The short answer is, no, it is not strictly necessary to have a college degree in order to start a business. However, there can be cases where you need to have a college degree and/or other credentials to be able to start a particular business.
Many doctors run their own small businesses in that they have their own offices. We typically don’t think of doctor’s offices as small businesses but they actually are.
Obviously, in order to be a doctor, you need to attend medical school and have a license to practice medicine. But doctors need those things even if they opt to accept employment at a large hospital instead of running their own small business as an independent operator with their own office.
However, a business that provides cleaning services would not require a college degree and usually will not require any special licensing or accreditation. Plenty of former homemakers have simply begun work by finding cleaning jobs.
Service professionals such as electricians and plumbers will need training and accreditation appropriate to their field. But more general handyman services sometimes handle similar work to some degree without necessarily seeking such. In such cases, they need to know the limits of their expertise and not get in over their head. A Hendersonville, NC carpet cleaner did not go to college but completed training with the IICRC. This gave him the knowledge and expertise to provide the best service and run a successful business.
You should always look up any pertinent laws for your state and the type of work you wish to do. There will always be some legal restrictions on business activities, but you may be surprised to find you can do the kind of work you wish to do as an entrepreneur with the minimal regulatory hassle.
One legal restriction will be the use of special terminology with special legal meaning. For example, you can’t call yourself or your business by the name of “doctor” if you aren’t one unless it is clear you are using the word metaphorically, such as Rug Doctor.
If you have a skill or talent and which you wish to use to make some money, sometimes starting your own small business is the best way to do that. Do a little research, come up with a name, register it locally and start advertising and you may soon have customers.
The internet is a huge boon to small businesses. It helps you cut through a lot of the red tape and find a lot of the answers you need to legal questions and business questions any time of the day or night from the comfort of home. It can also be a great way to advertise for free or cheap.