Business landscapes have changed dramatically since the turn of the century, and the generational shift in mindsets is very hard to ignore. People now appreciate that there are many opportunities outside of the traditional nine-to-five. About two-thirds of teenagers now state that they have intentions to start a company in later life. There’s also an increasing number of budding teen entrepreneurs.
It’s the oldest cliche in the book, but if you’re good enough at something, you’re old enough. So, if you’re looking for teen business ideas, read on, as this guide will discuss the most inventive concepts along with the process of launching your venture.
Finding ways to earn money as a teen isn’t anything new, and there are plenty of options ranging from delivering papers to flipping burgers. While they remain great options for many teenagers across the nation, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more.
Building your own company will require a lot of work. Nevertheless, there are many reasons to consider starting a teenage business:
The thought of running a business and learning how to monetize a hobby carries a lot of appeal for the immediate future while it could be a chance to build a lifelong career in the process.
If you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of starting a business if you’re a teen and decided it’s the way to go, your next step would be to determine what you want from a venture. A quick look at some of the best teen entrepreneurs highlights the fact that success can take many forms.
Ultimately, all business owners must find their own pathway. Still, some elements are common to top business ideas for kids and teenagers:
Ultimately, a good business venture for teenagers is one that’s enjoyable, versatile, and offers a fair shot at success.
Now that you know what to look for in small business ideas for teens, the big challenge is to find one that suits your personality, availability, and circumstances. Whether you’re 13 or 19, you’ll find the perfect business to start as a teenager by checking out the best options below.
If you like drawing and have been searching for answers on how to monetize your hobby, selling artwork is one of the best online business ideas for teens you should consider.
People buy artwork for gifts, home decor, and a range of other purposes. Over 2.5 million sellers use Etsy to earn money, and more than 60% of them are US-based. If they can do it, then so can you, especially if you have an eye for detail and the ability to create great products. Some of the most popular products are:
Everybody has a talent. If yours is something other people aspire to possess, there’s a good chance you could start a side business as a tutor. Tutoring for teens can mean anything from helping other students with their math homework to teaching people how to play an instrument.
Speaking of musical instruments, did you know that guitar tutors can charge up to $60 per hour? Even if you command half of that fee, you’ll only need a small number of clients to earn more money than you’d ever hope to earn from working in the local 7-11. You could also look to utilize your skill through the following ideas:
The options are virtually endless, meaning you can choose a small side hustle or look for something that could become a legitimate long-term business model.
Many business ideas for teens encourage you to showcase your creativity, many of which can focus on selling a service rather than a product. Photography is a fantastic solution, although you’ll need to invest in a DSLR camera and accessories.
Still, each job is a chance to perfect your craft, refine your style, and determine which part of photography you’d like to enter long-term. It’ll also look great on college applications for either business school or photography school. Some of the most popular events that you may be able to cover are:
As you grow your portfolio, you may also gain the opportunity to work on-spec for local news or media outlets.
When thinking about the most successful teen entrepreneurs, especially well-known ones, the first thing that comes to mind is the world of digital media. For over a decade now, platforms like YouTube have provided content creators an outlet to make money through ads.
Teen blogging, vlogging, and podcasting can deliver huge returns. Anybody can upload to YouTube, Spotify, or their own websites. It’s the perfect way to make your voice heard and discuss the issues that matter most to you. Monetizing your hobby is possible via:
The internet has changed how we consume media, and authenticity is now king. If you can provide it, content creation is a low-cost and low-risk venture.
If you’re anything like an average teenager, you’re already putting plenty of content online without realizing it. Likewise, you’re interacting with friends and online acquaintances through social media. If you’ve built a fan base, it could be your ticket to good earning potential.
According to some estimations, 270 million TikTok views per year could earn you $100,000. Influencers can also make money through Instagram and other social media channels. Moreover, you don’t have to grow an audience of millions. If your fanbase is from a distinct niche and shows good engagement levels, you can make money through:
Older generations may find it hard to believe that you can make money online simply by building an audience, but you can. Don’t be afraid to try.
Pop music has produced teen superstars for generations. Meanwhile, digital channels helped Justin Bieber get signed back in the day while the likes of Britney Spears, Iggy Azalea, and Billie Eilish all hit the big time as teens.
It’s not only pop music where teens and young adults can achieve success. And you don’t have to hit the mainstream for playing music to become your perfect teen job. Even as a newbie, a talented wedding singer can get paid a good fee. You can also earn money as a musician by:
It’s a great way to turn a hobby into a money-making endeavor while starting a band is the perfect outlet to hang out with your pals - besides, who knows where the journey will end.
It’s likely that you’ve washed your mom or dad’s car for some extra money at least once in your childhood. As far as small, local business ideas for teens are concerned, it’s one of the easiest to get started.
