31 Best Startup Ideas for Teens

Teen business owner posing.

Launching your own startup as a teen can be a lucrative and rewarding experience that’ll support your career goals as you inch closer to adulthood. But, the demands of school, hobbies, and a social life make it critical to choose a startup idea that offers a flexible schedule, requires minimal experience, and has low initial startup costs.

This guide highlights the best startup ideas for teen entrepreneurs that meet all three of those criteria. But, before you can launch your teen business, you’ll need to check with your local Secretary of State’s office to learn about any specific requirements for forming a legal business entity (e.g., a minimum age).

Recommended: Check out our full list of the best startup ideas and our guide on how to start a startup.

Startup Business Ideas for Teens

1. Blogging

If you love sharing your interests, thoughts, and ideas with others, starting a blog may be a great startup idea for you. Blogs can focus on a variety of topics, including your own life or experiences. The goal of a blog is to convey information about a subject to interested readers in an engaging way.

To get started, you’ll need basic writing skills. You also should consider including photography or other visuals on your site. When choosing your blog’s topic, be true to yourself and your interests or experiences. The most successful blogs have a genuine and authentic voice, allowing the authors to truly connect with their audience and build a stronger following.

2. Ecommerce

An ecommerce business sells goods online directly or facilitates the sale for makers, artisans, or others. The first step in launching an ecommerce startup involves deciding what type of store you’d like to open. For example, do you want to start an online boutique that sells a curated collection of clothing or create a platform on which people can sell their own used goods secondhand? Ecommerce is a broad term that offers many possibilities for entrepreneurs to create lucrative, successful businesses by connecting consumers with the products they want.

Recommended: Check out our full list of ecommerce startup ideas.

3. Social Media Influencer

A successful social media influencer almost always understands how to create and effectively market a brand. If you think you’re up to the challenge, this can make a lucrative and exciting startup idea.

Influencers earn money through brand deals. Because every industry has influencers, you’re more likely to generate a large viewership and build a strong brand if you focus on a specific industry or niche for which you have a passion. In addition, you’ll need to feel comfortable with public speaking and connecting with your audience in order to attract brands that want to work with you.

4. Podcasting

As the popularity of podcasts continues to grow, it’s an ideal time to start a podcast of your own. The most successful podcasts feature engaging hosts and a specific topic that can attract interested listeners. You also must feel comfortable with interviewing and public speaking before you start a podcast.

Moreover, it’s best to choose a topic for which you have a passion and can see yourself dedicating a good amount of time to researching. For example, if you’re passionate about sustainability, your podcast could focus on interviewing other entrepreneurs who currently work to fight climate change.

5. Etsy Entrepreneur

Are you a crafter or an artist? If yes, you could sell your creations by becoming an Etsy entrepreneur. If you aren’t familiar with Etsy, it’s an online marketplace on which people sell their handmade goods. By selling on Etsy, you can benefit from its built-in ecommerce platform and instant brand exposure that enables people searching for similar products to easily find your shop.

To set your Etsy shop apart from the competition, offer distinctive, well-made goods with a personal touch. Consider offering customization on products for customers, if possible, and invest in attractive packaging.

6. Tutoring

Use what you learned in school to help other students by starting your own tutoring business. Any subject in which you’re proficient — like math, English, or science — can provide a potential tutoring opportunity.

Tutoring businesses can charge by the session or the hour. You can easily market this type of business within your school, at the public library, or in community centers — wherever other teens and their parents spend time.

Recommended: Check out our full list of Startup Ideas for Education Entrepreneurs!

7. Photography

Photography isn’t just a fun hobby, it also can make a lucrative business. If you have access to camera equipment and some photography experience, you can pursue this a low-cost startup idea at any age.

Depending on the type of photography you do, you can approach this business in different ways. For example, you could work as a photographer for hire who takes senior portraits, engagement photos, and images of other life events. Alternatively, you can sell prints of your work online or in local shops.

8. Art Business

Similar to a photography startup, an art business can operate either by taking commissions or selling art online and in local shops. To gain exposure for your art business, consider partnering with a local business like a coffee shop to display your work inside their location. In addition, renting a booth at your local farmers market can increase your brand exposure and drive sales or commissions of custom work.

9. Freelance Writing

If you’re a skilled or talented writer, freelance writing might provide a great way for you to make money without punching a clock. Freelance writers of all kinds are in demand by businesses and publications looking for temporary employees to write blog posts, articles, and other content.

One of the biggest benefits of freelance writing at a younger age is that you’ll gain experience that can help you later on as you establish a career. Sites like Upwork® and WriterAccess® provide a secure platform for businesses and freelancers to connect.

