6 Ways Teenagers Can Start Their Own Businesses


If you’re starting a business as a teenager, odds are you aren’t trying to create a financial empire. What you most likely want is the flexibility to work for yourself, work from home, and save up money for your future and present needs.


Explore this Guide:

How to Start a Small Business for Young Entrepreneurs:

  1. How to Start a Business Plan
  2. Legal Structure of a Business
  3. Branding
  4. Website
  5. Social Media
  6. Advertisement

Job Ideas for Young Entrepreneurs:

  1. Mow Lawns
  2. Run Errands for the Elderly
  3. Snow Removal
  4. Rake Leaves
  5. Dog Walker
  6. Wash Cars
  7. Babysitter
  8. House Sitter
  9. Pet Sitter
  10. House Cleaning
  11. Gardener
  12. Tutoring


There’s a point when an allowance just isn’t cutting it anymore. Your teenaged children aren’t going to be able to survive on ten bucks a month (or however much it is) for very long.


If they want to go on dates and afford a car, they’ll need to get out there and start earning some real cash. And what better way to do this than by starting a mini-business?


Starting a business is vastly superior than simply getting a job at the burger joint down the street for minimum wage. First of all, your kids will be able to make their own hours, so they’ll still have the flexibility to focus on school and extracurricular activities.


And more importantly, starting a mini-business teaches your kids many valuable lessons about finance and self-promotion. They’ll learn how to put themselves out there, and how to start a money-making enterprise from scratch.


Starting a mini-business doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. Here are 6 ways your teenagers can start earning money right in their own neighborhood:


#1: How to Start a Business Plan


First, sit down and create a business plan.


It might help to sit down with your parents too. Your parents can help you plan the logistics of your business and remind you of any unforeseen costs that might be involved.


A solid business plan should include everything you’ll need to operate your business, the costs, a budget for everything, and a schedule or timeframe.


Each business is going to have different needs. A car wash business will need tools and supplies to effectively wash cars. An errand business will need a car and a budget for gas money. A dog walking service might require dog treats to help your furry clients behave and learn proper walk manners.


Make a list of everything your business needs and compare it to the services you offer and how much you charge. How much you make needs to be more than how much you spend on your business so you can make a profit.


Don’t forget to include time and effort under your lists of costs. The profits of the business should also compensate you for your time and energy.


Here’s an example of what a simple business plan for a dog walking business might look like:


Costs Profits
1 walk = 30 minutes of my time 1 dog + 1 walk = $35
dog treats = $10 per bag I can walk 3 dogs at a time
I can use the owner’s leashes I can do a dog walk once a day
Average Spending per Week = $10 Average Profits per Week = $735 *if I walk 3 dogs every day
Average Profits After Costs = $725


After you create a business plan, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to make the profit you want. Now all you have to do is find your customers and get working!



The legal structure of a business for teens is going to depend on the state you live in and what your state’s laws and guidelines are for young entrepreneurs.


It might be necessary for a teen’s parents to be involved in cosigning to make their teenager’s business legitimate.


If you’re confused about the legalities of starting a business as a teenager, visit your local government office to get all your questions answered.


They’ll also be able to guide you through any necessary paperwork minors needs to go through to create their own small business.


#3: Branding


Every business needs a brand.


Your brand doesn’t have to be anything too complicated or fancy. But having a brand identity will increase your rate of success.


Not only does branding make your business look more legitimate, it also gives customers something to recognize and use when referring their friends to your services.


Branding usually consists of a logo and name.


For example, if you’re creating a dog walking business, you might use a silhouette of a dog as your logo and call your business, “Happy Walks.”


Some brands even have slogans. Your dog walking business’ slogan could be, “happy dogs go one walks.”


#4: Website


Every successful business needs an official place online where customers can find your business, learn about you, contact you, and see your rates and services.


You can easily create a free website on Wix or Weebly.


Your website will need a contact page, an about page, and a rates and services page.


Think of your website as the virtual headquarters for your business.


This is where new customers will come to learn all about you and use your services. And this is where old customers will direct their friends who are interested in your services too.


Make sure to keep your website up to date and as simple and user-friendly as possible.


#5: Social Media


Create an online presence for your business by making social media accounts for your business.


Once you have a Facebook and/or Instagram account for your business, you can start making posts about your business and even advertise.


If you choose to pay for advertising on social media, make sure you include this cost in your business plan and budget.



Finally it’s time to advertise and start operating your business!


Teenagers can advertise their business in many ways.


Go door to door in your neighborhood to tell everyone about your new business. It might even help to make business cards you can hand out so they know how to contact you.


