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27 Business Ideas for Teens

Date published: September 6, 2021
How do you start a business as a young adult? Here are a few ideas to give you some inspiration.
Best Practices Financial Preparation Business Tips

If you are a teenager with an entrepreneurial spirit who is ready to commit and dedicate their time and energy to start a successful business, anything is possible. You might already have an excellent idea for a profitable business that you want to start. If not, here are 27 good business ideas for teens that may inspire you to kick start your entrepreneurial journey.

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Service-Based Teen Business Ideas

If you enjoy helping people by doing work for them, then you may want to choose a service-based business. Here are 13 service-based entrepreneur ideas for teenagers.

Stock Photos

If you like to take photos and are good at it, why not sell your images to a stock photo website? For example, you can take pictures of everyday objects or absurd situations and sell them to major stock photo websites, such as Getty Images and Shutterstock.


If you have a drawing and designing skills, you can create logos and sell them online. Platforms that you can sell logos on include Fiverr, LogoGround, and CreativeMarket. Make sure to add your designs to your portfolio because a rich and unique portfolio will help market the types and quality of services offered.



Young adults that are good at a particular subject in school and enjoy working with kids or other teens can start a tutoring business. Online tutoring is an easy and cost-effective business. In-person tutoring is also an alternative option, but transportation would need to be accounted for. If you don’t want to work individually, you can sign up at a larger tutoring organization near you.

If you speak more than one language, foreign language tutoring is also another option. You can join online tutoring websites such as VerbalPlanet and italki that offer up to $30 per hour.

Music Lesson

Providing music lessons to others is a great business option for skilled musicians. You can offer music lessons based on skill level and desired lesson plan. Show up on time, have a good attitude, and be patient with your students because not everyone can grasp something new from the first try.

Social Media Management

Teens are born in the age of technology, and the chances are that they are pretty good at managing different social media platforms. Reach out to some local businesses near you, such as your local grocery store or laundromat, and inquire if they require someone to help coordinate their social media platforms.


If you have good listening comprehension and can type quickly, you can transcribe videos or audio on the internet. Platforms such as GoTranscipt can match you as a transcriptionist with a person who needs your service, and you can make up to $20 per hour. Teenagers who have a lot of school work can take advantage of this occupation because it is flexible.



If you like to be around children, then consider becoming a babysitter. You can utilize multiple websites, such as Care, SitterCity, and UrbanSitter, to create a profile and land babysitting jobs. Make sure to write a compelling bio to stand out from other candidates. Some websites require you to perform a background check. You can also take advantage of word of mouth to find babysitting jobs around your neighborhood.

Dog Walking/Sitting

Dog walking.

Teenagers who like to be around pets can start a pet walking or sitting business if there is demand in the area where they live. You can create a profile on different platforms such as Rover and Wag, and they will link to a dog owner who needs walking, grooming, or sitting services. These platforms also run a background check. Taking care of pets, especially someone else’s pet is a huge responsibility that not everyone is prepared to handle. If you don’t have a pet at home, make sure that you educate yourself to ensure quality service and the possibility of recurring clients.


If there is a lot of demand in your neighborhood for shoveling snow, picking up leaves, weeding, and mowing lawns, then you might want to start a lawn care business. You don’t need the best equipment to start a landscaping business. Instead of buying equipment, one option is borrowing the client’s equipment or saving up. However, make sure that you have or buy protective clothing to avoid injuries. This is best for students who have some free time because it requires them to accommodate and commit to the client’s schedule.

Car Washing

Car Wash.

Most people have a car and need it washed regularly. You don’t necessarily need many skills to start a car washing business; however, educate yourself in this field before starting your business to ensure safety. All you need to start your car washing business is car wash soap, buckets, a wash mitt, and a drying cloth.

Errand Service

Reach out to your neighbors and ask them if they need help getting groceries, dropping a package off at the post office, or picking up dry cleaning. This business option has the potential to grow through recommendations and references.


YouTube is one of the most monetized social media platforms. If you like visual arts, content creation, and editing, consider starting your own YouTube channel and uploading the content. However, unless you get a huge viral hit on your first video, it will most likely take some time to build an audience, start getting views, and generate revenue through monetized videos and sponsorships. Getting into affiliate marketing on YouTube is more common, as you can make money through affiliate marketing by promoting affiliate products in your content and joining the best affiliate programs.

