Last updated: October 24, 2023
For a young person looking to start their own business, earn extra money and become one of the many young entrepreneurs of our world, here are the best small business ideas for teens to help you do that.
These business ideas can be an opportunity to learn essential skills to open an even more successful business in the future, while also being a way for young people to make some extra cash in their free time.
It will take some hard work and dedication, but these small businesses can go from a small side hustle, to the beginning of a lucrative business later down the line.
So, without further ado, here are the best business ideas for teenagers looking to improve upon their pocket money pay.
Why start a small business as a teen?
You may wonder what the benefits are of starting a business young. You may feel there is no need, and you should just wait until adulthood. Well, there is good reason why teenagers should start their small business now.
Firstly, it teaches valuable business and finance skills which will come to your advantage in later life, especially if you decide to continue with a business of your own.
It can also take a while to build up a successful business, whether that requires multiple attempts or just many years with the same one.
So, if you decide to start your small business early it can help you become financially stable faster in later life. Many teenagers choose to spend their lives indoors on their phone or video game consoles, so this can be a great way for you to do something important in your free time.
Finally, starting your small business as a teen allows you to focus on following your dreams and passions early on in life. This is great as it pushes you to strive for your goals, overall making you more determined, hardworking and focused.
The 27 best small business ideas for teens
A very common and great way for teens to get some more cash is by starting their own child care business.
Most of your customers are likely to be family members and close friends when they go away, yet it is important that you look to expand past merely those you know.
This can be done through clever marketing towards your target audience (parents and guardians).
It’s a responsible job that needs taking seriously, but you can build up a good network of clients in your local area if you can develop a good reputation as a reliable babysitter.
2. Lawn Mowing
A very profitable business for teenagers is a lawn care business.
This type of business requires a prior investment in order to purchase the necessary equipment. This includes a lawn mower, leaf blower and necessary self protection gear like safety goggles to avoid any unwanted accidents.
However, once you own the gear it is most likely to be very successful, which is why it is one of the best small business ideas for teens.
Consider distributing business cards or flyers to people’s homes letting them know you’re available and how to contact you so you can come and mow their lawns.
3. Car Washing
Another great business idea for teens is starting a car washing service.
This is such a great business idea as the equipment isn’t too pricey and a car wash is in high demand as many people have dirty cars which are in desperate need of a thorough wash.
Once you start your new business it is likely you will be able to gain many customers. Through this you could also request your clients promote your business to others in order to gain publicity and earn some more customers.
A photography business can be a great way for talented young people looking to further develop their camera skills to make some money.
With social media forever growing in popularity, photography is becoming a crucial skill to earn money online through apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
Similarly to photography, in the modern era of businesses revolving around social media, videography skills are vital if looking to make money through platforms including Youtube and Tiktok, along with other popular social media sites.
If you have a social media presence already, consider uploading your videos to your online platforms to showcase your work. You can potentially get hired by other people too to help them with videos for their social media platforms.
All in all, with these types of skills you can make a good salary for a single person.
6. Live Streaming
For those with a funny and entertaining personality, social media live streaming can be one of the best easy business ideas out there which can earn a young person some money on the side of their school life.
Popular streaming platforms include Twitch, Youtube and even Tiktok, making it one of the most profitable small business ideas for teens.
Social media accounts are generally free, so this is a good business idea if you need one with low or zero start-up costs.
7. Selling Old Clothes
There are many selling sites where a teen can start a small business selling clothes nowadays, including the likes of Vinted, eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Not only does this small business allow you to dispose of old items of clothing which you will no longer get use out of, but it also earns you some cash.
Selling clothes on online marketplaces is an easy way to earn some extra money.
Podcasts can be a very successful small business for a teenager due to their rise in popularity in recent times.
The only required equipment is some basic recording items, which can range in budget, from a super expensive camera to your phone!
And, as long as you talk about trending, interesting topics, it’s likely you could earn some money out of this small business.
9. Code Video Games
For teens who excel in computing and tech, especially the area of coding, and are looking to get some money, then have a shot at coding your very own video games.
There are so many genres to choose from, whether you wish to programme a classic platformer, or a more challenging, realistic action game. With the right skillset video game coding can be one of the most profitable small business ideas for teens, and could even grow into a more lucrative business in the future, if your games become good enough.
For those not feeling ready to take on the huge responsibility of babysitting, then perhaps consider having a go at petsitting.
When somebody goes away on vacation and is unable to bring their pet with them, then you can offer to look after their pet for a reasonable fee.
Try to make a name for your business locally, and soon you could start to have a good source of income, especially for your teenage years. Aside from the money, the best part is also that you get to take care of pets which is a lot of fun.
