Short for small office/home office, a term that refers to the small or home office environment and the business culture that surrounds it. A SOHO is often thought of as being the smallest of small businesses. It is a privately owned and operated business or individuals who are self-employed. SOHO is often characterized as being a small in both the size of the office space and number of employees.
As a general guideline, a small office is considered to be any firm with fewer than 10 employees, although in more recent years, some research and marketing firms have taken to categorizing SOHO as a firm with 1-4 employees. Firms with 5 or more employees are considered different categories within the small business sector (e.g. 5-9, 10-19, and so on, up to 100 employees).
In some cases the workplace is designated space established within the business owner’s residence (“home office”) where they conduct their business tasks on a regular basis.
Today, the home office has become a popular choice for a work environment because Internet-based technologies allow individuals to work from home using email, Web, VoIP, and remote access software to communicate with global employers (see “teleteleworker“). A home office is a good choice for professionals who operate their own service-based small business (i.e., real estate, pet care, legal services) and for some Internet-based business including email marketing services, SEO consulting or ecommerce.
Other phrases used to mean small office / home office include virtual office and single location firm.
Recommended Reading: SOHO Business Solutions: Accounting and Finance Software.