Affiliate Marketing

If you decide to pursue a job on YouTube, you can also start affiliate marketing. You can make money through affiliate marketing by promoting affiliate products in your content. When someone purchases through the link you have provided or uses your discount code, you will receive a small commission from that product’s profits.

To join affiliate programs, you need to have a successful blog, website, YouTube channel, or social media platform.

Product-Based Teen Business Ideas

Teenagers who want to start a product-based business where they make and sell physical objects must be able to keep up with the demand. They also must make sure that they can afford to buy all the startup supplies. If that sounds doable, here are 14 entrepreneurship ideas for teenagers.

Badges and Pins

Creative teenagers can also create and sell original badges and pins. They can start their online business by selling on different online marketplaces such as Etsy. If you are not creative and are not interested in making your own clay pins, you can outsource and purchase them from suppliers. Badges and pins are in demand as collectibles and have a broad audience.

Custom Sneakers

Another small business idea for an artistically talented painter is to start a custom shoe business. To start your business, you need leather paint, acrylic finisher, leather preparer, a bottle of cleaner, sneaker cleaning brush, a paintbrush set, a pack of sandpaper, acetone, cotton balls, and tape. Then, you can start to practice by painting on your old shoes or asking friends and family for their unwanted sneakers.

Custom Phone Cases

As long as you keep up with trends and new cellphone releases, you will always be in business. It is a highly competitive business, but if you are a creative person that can make unique designs, you can sell them online. To start your business, you need plain cases, a (thermal) printer, spray, paint, and brushes. Cases can be primarily sold online, as well as craft fairs.”


Artistic teenagers who like to draw and design can start an online sticker business. Outsourcing designs rather than buying a printing machine can help lower costs and increase profit. Also, buying products in bulk can potentially save extra money.

Greeting Cards

You can also make unique greeting cards and sell them online. To start your greeting card business, you need blank cards in different colors, ribbons, glue, scissors, foam tape, papers, and other decorative accessories. The possibilities of your imagination are endless.


The world of jewelry is vast. Depending on your budget, you can make jewelry from clay, silver, or gold. Also, depending on your preferences, you can design many accessories such as earrings, anklets, and bracelets. You can sell your jewelry on online marketplaces such as Etsy, Zibbet, or eBay.


If you know how to stitch and sew, making cute scrunchies is very cost-effective and successful. All you need to start a scrunchie business is a sewing machine, cutting board, quilting ruler, rotary cutter, scissors, and of course, fabrics and elastics.


Candle making.

If you love scented candles and know other scent lovers, you can start a candle business. Before starting your online business idea, you need to invest in candle-making wax (soy wax or beeswax depending on your target audience), candle wicks, different fragrance oils, spatula, heatproof container, double boiler, and a thermometer. You can also invest in different shapes and sizes of molds to create unique candle designs.


If you enjoy skincare and scents, consider starting a soap business. Making soap is quite simple. All you need is lye, butter or oils, a spatula, measuring cups, and molds. You also need to invest in proper personal protective equipment such as safety eyewear, a face mask, and arm protection to ensure safety while working with sodium hydroxide.

Custom Press-On Acrylic Nails

If you have a talent for designing nails, this may be the right business for you. All you have to do to start your business is to purchase high-quality plain acrylics and style them. To style the nails, you will need nail stands, tape, curing unit, files, acrylic paint, acetones, brushes, alcohol, and lint-free towels.

Second-Hand Items

Extra clothing and home décor accessories that are in good condition can be resold as second-hand items. You can sell your items on many platforms such as Nextdoor, Poshmark, and Ruby Lane. Selling second-hand items is suitable for teenagers with any schedule because it is a flexible business without the need to commit much time.


Crystals are very trendy nowadays and have a high demand. Consider starting a crystal business and becoming a teen entrepreneur by creating a profile on different online marketplaces. Take the time to conduct thorough research of different suppliers to ensure reliability and a reasonable cost.


If you are a great baker, you can sell your homemade cookies, brownies, cakes, and other sweets. First, make sure to read your state’s cottage food law to understand what you can and can’t sell. Not all states have the same rules and regulations. Starting a baking business is a low-cost idea because the equipment might already be readily available. You can sell your sweets online or by participating in local events.