10. Cleaning

You can start a successful cleaning startup in several ways. For example, you could start a house-cleaning business, an office-cleaning business, or a graffiti-cleaning business, among others. This type of startup has low initial costs and flexible hours. You can schedule as many clients as you can manage based on your availability. Overhead costs include marketing materials, cleaning supplies, and vehicle expenses, which means it’ll cost very little to launch your cleaning startup.

11. Babysitting Business

This classic teen business requires little more than trustworthiness and some experience taking care of children. Building credibility with parents and your community will increase the likelihood of scoring babysitting jobs in your area. Once you establish yourself as a great babysitter, you’ll have the ability to book more jobs and grow your business.

Babysitters can charge by the hour, by the number of children in their care, or by a flat rate. The amount you charge should depend on your experience as a babysitter as well as the standard rate in your area.

12. Pet Sitting

As with babysitting, a pet-sitting business depends on the level of trust you can develop with pet owners in your community. It’s best if you have experience taking care of animals — even just caring for your family pet.

Pet sitters can charge by the day, by the animal, or by a flat rate. While customers often ask pet sitters to stay at their homes while they’re away, you can opt not to do so based on your comfort level.

Recommended: Check out our full list of Startup Ideas for Animal Lovers!

13. Livestreaming

If you already spend a lot of time playing video games, why not make it a business venture? Livestreaming essentially involves broadcasting live footage of your game as you play, using a platform like TWITCH® or Smashcast®. Once you obtain the minimum number of followers (e.g., 500 on TWITCH), you can become a partner of the livestreaming site and begin to make money based on the traffic your streams generate.

14. Graphic Design

Many businesses and organizations need graphic designers to create visual branding for use on everything from signage to marketing materials. Because graphic design is a fairly broad industry, having a multifaceted skill set can prove extremely beneficial. For example, proficiency in logo design as well as typography or web design can help you book more clients and build your portfolio.

15. Online Game Creation

Tech-savvy teens, this one’s for you. Create your own online game for desktop computers, mobile devices, game consoles, or virtual reality devices. If you don’t have a background in engineering or computer science, you’ll need the help of someone well-versed in these areas in order to make your dream game come to life. But, those who can successfully start this type of business in their teen years can set themselves up to achieve a fulfilling career in game creation later on.

16. App Development

App development represents another great startup idea for tech-savvy teens. While it might seem like there’s already an app for everything, the potential to create millions of apps for entertainment purposes or to solve everyday problems still exists.

If you don’t currently have an app idea, don’t worry. Start brainstorming ideas by conducting an audit of daily tasks or problems an app could simplify or solve. Many of the most popular apps solve a common problem, making them more likely to have widespread appeal.

Recommended: Check out our full list of tech startup ideas and our interviews with app startups Realworld and So Syncd!

17. Dog Walking

Pet owners who travel, work full time, or can’t walk their dogs regularly due to health conditions need dependable dog walkers to help out. Before starting this type of business, you should have experience walking or caring for dogs of all sizes. You won’t always walk a Chihuahua, so you’ll need to feel comfortable walking larger, higher-energy breeds as well.

Strong organizational skills are essential for success in this business. You don’t want to overbook or double-book yourself. Keeping an organized schedule will help you manage your time and give your customers peace of mind because they’ll know exactly when you’ll walk their pet and take it outside.

18. Personal Shopper

For many people, hiring a personal shopper can help them accomplish errands they can’t complete on their own. Customers of this type of business often include elderly folks and busy professionals who need assistance picking up groceries or prescriptions. As a personal shopper, you’ll take responsibility for finding the items on your customer’s shopping list and delivering them to their door. That means you’ll need a vehicle with enough room to transport goods.

In addition, some personal shopping startups appeal to a more niche market like clothing or home decor. If you’ve got an eye for style and can choose items that correspond with a customer’s unique taste, then this startup idea may suit you perfectly.

19. House Sitting

Leaving your house unattended while traveling can often feel stressful. A house-sitting business gives homeowners the peace of mind that comes with knowing someone will regularly check on their valuables and take care of tasks like watering plants and collecting mail. The key to a successful house-sitting business is credibility. Establishing trust with homeowners in your community is critical to running a sustainable house-sitting business.

You also may want to consider combining two startup ideas by offering both house- and pet-sitting services. Boarding animals is expensive and stressful for many pet owners, so offering a combined service can make your business more appealing. This approach also can potentially allow you to charge more for your services.

20. Tech Support

Do you have a knack for solving technical problems? If so, you may want to consider launching a tech support startup. You can run this type of business entirely from your home and market it by posting flyers at schools, coffee shops, and libraries. You just need a phone, a website, and some technical experience. You also can charge by the job, the hour, or the type of device.

In this type of business, customers typically call or email with a technical issue and you, the tech support person, walk them through how to fix that issue. Alternatively, you can request your customers drop their computers off so you can take a first-hand look.