You can also post fliers about your business around the neighborhood and on community bulletin boards.


Post and share about your new business on social media, leading anyone who sees your post to your website.


Advertising can cost you time, money, and effort. Be sure to account for the costs of your advertising plans when creating your business plan and budget.


You’ll also need to stay organized.


Make a separate google calendar just for your business. For example, you could call the calendar for your dog walking business, “Happy Walks.” Now you can use this calendar to keep track of the dogs you’re walking and when you’re walking them.


Create a master contact list on Google Spreadsheets. Keep all your client’s important information here so you know how to get ahold of them in case of any emergency.


Read More About How to Start a Business HERE.


Now that you know how to successfully start a business as a young entrepreneur, here’s a master list of all the ways teenagers can start their own business:


1. Mow Lawns


Chances are you’ve already got a functioning lawn mower in the shed—have your child turn it into some steady income during the warmer months.


Here’s an added benefit of a lawn-mowing business: plenty of exercise!


2. Run Errands for the Elderly


Your child can learn a great lesson about serving those in need by running errands for the elderly people in your neighborhood.


Your neighbors will be happy, because your teenager’s services here wouldn’t cost as much as some of the more expensive services that they would normally have to pay for.


3. Snow Removal


In the dead of winter, some people just aren’t capable of shoveling their own walks. Others just aren’t so motivated to take care of it themselves.


Your child can take advantage of this by offering their snow-shoveling services to the neighborhood!


4. Rake Leaves


Your teenagers can capitalize on the autumn months by raking leaves in your neighborhood, and raking in the profits while they’re at it!


5. Dog Walker


Not everyone has the time to take Rex for a walk every day. Dogs need plenty of exercise to stay healthy, and your teenagers will be a huge benefit to the community’s canine population if they offer themselves up as professional dog walkers.


Walking dogs has the potential to be quite profitable, too, since you can walk 4 or 5 at a time.


6. Wash Cars


Where do most people take their cars to get washed? Usually some mega-chain or automatic wash.


Wouldn’t it be better to pay some kids in the neighborhood to wash your car, rather than giving that money to some giant car wash chain?


Not only will it be cheaper, but hiring the local teenagers to wash your car will get you a more detailed car wash too.


7. Babysitter


Babysitting is a really common and popular small business choice amongst young entrepreneurs.


As a babysitter, you can stay local and find a lot of customers with people you already know and feel comfortable working for.


8. House Sitter


You might need a house sitter if you have pets that need fed, plants that need watered, or a pool that needs regular maintenance while you’re gone.


Help a young entrepreneur have a successful house sitting business by hiring locally.


Relax on vacation and knowing your house is being watched over and the plants won’t die while you’re away.


9. Pet Sitter


A lot of your neighbors have pets, but pet parents don’t always want to bring their pets on every vacation.


You could become a pet sitter and visit pet owner’s homes each day to check on their pets, clean up cages and litter boxes, take them out for walks and potty breaks, feed them, and keep them company.


10. House Cleaning


Keeping up with house cleaning can be really hard. Especially with bigger households, households that have lots of kids, or households where the residents are working all the time.


It can be especially difficult to keep up with deep cleaning needs that keep your house dust free and hygienic.


Offer your house cleaning skills by creating a master checklist of all the cleaning you can provide. You can even potentially set up a regular schedule to visit the same households once or twice a month.


11. Gardener


Take your lawn care services to the next level by getting into gardening.


Some lawns just need mowing, but some lawns gardening care too.


Many people also want to reap the benefits of an at-home garden in their backyard, but dealing with weeds, planting, and harvesting can take a lot of time and energy.


As a gardener, you could get paid to make your neighbor’s yards beautiful and assist them in maintaining their gardens and flower beds.


12. Tutoring


Older teens can create a business helping younger students do better in school.


So if you love math and got really good grades in your earlier classes, think about becoming a professional tutor for other students.


Read More About Job Ideas for Teens HERE.


Lessons Your Kids Will Remember for the Rest of Their Lives


Getting a job at a fast food restaurant is always an option, but what is your child going to learn from that besides how to punch a timecard?


The benefits your teenagers will get from creating their own mini-business will carry over into their adult lives.


They’ll develop a great work ethic and the financial skills necessary to be successful in whatever careers they ultimately choose.


All Business. “Young Entrepreneurs: Six Legal Considerations for Starting a Business as a Minor,” by Caron Beesley.

Money Pantry. “60 Small Business Ideas for Teenagers & Kids,” by Saeed Darabi.

Small Biz Trends. “50 Business Ideas for Teens,” by Annie Pilon.

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