A great idea for a small business a teenager could run is blogging on the internet.
It may take a while to build up enough popularity on your blog posts to be able to profit from them, but the effort will pay off in the long run. Blogging is a legitimate online business that can make you money through sponsored content, affiliate marketing and advertising revenue.
You can also choose between creating your own website to post your blogs on, or working as a freelance writer for other people’s blogs.
12. Party Organizer
If you have too much spare time on your hands and are looking to start up your own business to earn some extra cash on the side, then you should consider becoming a party organiser.
You can help arrange special occasions for friends, family and even expand to others outside of your immediate circle if you see business success from this idea.
It’s a fun and potentially lucrative business idea, which requires an entrepreneurial spirit and a flare for a good social life. This is what makes it one of the best small business ideas for teens.
13. Snow Shovelling
In the colder, harsher months of winter, when snow piles down onto people’s driveways, many people simply will not have the energy to clear their drive. This makes a great chance for you to earn some money by starting a snow shovelling business.
You can charge a higher price depending on the size of the area you are shovelling, or you can charge hourly.
You don’t need much money to start either. You simply need a good, sturdy snow shovel and a good physical condition to make this a success.
Fancy making some money from your own small business while helping your high school peers?
At school, you have tons of potential customers looking to boost their grades in the upcoming semester. A tutoring business requires no startup costs and is a great small business idea for young people alike.
It’s a really great option if you’re known for being proficient in a particular area like mathematics or science.
15. YouTube vlogging
In recent years, YouTube has proven itself as a profitable business idea for teens and young adults especially, but not exclusively.
Creating a YouTube channel and uploading your first YouTube videos is easy, and it only takes entertaining content and a stroke of luck in order to go viral on the site.
It is, however, important to remember the necessary equipment for video recording and editing. The things highly recommended for making content include; a high quality camera and PC, tripod (optional) and a good monitor.
One the most common small business ideas for teens is becoming a gardener.
It is simple, profitable and can be a really big help for local businesses in your area.
Some of the gardening tools required include; a rake, wheelbarrow, spade, watering can, garden fork and others.
Clearly, there may be a high price tag at the beginning to acquire the neccessary tools, but if you manage to gain publicity for your business in your neighbourhood and beyond, it is likely you will make this back and more.
17. Pressure Washing
Pressure washing, if you don’t already know, is the process of using high pressure water in order to remove dust, dirt grime, loose paint and other substances from concrete surfaces, buildings and vehicles.
It is, with the right equipment, simple and can be a great way for a teen to kick start their own small business.
18. Dog Walking
Dog walking businesses are common, profitable and have flexible hours.
Many dog walkers get their work when somebody is away and their dog needs to maintain its daily exercise. A dog owner’s desire to keep their dog fit and healthy allows for higher prices as most pet owners will pay generously in order to ensure the wellbeing of their animals.
So, try out being a dog walker, it may just be the perfect small business idea for you.
19. Graphic Design
Opening a graphic design business can be successful for a teenager looking to earn some money.
A graphic designer must have creative ideas and the talent and ability to convert those ideas to reality. It can be a fun way to express yourself whilst immersing yourself in your designs and earning some cash meanwhile.
20. Cake Decorating
For those with strong willpower who are able to resist a freshly baked cake, cake decorating could be a great business idea for you. You can accept commissions for birthdays, events and other types of gatherings.
You can start with simple, one tier cakes and with time work your way towards more complex designs for multiple tier cakes.
The best way to learn how to decorate cakes is to practice a lot and watch plenty of online tutorials and videos to get some ideas.
One of the best small business ideas for teens is becoming a housekeeper.
All that cleaning will be draining, but it certainly will pay well, especially for a teen just looking to earn a bit of cash on the side of their school life and endeavors.
Overall, housekeeping is a great small business for teenagers able to put in the effort and show the dedication to make some money.
22. Be a Personal Shopper
It can be very draining for the elderly to go out grocery shopping, possibly even dangerous. So, you cannot only support your elders, but also earn yourself some cash by doing their shopping for them.
Also, some business owners can be very busy, and may not have the time to go out and do their shopping. You can capitalise on this and do their shopping for them in exchange for some money.
You never know, with your business perhaps one day you’ll be the large business owner getting their shopping done for them.
23. Moving Assistant
In suburban towns and villages, along with even more built-up cities, it is common for citizens to move houses or apartments frequently.
This opens a door full of opportunities for a teen to make some money by helping their fellow civilians to move their stuff from home to home. Not only are you helping people, but you are profiting from it – that’s a win-win situation!
24. Fashion Designer
For a future fashionista, clothing design can be one of the best small business ideas for teens.