There are over 287 million vehicles in America, and thousands of them are within a three-mile radius of your home. The majority of drivers want to keep their car sparkling but don’t have the time. You can be the person to take care of this for them. Some of the benefits include:
It may subsequently open the door to starting a valet service or opening an office-cleaning business. Cleaning services will always be needed, making it a very stable business option.
Approximately 68% of households in the US have at least one pet. So, if you start the business correctly, you won’t be short of customers.
The pet care business could mean grooming dogs and cutting their nails. Or it could mean pet-sitting for cats when a family is away on vacation. Dog walking is another popular option because you get to spend time with furry friends and stay active. Pet care businesses are a good choice because:
You can start this business by working for family friends before moving up to local customers when you are confident.
Franchising may not seem like an accomplishable dream for a teen business. However, there are affordable franchises for under $10k. You may need to rely on your parents to help fund this option, but if you can commit yourself to the work, it can be profitable.
Opening a franchise can introduce you to running a business without the need to build a brand and help you gain experience managing a small team. You can set opening times to suit your needs, even if it’s only during the summer vacation, and if things go well, it may be possible to open a second franchise or get a friend involved.
OK, so you don’t have a plumbing license or the qualifications to work as an electrician. Still, there are plenty of jobs around the home that people need help with or don’t have time for. They can be some of the best teen business ideas of all.
Jobs for 15-year-olds can include fixing flat-pack furniture, handling basic landscaping duties, and cleaning a person’s property. You can even extend the work to completing daily errands for people with reduced mobility or a lack of time. There are many advantages of this type of work, such as:
If you feel that becoming a tradesperson is your future, this will be the perfect start before moving on to professional training in your desired field.
Starting an online store is one of the best online business ideas for teens because the potential exposure is relatively low. Thanks to the growth of the global dropshipping sector, you no longer have to possess stock. Instead, you can promote and sell products on your web store before the order fulfillment company delivers them. Alternatively, you could look at print-on-demand services to sell a host of products like:
Dipping your toes into the retail sector in this manner requires minimal spending, and it could unlock a lifetime of success in business.
When looking for cute business ideas, crafts for teens are an ideal outlet. Creating and selling products is an opportunity to learn how to run a business in a fun and engaging way. This type of venture will also make you learn about invoices and other business tools and documents.
Take advantage of the fact that people want various beauty products or fashion items to revamp their personal appearance. Aside from outlets like Etsy, your products could be sold locally at:
There are many examples of young adults who created products from their homes to become major brands. You could be the next GymShark in your chosen niche.
Small business ideas for teenagers don’t have to be that different from what adults provide. If you can design a great product or service, there will be opportunities to turn your talent into cash, regardless of your age. Web design services certainly fall into this category.
According to the latest small business statistics, there are more than 32.5 million businesses in the US alone, and virtually all of them need a website. Whether it’s starting a website from scratch or revamping an outdated one, you can help. Major marketing firms charge thousands, so this is an opportunity for you to win clients by charging less. Your services may include:
It’s one of the best business ideas for students, especially those studying web design or marketing. Once you have your qualifications and portfolio, your earning potential will soar.
Whichever business model you think might be best for you, it’s vital that you think it through and launch it correctly. Many of the digital-based options can start out as hobbies and won’t need business plans or registrations until you start earning a reasonable amount of money. However, you should still record all transactions.
Some of the best business ideas for teens do require you to register the business. You’ll probably launch a sole proprietorship, although you could need an LLC for ideas like a franchise. Other issues to consider are:
If you’re unsure about how to start the company, speak to an advisor. They’ll point you in the right direction.
By now, you should be equipped with a range of businesses to start as a teenager and will have thought about the right solution for you as well as how to launch it. There will still be a lot of work ahead, from defining your target audience to finding the right bank for your business. Still, if you enter the process with a winning mindset, you’ll enjoy the ride and learn a lot.
Besides, it has to be more fun than working a job you hate for $4.25.
The easiest jobs for teenagers to start focus on services you’ve probably provided in the past for some extra pocket money. Dog walking, cleaning cars, and running errands are all great examples.
When looking at how to start a business for teens, you’ll find that your state probably requires a parent to complete the registration. But the business is yours and will be governed by licenses and taxes like any other.
Teenagers can make money in several ways. Making crafts to sell, teaching others to play music, and photography are some good examples.
Yes. In fact, the top creators are earning millions every year through advertising, affiliates, and commercial links. There is no limit regarding the age at which a creator can start earning money, although parental guidance may be needed for commercial endeavors.
Yes, usually. Minors can’t legally enter contracts without a parent’s permission. Likewise, nobody under 21 can get a business loan. So, while you may not require a parent’s help for daily operations, you'll need their support for legal matters.
Julia A. is a writer at SmallBizGenius.net. With experience in both finance and marketing industries, she enjoys staying up to date with the current economic affairs and writing opinion pieces on the state of small businesses in America. As an avid reader, she spends most of her time poring over history books, fantasy novels, and old classics. Tech, finance, and marketing are her passions, and she’s a frequent contributor at various small business blogs.
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