippines

Starting a home-based business in the Philippines requires some initial steps to ensure that your business is properly registered and compliant with the law. Depending on if you are a freelancer or operating a business with multiple employees, the registration process can differ. 

If you are a freelancer, such as an online writer or virtual assistant, then you may only need to register with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) by obtaining the appropriate Tax Identification Number (TIN). However, if you are registering a business with multiple employees, for example, the process is slightly more complex.

Here are general guidelines for registering a home-based business in the Philippines:

  1. Choose a business name and have it registered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This will protect your business name and ensure that no one else can use it.
  2. Obtain a Mayor’s Permit from your local government. This permit allows you to legally operate your business within the municipality.
  3. Register your business with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This will enable you to pay taxes and fulfill your obligations as a business owner.
  4. If you plan on hiring employees, register your business with the Social Security System (SSS) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC). This will ensure that your employees are covered by social security and health insurance.

Check out our guide in registering your business in the Philippines to get familiar before you proceed with putting together a business plan for your winning business idea!

Now that you know the basics of registering a home-based business in the Philippines, let’s take a look at some popular options for home-based businesses in the Philippines.

12 Popular home-based businesses in the Philippines

The Philippines has no shortage of business opportunities, especially for those who are looking to start a home-based business. From sari-sari stores to freelancing or baking, here are 12 of the most popular home-based businesses in the Philippines:

#1: Sari-sari store

start your own home-based sari sari store as a business in the Philippines

A sari-sari store is a variety store in which you sell mixed items. This can range from laundry detergents to favorite snacks and small grocery items. It is potentially one of the most profitable home-based businesses in the Philippines to look into, especially if you have a space in your home that you can use as a storefront.

Some of the items you can start with as a sari-sari store are:

  • Household Cleaning Supplies
  • Grocery items, such as Milk, Eggs, Canned Goods, and Instant Noodles
  • Snack items such as instant coffee, bottled water, canned drinks, and small snack packs (that can go as low as 10 pesos per snack)
  • Mobile Phone Prepaid Load

You can start Sari-sari stores with a small capital, going for as low as Php 3,000. Once you know which products are popular, you can gradually increase your investment as you begin selling more and more of your products and stock. You will also want to register your business with the local government, too, so you can benefit from the government’s small business programs, such as Bayanihan Cares, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) COVID Assistance Programs, and the financing programs for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

If setting up a local sari-sari store is not your cup of tea, you can still sell goods but take your business online instead!

#2: Setting up an E-commerce store to sell online

Online shopping is already popular, but its growth probably accelerated during the pandemic. Therefore, setting up an e-commerce store to do online selling is definitely a home-based business you can consider in the Philippines.

What is online selling? It is where you sell your products through an online storefront, showing your product catalog and processing orders through a website. You typically show items that you have on hand. However, this can change if you’re dropshipping, which is an entirely different way of online selling. In both cases, customers buy your products through the store. You get paid through the store’s payment processing facility, though you can also process orders through cash-on-delivery.

You can stock up on the following kinds of products that customers usually want:

  • Loungewear
  • Home Cooked Meals
  • Essential Items
  • Skincare Products

An important thing about selling online – you are not limited to selling physical products on your online store! You can also sell music, videos, or other digital content. The possibilities with an e-commerce business are endless. It is not just for entrepreneurs, but even for those who want to embark on it as part of their part-time endeavors! Out of the various business ideas, this is one that allows you the freedom to explore and generate extra money.

Ride the momentum of this wave by creating your online stores over at marketplaces. Or better yet, create your own e-commerce store with GoDaddy e-Store. With your own online store, you have greater control over your brand and be more discoverable. 

If you are strapped for time, GoDaddy’s e-Store is one of the easiest solutions to help you get started! You can easily set up your e-commerce stall without any technical knowledge and have it up and running quickly!

Interested? Here are five reasons why you should set up an online store with GoDaddy.

Editor’s note: Launch your very own online store with GoDaddy’s Website Builder today!

#3: Food-selling business

Though closely related to the E-commerce business as outlined above, food selling is another popular home-based business in the Philippines. For many full-time workers who can cook up a storm, this is an opportunity to share your skills with the world! And if you are running this from home, this can potentially be the cheapest business idea that you can bring to life.

While many food sellers typically sell their wares offline, having a digital storefront will definitely help you to provide a better ordering experience for your customers. What’s more, you can use your website as a marketing tool to help your brand become more discoverable! Coupled with getting the word out through social media, and calling up friends and family who you think might be interested in buying your cooked dishes, you can start building a profitable home-based business by starting small.

Since food services are part of the essential businesses list in the Philippines, you will be sure to stay afloat no matter the situation. This includes if there is a future pandemic or other economic downturns.