This can range from printing designs on to t-shirts and hoodies to various accessories including shoes and different types of bags.
Many popular trends come and go in the fashion design industry, including big names like tie-dye. So, for those teens interested in the world of clothing and design who are looking to start up their own small business, have a shot at fashion design.
25. Greeting Card Creator
Talented artists and designers, creating and designing greeting cards can be the perfect small business for you.
It can be a great way to express yourself, or a way to indulge yourself in the trends of the artistic world. By experimenting with different combinations of colour and texture, you may be able to create the recipe for an amazing greeting card, which would thoroughly help you grow and expand your business beyond in the not so distant future.
Human error is inevitable. Sometimes, even when we check through our writing (whether for school, work or anything else) time and time again, we can’t pick out the smallest of mistakes.
So, naturally, it can be helpful to have someone to check your writing for you, to ensure grammatical excellence, known as a proofreader.
Proofreading can be a great first business for a teen entrepreneur as there is commonly lots of demand for proofreaders from authors, students and other individuals trying to make sure their work is always maintaining the highest standards and meeting necessary expectations in order for them to succeed.
With good grammatical and language skills, proofreading can be a brilliant way for a teenager to earn some money.
27. Run Errands
A simple, yet still one one of the greatest small business ideas for teens is being an errand runner.
Many people who are too busy in their work to do necessary jobs need someone to help them out, and take deliveries to them. Take this as a way for you to earn some money by doing these tasks for them in return for pay.
It is a basic business, but trust me, it is very effective for teenagers looking to earn some money.
It’s not just adults who can start a business and earn money. Teenagers can be successful small business owners too, and these easy ways to make money as a teen can be a great starting point.
How to start a successful teenage business
The first step of your business journey should be coming up with an idea which you can use to plan out your vision for the future. Every good teenage business idea is detailed below.
Of course, you should look to register your business fast in order to start straight away. Money knowledge and understanding is crucial in business. Whether this is with taxes, or payments, you need to know how to deal with money.
After this, if necessary, look into how to maintain your business. It is important we look towards long term plans instead of ideas which will only help us now. If you want to further expand your business, you could look at hiring employees. These could come from teens looking to earn a bit of money to experienced staff members who you could learn from.
It is important you always stay focused on your dreams for the business and learn from fellow entrepreneurs.
How to manage your money as a teenage entrepreneur
Budgeting is a necessary skill in the finance world. It limits you from overspending and allows you to maintain a stable business plan which leaves you with the money to make essential investments into the business in future.
It is important, however, that you still treat yourself to the occasional meal out, or nice watch, so don’t be unbearably strict on yourself.
A good idea not only for businesses, but for anybody in general, is saving your receipts. This makes sure you always have proof of purchase and are able to return products you do not need.
Always remember to file your taxes. You can’t get too busy in your business life to forget to pay your taxes. This would most likely lead to heavy fines, so it is important you always are organised with taxes.
Frequently asked questions
At fourteen years old, while still a younger teen, there are plenty of options for small businesses you could run. Some of these which have already been mentioned that a 14 year old can do are YouTube vlogging (with the right equipment almost anybody can try this), along with podcasting for those not as confident on camera, and blogging for those with good writing skills. Some, however, which we haven’t already mentioned, are computer set up services. This would obviously require computing and technological skills and the ability to follow instructions, yet it still is one of the best small business ideas for teens, fourteen year olds included.
It is generally recognised around the world that thirteen year olds are capable, and therefore allowed, to run their own small business. However, while most states have no law for the age needed to start a business, it is possible that your country could require you to be eighteen years old, so make sure you look into the laws of your state. For ideas for business ideas for a thirteen year old or older, then please look above to the 27 small business ideas for teens which are listed and why they are so good.
For younger children who are perhaps not responsible or educated enough to begin their own business, don’t worry. There are still plenty of ways for you to earn money. The most obvious of these is simply doing chores around the house. Helping your parents or guardians with housework and other odd jobs could earn you a little cash. You could also open your own lemonade stand in the summer to help hydrate your fellow civilians with a tasty, sweet and fruity drink whilst you make some money from doing so.
A fourteen year old should definitely endeavor to build their own business from the ground up. There is, quite frankly, no reason to wait until the age of eighteen to start a business. As long as you are allowed, you should definitely start young as it lets you develop your business and finance knowledge and skills as you move towards adulthood, which are both necessary skills in order to make money in the modern world.
Some businesses with great profit available and a little starting fee include tutoring your peers, which has practically no starting fee and can be very profitable, and pet sitting, which allows pet owners to have a break without having to bring their dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and other animals with them, whilst allowing you to earn some money.