21. Errand-Running Service

Busy professionals, small businesses, and seniors typically need help running errands they can’t get to themselves. This could involve going to the post office, picking up dry cleaning, or taking a pet to a vet appointment.

To get started, you just need a vehicle, a phone, and some spare time. You can operate your errand-running business from home and market your services on bulletin boards at community centers, senior centers, or anywhere you can post a flyer with your information.

22. Lawn Care

Put your green thumb to good use by starting a lawn care business. It’s an easy, low-cost business to start with strong earning potential. Plus, it offers a flexible schedule and the chance to spend your days outside.

To gain traction for your business, consider investing in brochures that outline your services and pricing. Distribute those brochures to homes with lawns that may appreciate your services. Remember, closer customers will reduce your fuel costs as you drive to different houses with your equipment.

23. Food Truck

You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to start a successful food truck business. If you have moderate cooking skills, you can start a food truck or cart that serves basic foods at markets, parties, and school or community events. Or, you can take your food truck to the street and serve the public.

Importantly, you’ll either need food service experience or a partner who does to ensure you can safely operate your own food truck. If you’re unsure you’re ready to commit to a truck, consider a food cart or stall at event centers first.

Recommended: Check out our full list of Startup Ideas for Food Lovers.

24. Bookmobile

Who says bookstores have to remain stationary? A bookmobile is a traveling bookstore you can rent and set up at events, farmers markets, or schools. If your startup budget won’t extend to using a vehicle, you could start a bookmobile business with a bike and simply tow a small collection of books.

The best part of bookmobile businesses is that they give a variety of communities access to reading materials in a fun way. With more people staying home, a bookmobile can bring the joy of reading directly to the customer.

25. Mobile Coffee Cart

Many teens start work in a coffee shop, so why not run your own coffee business? A mobile coffee cart is a relatively low-cost alternative to opening a cafe. This type of business offers a flexible schedule and the opportunity to network within your community.

Customers typically hire coffee carts to work events like corporate retreats, school events, and even weddings. Make your business stand out by offering a customizable drink menu that can complement your customers’ event themes.

26. Clothing Line

Starting your own clothing line involves designing items, choosing textiles, and then manufacturing a collection of apparel. You can opt to sell your designs in retail stores or online via your own website. If you want a career in fashion, this provides a great place to start. But, you may want to work with a seamstress or experienced fashion designer to develop your designs before you start the manufacturing process.

To set your clothing line apart and reduce costs, consider using deadstock or recycled fabric. This will not only make your business more sustainable but also can attract customers seeking unique fabrics and a greener business model.

27. Edtech Startup

Online learning continues to gain popularity not only for its convenience, but also for its key role in facilitating continued education during health and weather crises. Providing additional tools for students — or people who just want to brush up on a subject — by developing an educational technology (edtech) startup can make education more accessible to a larger fraction of society.

Whether you plan to develop an app or create an online tutoring resource for students, you must first identify your target subject and platform. Additionally, successful edtech startups tend to offer a product that’s both effective and intuitive. Remember to consider those criteria during your product development process.

See our interview with the co-founders of edtech startup Trashbots!

28. Meal Delivery Service

Faced with fewer dine-in options, people increasingly turned to food delivery services in the past year. Starting your own meal delivery service can help small businesses meet delivery demand and provide customers with an easy way to enjoy their favorite restaurants. To compete with the big names in meal delivery, connect with your local restaurant owners. Many popular food delivery apps and websites charge a substantial fee to deliver for restaurants. Your business can gain a competitive edge by offering fast delivery times and lower fees.

29. YouTube Channel

YouTube™ has billions of subscribers worldwide, which means the platform offers a great opportunity for new channels and video content. Starting your own video channel can represent another form of blogging (called “vlogging”) or provide a space for you to teach a skill or share a hobby. If you have a passion for ceramics, for example, you could start an entire channel about your process from clay to kiln.

Social media platforms focus on making connections, and YouTube is no exception. Every industry or hobby has the potential to connect with thousands of YouTube subscribers, which you could parlay into a lucrative business venture.

30. Board Game Creation

Board games provide a way for people to connect, have fun, and pass the time. With millions of people playing these games worldwide, creating your own board game can make for a creative — and lucrative — venture. Start by focusing on ways you can make the structure of your game distinctive, and then develop an interesting story to accompany it that’ll intrigue potential players.

31. Handcrafted Products

Handmade, artisanal goods never go out of style. Selling handcrafted products offers you the flexibility of selling your goods online, in established retailers, or at local markets. The first step involves determining the product(s) you’ll make. This could include food products, pet toys, wooden furniture, or many other items. To successfully sell handcrafted products, remember to focus on product quality and cater to the right niche market.

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