Making jam.

If you like to work in the kitchen and make delicious homemade jams, turn your passion into a business and become a teenage entrepreneur. The startup costs of a homemade jam business are relatively low because the ingredients and the equipment don’t cost a lot. You can sell your jams at the farmer’s market, fairs, and online. Make sure to check your cottage food regulations to see if there is a cap on your annual profit.

How to Start a Business as a Teen Legally?

It’s essential to know the legal aspects of operating a small business as to avoid committing any criminal activities by accident.

Rules for Minors

Minors in the United States may be legally allowed to run their teenage businesses and register under sole proprietorship. A sole proprietorship is a business that is owned and run by one individual. The business owner and the business entity are not distinct from each other legally. Therefore, registering the business as a sole proprietorship may grant legal and tax benefits, especially if significant expenses and profits are involved.

Although this may not be the case for most teenagers, if your business is growing and you want to hire employees, you may want to consider an LLC to protect yourself from liabilities. A Limited Liability Company can have one or multiple owners and exists as a separate entity from them. It offers pass-through taxation. Also, note that not all states allow minors to operate an LLC.

Running a Hobby Business

According to the IRS, a hobby business is when the business owner doesn’t intend to make a profit and doesn’t or can’t put considerable time into the business every week.

If you run a hobby business, you must pay taxes if you earn more than $600 in a single year regardless of if your business is registered or not. You won’t be able to deduct any business expenses from that year.

Consult With Your Parents

Running a business is not easy, and talking to your parents may alleviate the pressure. Your parents can also help you understand some of the legal documents, such as tax forms and contracts that you will encounter for the first time. You may also need the financial help of your parents to implement your startup business ideas.

Also, as an entrepreneur, you will be talking to many strangers and exchanging money online. To be safe, have your family oversee your interactions with clients.

Don’t Neglect Your Studies

Once your business is successful, it can be hard to balance it with your schoolwork. Do your best to avoid your business getting in the way of your studies. One way you can do that is by creating a healthy balance between your schoolwork and business by planning and organizing your work in advance. Get a planner to help you manage your time efficiently and track school and work deadlines.

It is OK to Make Mistakes

When balancing school and business, mistakes may happen, and that is completely fine. Be kind to yourself, and rest assured that errors will make you a better entrepreneur. Learn from every mistake so you can do better next time and handle any situation thrown your way.

To be professional, learn about phone and email etiquette, be reliable, organized, and have a clear refund and exchange policy to inform your customers about your rules and their rights.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Business

Before you invest your time and effort into a business that may or may not be successful, ask yourself the following questions to determine the feasibility of the business:

  1. Is there a market that I can easily reach for my product or service?
  2. Is the product or service something that I am passionate about and want to work on every day?
  3. Is my product or service scalable? Will you be able to meet your growing business’s needs, handle increased market demands, and maintain a profit margin?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then the chances are that you are on the right track and have a business idea that is worth pursuing. On the other hand, if you answered no to one of the questions, you might want to reconsider your business plan.

Do Your Research

Every business must conduct market research to understand the likelihood of the success of their business. This may not be exciting, but it should be done nonetheless to avoid blindly investing your money. In addition, doing market research will:

  • Help you implement your startup business ideas
  • Determine your potential customer base
  • Understand if there is a need for your product or service
  • Know your competition
  • Learn how to price your product or service
  • Understand where and how to market your product or service
  • Foresee potential risks and their solutions

Promote Your Business on Social Media

Social Media Marketing.

Social media is a great tool to promote brand awareness and increase sales. Set your social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok) professionally and include a call-to-action in your bio by letting your potential clients know how they can reach you. Post quality content consistently, share what makes you unique, and engage with your followers to drive growth. Also, check the social media pages of your competitors to understand the trends of your industry.


Believe in yourself, and don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. Regardless of their age, any person can run a successful business with passion, commitment, hard work, and willingness to learn. So don’t get discouraged if anything goes wrong, and remember why you wanted to start your business in the first place and enjoy your journey to entrepreneurship.

Ethan James   Lead Writer
Ethan James is an experienced Financial Writer at Lendza with over a decade of experience.