Starting Your Own Business

Starting Your Own Business Certificate

Whether you're currently a business owner looking to expand to online commerce or someone who wants to start their own business for the first time, our online Starting Your Own Business Certificate can help you build the skills to succeed. Through flexible courses, you'll learn how to start an online business on your schedule, from home.

  • Can help students prepare to start their own online business or become an independent contractor.
  • Starting your own business courses cover fundamental skills like building a business plan, time and client management, and how to use online tools to effectively start or grow a business.
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $70

Cost of Program


$469 Save $70


$50/month, Start for as low as $29

1-800-275-4410 (9AM - 9PM ET)

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What You Will Learn

  1. How to develop effective strategies for building and managing a successful freelance career.
  2. How to set up both the online and offline parts of your business.
  3. How to build an effective business plan.
  4. How to market your business online.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Starting Your Own Business Outcomes

Whether you're looking to transition to being an entrepreneur full time or are interested in starting a side hustle that can earn you income, our online Starting Your Own Business Certificate can help you prepare to open a successful business online.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Starting Your Own Business Course Curriculum

  • 4 courses
  • 15.3 continuing education units (CEUs)
  • 12 exams

Estimated completion time:

  • Fast track = 3 months
  • Average time = 4 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework. The estimated completion times are based on completion times for learners enrolled in this program from May 2021 - April 2022, excluding withdrawals.

In our Starting Your Own Business courses, you'll learn how to start and market an online business, including building time management and essential business skills. Your online courses include:

  • Owning a Business
  • Managing Your Time and Clients
  • Working as Your Own Boss


Non-US residents: This is a United States-based institution with course materials that are geared toward US job and labor standards. Learners from outside of the US may find that some information and materials will differ from the current standards of their country. Please note, the materials for this program are in English and use the Imperial unit of measurement, not the metric system.

Show Full Curriculum

Business Student Success Stories

Penn Foster’s Starting Your Own Business courses can help prepare you for the first step toward being your own boss. This program has helped recent graduates find new jobs or start their own businesses while learning at their own pace. Learn more about Penn Foster graduates' experiences and how Penn Foster worked for them.
View Student Success Stories
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Jonathan J.

Penn Foster Graduate, 2023

“It was convenient and easy to complete as far as navigating the web. The courses were very detailed as far as material.”

Looking for training for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
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Starting Your Own Business Program Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our online Starting Your Own Business Program. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today!

Option 1: Pay in full

Save up to $70

Cost of Program1


$469 Save $70

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

Cost of Program1


  • Pay $50 per month
  • Start for $29 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-275-4410 (9AM - 9PM ET)

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Our Proven Business Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime
  • No exam due dates
  • Self-paced


  • Digital study guides
  • Self-check quizzes
  • Simulations and videos


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community
  • Dedicated Learner Center


  • Expert faculty
  • Dedicated student services
  • Robust learning resources

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Starting Your Own Business FAQs

What are the benefits of starting your own business?

There are many benefits to starting your own business, including independence, flexibility, and the ability to charge what you want for your services or products. Additionally, you get to be your own boss and make the decisions that can guide your business toward success. If you're someone who likes to be in charge and likes a challenge, starting your own business could be the perfect job for you.

What do I need to start my own business?

There are a few steps to starting your own business online. First, it's always important to know what you want your new business to be and build a business model. Do you want to freelance? Sell products you make? Once you know what you want to do with your business and have a plan in place, you'll want to think about your website and make sure you can register a domain name for your business. You'll also want to start marketing your services or goods through social media! If you're not sure how to write a business plan or use marketing to attract traffic to your website, our online Starting Your Own Business Certificate can help you build the basic skills to start your business on the right foot.

What types of businesses can I start after taking this course?

The Starting Your Own Business online course is geared toward owning and running an online business. However, what you learn in your classes can be transferrable to other types of small businesses. After completing the program you can go on to start several different types of business, from an online store to a business that showcases your freelance skills.

What is the average salary of a small business owner?

The average salary for a small business owner can vary widely depending on several factors. However, according to PayScale, the average small business owner can generally earn around $68,692 per year. The overall range for small business owner salary is from around $30,000 to $144,000.* Unlike jobs where you work for a company, though, the amount you make as a successful business owner can change each year, so it's important to understand accounting and bookkeeping to ensure your finances are in order and support yourself and your business.