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25 Small Business Ideas For Teens And Students

Age does not have to limit your ability to become an entrepreneur. Teens who combine ingenuity and opportunity can create successful small businesses. From online business to local, opportunities are all around.

The benefits of youth-owned businesses include gaining valuable employment experience, earning their own money, learning basic bookkeeping skills, increased social skills and better customer service skills, to an overall sense of accomplishment.

However, teens will also need to learn how to balance school and extracurricular schedules with time to run their businesses. 

It’s important to note that to open a registered company, teens will need to be 18 or have someone 18 or older, like a parent or a guardian, who can legally enter into contracts to partner with them.

Whenever you decide to open a business, it’s wise to confirm you are following government regulations and check the tax rules about how much money you can make before you need to file for taxes. 

Go one step further and create a business plan. Even a basic one can help make your business a success. Find out what records you need to keep, if you need a bank account, or if you’ll need to hire employees. Here are 25 small business ideas for teens and students to consider.

Good Business Ideas for Teens and Students

Share Your Knowledge

1) Tutoring

There are several ways to make money tutoring or teaching, including academic (like college test prep), teaching technology and music instruction. Use the hard work and energy you put into getting good grades to help others who are struggling. Tutoring services are easy to set up, and with some preparation, you can create a course syllabus that you can sell as a value-added service, making you more money than if you just tutored. 

three caucasian girls with brown hair sitting at a desk looking at a paper. Two of the girls are younger and hold pens

2) Data Entry and Transcription

If you are a decent typist, data entry can be an easy way for teens to make some extra cash. Transcription is a little trickier since you are listening and typing, but it’s an excellent experience for college note-taking.

3) Garage Sale Organizer

If you are detailed oriented and don’t mind giving up a morning on the weekend, you can offer your services as a garage sale organizer. You sort the items, set them up on racks or tables for sale and help promote the sale for a percentage of the earnings.

4) Self-publishing

With a computer and printer, you can create flyers for businesses, invitations, and greeting cards. Make your own newsletter or publish a mini-book. Even if you can’t write, you can help others with their dream to be published.

5) 3-D Printing Business

This option requires a higher amount of financial investment but allows you to sell many products with a high level of quality, which can help you recover your start-up costs and build profits quickly.

Share Your Creativity

6) Making Crafts

Create handmade products like candles, soaps, bath bombs and essential oils and set up a booth at a craft market. You can bundle them in gift baskets and sell them for a higher profit. It also gives buyers a chance to try a variety of products. 

7) Calligraphy Services

Brides are often looking for a way to customize their invitations and make them more unique. If you have good handwriting, you can easily learn calligraphy skills. Have your client provide the card stock so your set-up costs are minimal.

Caucasian person doing caligraphy on white paper. two hands visible with caligraphy pen.

8) Photography & Videography Services 

You can use your phone and free editing apps to create beautiful photos and videos for family events, headshots, portraits of babies and kids, and of course, beloved pets.

9) Making Baked Goods

Who doesn’t love a yummy treat! One of the first businesses teens can start is selling baked goods. Cookies are easily made and easily sold. If you are more adept at decorating, you can create more elaborate sweets for events like birthdays, anniversaries, and even wedding cakes.

10) Sewing Services

Even with basic sewing skills, teens can start a sewing repair and alteration business.

11) Party Entertainer

Can you juggle, tell jokes, do card tricks, or make balloon animals?  Then, consider offering your services as an entertainer at kids’ parties.

12) Musician

Even if you aren’t a member of a band, you can offer to play solo background music for parties, meetings, or other events with live music for a fee.

13) Makeup Artist

Create a portfolio by doing makeup for family and friends. Then offer your services to clients for headshots, family pictures, and for their big events, like weddings. You can also do face painting for kids’ parties, school events, and local fairs.

14) Iron-on and Tie Dye T-shirts

This is a good small business idea for both tweens and teens. They can purchase shirts from second-hand stores to save money and buy iron-on kits from office supply stores. Parental assistance is recommended and encouraged for a fun family event.

15) Inventor

The trampoline, braille, swim fins, and snowmobiles were all invented by teenagers. However, you don’t have to be a Benjamin Franklin or a Louis Braille to develop a world-changing idea as a teen.

Share Your Time and Energy

16) Car Washing and Household Chores

A low-budget small business to start as a teenager is offering to wash your neighbours’ cars and take care of some minor household chores, like cleaning out a garage and painting a fence.

yellow sponge held by caucasian person streaking across a black soapy car

17) Child Care

If you are fun and responsible, setting up a babysitting service can be a lucrative money-making idea for teens. However, taking care of children is a very important responsibility. It’s best to start by assisting a more experienced babysitter to learn the ropes. If available, consider taking a babysitting certification course.

18) Seasonal Home Care Services

Reach out to your busy neighbours to see if they need help with seasonal lawn care, like mowing in warm weather, leaf removal in the fall, and snow removal in the winter.

19) Errand-Running & Delivery Service

All you need to set up this business is pedal power and a good sense of direction. Be sure to set a schedule of where you are going and what you are delivering and share it with your parents.

20) Pet Care

Fur babies need care too! If you love animals – and aren’t allergic – consider offering to walk dogs, watch pets while their owners are away, or perform simple grooming services like washing and nail clipping.

21) Housesitting

Watering plants, collecting mail, newspapers and fliers are all simple ways to help others and make some cash.

22) Closet and Cupboard Organizer

Teens can easily open this business with a bit of ingenuity and elbow grease. Organizing and cleaning out closets and cupboards is something people want to do but rarely have time, making it a great business opportunity for teens.

23) Personal Shopper

As a personal shopper, you would buy groceries, gifts, and household items for neighbours, family and friends who are too busy or have physical limitations.

Share Your Holiday Spirit

24) Decorating and Gift Wrapping for the Holidays

Helping others to decorate for the holiday season is both fun and festive. Grab some hot chocolate and put on some music of the season and invite some friends to help. 

25) Making Holiday Ornaments

Pick up a few colourful and glittery supplies from the craft store along with some basic white or clear ornaments, and you have a sweet way to make some money to buy holiday gifts for your loved ones.

Get Started

Looking up easy businesses to start as a teenager is a starting point, but to have the most success one will need the right mindset and determination, aligned with the necessary skills. Most things in life don’t come easy, so don’t expect a business to either.

There are many money-making ideas for teens out there, finding the one that works best for you is most important. Although it’s not difficult to find lists of small businesses to start as a teenager, you will still need some basic skills to be successful in your chosen business.

With an abundance of education available for free online, knowledge is at your fingertips, you’ll just need the drive to get started.

By: Robert Puharich | December 11, 2021 |

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