The following are dishes that you can sell:

  • Lunch Packs
  • Meal Sets (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner sold as a bundle)
  • Single product cooked snack (a cooked snack, such as Turon or Cheese Sticks)

Even better, a home-based food-selling business is such a very popular business idea that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has a library of business ideas and guides, and most of these are food-based businesses! You will never run out of ideas or food types to sell for profit.

#4: Professional services business

If you have in demand specialized skills that people will pay you for – these are great business ideas to start with! These professional services usually come to mind as home-based business ideas because many people operate these businesses from home. Some examples can include:

  • Website Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Creative Services
  • Writing Services
  • Software Engineering
  • Virtual Assistant Services
  • Customer Support Services
  • Technical Support Services

Services that you can provide digitally are one of the easiest home-based businesses in the Philippines you can start immediately. This is especially if you already are an experienced professional in any one of the lines of work listed above. The best part of this business idea? You can also start a very small capital just by listing your profile and services on online platforms such as Freelancer, Fiverr, and UpWork.

However, if you have a portfolio, that would work out even better! You can showcase your work in an online portfolio, which makes potential clients from small businesses to large companies find you more easily. An online portfolio will help them assess your skills and experience, therefore giving them more confidence in booking your services. Here’s a nifty little guide for you to start building your online digital portfolio.

Related: Build your website in the Philippines: the complete newbie’s guide

#5: Become a freelancer

Freelancing has always been an age-old business venture, where you get paid for work, regardless of who your employer or client is. Freelancing is a popular online business in the Philippines.

And unlike setting up a fully licensed service business, this is probably one of the easiest online business ideas you can get started with. You use your skills and expertise as a service to one and up to several clients at once. While during the pandemic, this is almost a perfect setup for working at home. Some freelancers may or may not have to report to work in their client’s offices, especially on projects that may require you to sign an NDA or if you are working on a highly-secretive project or job.

Freelancing has always been a tempting thing to think about, especially when you’ve been working a 9-to-5 job most of the time. Many businesses are starting to see the benefits of working with freelancers to meet crucial business needs. Some are already making a move to engage freelancers more regularly, so if you have a skill that allows you to freelance, this is one of the best move you can take to turn your skills into an online business!

Freelancing gives the promise of freedom, the chance at being your own boss, and being flexible with your time as you might have to juggle both work and household chores (especially during this time – the dishes aren’t going to wash themselves!).

Moreover, freelancers can almost certainly determine their own income, either by taking on more jobs and contracts for the month or decreasing their availability if they wanted to. For some seasoned freelancers, they get the opportunity to pick whichever job they think suits best for their skills and pay.

Types of freelancer roles in the Philippines

According to the Global Freelancer Income report from Payoneer, here are the top freelancer jobs you can do (here’s a summarized version from the Business Mirror)

  • Web & Graphic Design
  • Programmer
  • IT Services
  • Multimedia Production
  • Freelance Writing
  • Translation
  • Marketing
  • Administrative Services
  • Customer Support
  • Project Management

In fact, do you have knowledge of skills that are in high demand right now? Besides offering your skills as a freelancer, you can also offer online tutorials to teach others. You’ll be surprised to know how many people are willing to pay and pick up new skills online! Out of all the online business ideas we have shared thus far, this is definitely one you can consider if you possess specialized skills.

Sold on the idea? Take your first steps by making your own digital portfolio, and then set up a profile in Freelancer or UpWork. Afterwards, check out our website builder service so you can get started on your portfolio website quickly!

#6. Blogging

If you love writing and have a passion for expressing your opinions, then blogging could be a great way to generate income. All you need is an internet connection, as well as some time to write content that people are interested in reading. You can write about any topic that is related to your area of expertise or something else that interests you. By consistently posting engaging content, you can build a following and generate income through ads, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing.

Most bloggers choose a WordPress website as it’s an easy-to-use platform that can be customized with plugins and themes. You’ll also need to purchase a domain that is relevant to your blog topic. Once you have launched your blog, start writing interesting and SEO-optimized content. This means you should ensure your articles are keyword-rich, easy to read, and offer valuable information. You can also promote your blog through social media channels to get more followers.

Editor’s note: Looking to start a blog in the Philippines? Start building your professional website with GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting!

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting For Blogging Philippines

Need some help getting your blogging website off the ground? Here’s a comprehensive guide to building a website in the Philippines.

#7. Merienda business

If you love to cook and bake, then consider setting up a merienda business. A merienda business is an ideal home-based business in the Philippines because Filipinos always have snacks throughout the day—from breakfast to dinner. You can specialize in making one type of snack or offer several varieties.

