So you want to work from home, and you don't have more than a few dollars (or less) to your name. You find some information online that appears to be legit and you get all excited — until you see that the company charges you $30 (or more) for a background check before you can even start working. Suddenly the wind has been taken completely out of your sails.
Sound familiar? This is a typical scenario for many home job seekers.
The following is a list of companies you can work at home for that do not make you pay them for anything prior to starting work. Still, that doesn't mean you won't have to have certain equipment (headsets, etc.) or have a background check or drug test done. It just means that either they pay for you to have these checks done, or that it's your responsibility to acquire your own equipment for working if you need something you don't already have.
BIG thanks to my Facebook followers for helping me put this list together! I asked for some names of companies where no one had to pay anything upfront, and I certainly received some great responses. I have an awesome Facebook community — you guys are so much appreciated.
Work From Home – Companies With No Fees
It's worth noting before we begin that *most* freelance positions do not come with attached fees — freelance writing, short tasks, work at home data entry jobs, search evaluation, and some transcription companies. You are mainly going to see the fees with employee positions — particularly call center work from home. Still, the list below is a mix of freelance and employee positions.
3 Play Media – Work from home transcription editing. No fee to start.
Accurate Background – They occasionally have openings for work from home background checkers. There should be no fees to get started.
Amazon – Amazon regularly hires people to work from home doing customer service. It's usually necessary to live in or close to various locations nationwide in order to be considered, but they hire in many different locations. There are no fees associated with applying for this job.
APAC – APAC is a company that hires work from home agents to help with customer service for their clients. Some of these positions are location-based and some are not.
Apple – You can work at home for Apple as a chat or phone support agent. They do not charge you any fees to apply and in fact if you are accepted, they will supply you with equipment to do the work.
Aspire Lifestyles – This company regularly hires home-based concierges. A reader on my Facebook page told me that they don't require any fees to start.
Babbletype – This company hires home-based workers for transcription and transcription editing. You are not required to pay them any fees to start.
Blooms Today – Absolutely no fees to start. They hire people to work from home taking flower orders for their customers. It's usually temporary, seasonal work.
Capital One – This popular credit card company hires people to work from home handling their customer service. They charge no fees to get started. However, this is usually a location-based position (Virginia and Florida most of the time).
Convergys – They hire at-home agents to answer incoming calls from home for their clients. There are no upfront fees to get started.
Fancy Hands – Work from home virtual assisting. There are no fees to start. Pay is per task, paid twice monthly.
Hilton Worldwide – Work from home reservation sales and customer care. They only hire in certain states (Texas and sometimes Florida) but I've been told they do not have any upfront fees. They also may not always be hiring.
HSN – Home Shopping Network. They only hire people to work in a few different locations from home nationwide. From what I understand if you work for them directly, you shouldn't have to pay anything.
Metaverse Mod Squad – They hire for work from home moderation and a few other moderation positions. They don't charge you anything to apply and get started.
NextWave Advocacy – This company hires work from home outreach callers and writers. They charge absolutely no fees to get started working. I do not believe they do a background check at all.
OnPoint Advocacy – Similar to NextWave (above). You do work from home writing and calling for political outreach. No fee whatsoever.
Sitel Work at Home – They hire work from home call center agents. It states plainly in their FAQ that they pay for the cost of your background screening, credit check, and drug screen. You need no money to get through the application process and begin working.
Support – They hire work from home tech support reps, sometimes entry-level. There are no fees to get started.
Sutherland – This company hires home call center agents regularly. They may or may conduct a background check just depending on the client you're servicing. Their website does not mention a charge if a check is conducted, but feel free to correct me if there is one.
TeleNetwork – This company hires work from home agents for tech support positions. There are no fees associated with applying.
TeleTech – This is a company that hires work from home call center agents. There are no fees to start — they pay for the cost of your drug screening and background check.
Time Etc. – Work from home virtual assisting. It doesn't look like there are any fees associated with the application process.
Transcom – This company hires work at home call center agents. They do credit checks, background checks, and often drug screens depending on the client you are servicing, but you may not have to cover the cost for these checks.
Tutor.com – Work from home as an online tutor. There are no fees associated with applying. A background check is done, but they pay for it.
VIPKid – Work from home as an ESL teacher for Chinese children. No fees are mentioned for the application process.
World Travel Holdings – Work from home vacation sales. A $500 deposit is required for your computer which they send you, but this is taken out of your first five checks so you don't have to worry about coming up with it out of pocket. This company will also pay for your background check.
For More, Check Out FlexJobs
Most of the time when a work at home job charges any sort of fee, there is a concern it's a scam. FlexJobs is the only work at home job leads site that absolutely guarantees their listings will be scam-free. They've been recommended by major media outlets like CNN, Forbes, and USA Today. I've also been a member and have never seen a single scam listed. Go here to read about my experience using FlexJobs.
Also, please let me know if any of these companies actually do charge some sort of fee and I will look into it and get it removed.