Choose dishes that are easy to make, transportable, affordable, and have a longer shelf life. You can sell your snacks online through social media or even deliver them to people’s homes. Just make sure you have the proper permits and licenses before starting your business.

#8. Online tutoring

If you’re knowledgeable in a particular subject, then put your know-how to good use by offering online tutoring services. This home-based business idea is great for people who have teaching experience or are just passionate about helping others learn.

You can offer one-on-one sessions over video conferencing programs such as Zoom, or you can offer group classes. This way, you’ll be able to reach more students and help them learn in the comfort of their own homes.

If you’re interested in teaching English as a second language, then consider applying for an online ESL tutoring job. Most companies will require that you have a college degree and a good command of the English language, as well as a high-speed internet connection to conduct classes.

#9. Digital marketing agency

Starting a digital marketing agency is one of the best home-based business ideas in the Philippines. By offering digital marketing services, you can help businesses reach their target audience and drive sales. Digital marketing includes activities such as content creation, SEO, website development, email campaigns, and social media management.

For this business idea to be successful, you first need to understand the basics of digital marketing. You’ll also need to understand how to use different tools and platforms to reach your target audience. Thankfully, there are plenty of free resources online to help you get started. Once you’ve gained a good understanding of the digital marketing landscape, it’s time to start offering your services and creating strategic campaigns for clients. Consider reaching out on LinkedIn and other social media to advertise your services and direct potential customers to your business website. 

To succeed in this industry, you need to know how to create effective content, understand SEO best practices, use tools such as Google Analytics, and measure the results of your campaigns. This home-based business opportunity can be lucrative and rewarding, as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and dedication it requires.

#10. Homemade products business

Another popular home-based business in the Philippines is a homemade products business. If you’re an avid baker, then you can start selling your own sweet treats such as cookies, muffins, and cupcakes. You can also make savory snacks such as sandwiches and empanadas.

You can also make craft items such as jewelry, notebooks, and bookmarks to sell. Many people also make natural beauty products such as soaps and lotions that they can sell online or in local boutiques.

Homemade Soap as Home-based Business in the Philippines

Alt text: Homemade Soap Business Philippines

To succeed in this business, you need to come up with creative ideas for your products. You’ll also need to have a good understanding of how to market and promote them. Rather than just selling at a couple of local stores, consider creating your own online store. This will give you access to a much wider audience.

Spend some time to find the right suppliers and materials for your products. Sourcing the right materials will help you keep your costs low and maintain a good quality product. This can be a rewarding home-based business in the Philippines as long as you’re willing to put in the work and dedication it requires.

#11. E-loading business

Another great home-based business opportunity in the Philippines is to start an e-loading business. With this type of business, you provide a convenient service for people who need to purchase mobile phone credits or prepaid internet plans. 

How does an e-loading business work? You’ll need to partner with a mobile network provider such as Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, or Sun Cellular. You’ll then act as a reseller of their cellphone services and purchase credits from them at discounted rates.

For example, you can buy a 50 prepaid load for 45 and then resell it to your customers at 50. The profit margin may seem small, but this home-based business can be quite lucrative if you’re able to acquire enough customers.

Starting an e-loading business is relatively easy, and most providers only require that you have a valid ID and a bank account. You can promote your business via word of mouth or you can create a website and use online marketing tactics such as search engine optimization (SEO) and social media to get the word out.

This home-based business opportunity is a great option because it requires minimal investment yet has the potential to become a very profitable business.

#12. Home-based baking business

If you have a passion for baking and a knack for creating delicious pastries and desserts, consider starting a home-based baking business in the Philippines. This is could be a great way to make a living with your own business by sharing your love for baking with others.

To get started, you’ll need to come up with creative ideas for baked goods that are appealing to customers. Be sure to create interesting flavors and decorations that will make your products stand out from the competition. 

Consider the cost of ingredients and other materials, as well as how much you can charge for each product. You may want to start by selling locally at farmers’ markets or through word of mouth.

Once your food business gains traction, you can begin selling online or even open up a small shop in your local area. This home-based business option only requires a small investment, but with the right skills and enthusiasm, you can make it into a profitable venture. This is definitely one of the best small business ideas for someone who loves spending time in the kitchen!

Start your online home-based business in the Philippines today!

There you have it – 12 popular home-based businesses in the Philippines that you can start in 2023. Whether you have a passion for cooking, crafting, or selling services, there are plenty of small business ideas to create from the comfort of your home. If you’re willing to put in the work and dedication required, you can turn your home-based business into a successful and profitable enterprise.

The key is to find the kind of business that suits your skills and interests, and to have a good understanding of how to market and promote it. With the right strategy, you can make your home-based business a success in 2023!

Editor’s note: Got questions about putting your idea online? Get instant answers on GoDaddy Asia Facebook Messenger now.