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33 Small Business Ideas For Kids Looking For Success

By Devin Hargrove |

It can be frustrating if you're a parent looking for small business ideas for kids. Technology is different than when you were a kid, and you may not understand many of the newer ways kids can make money.

Here is a list of over 30 small business ideas for kids that cover traditional and newer ways to make real money.

Simple Small Business Ideas for Kids

These small business ideas for kids have been chosen carefully based on both chances for success and safety.

Many of these ideas will require help from you as a parent to accept payments and manage the account.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be an excellent way for kids to learn how to start and operate a business without too much risk.

This is an activity best suited for older pre-teens and younger teens. You will need to help set up affiliate relationships as they will need to be in your name.

It's also likely you will need to help purchase a domain name and website hosting. However, the upside to this is the startup costs for an affiliate site can be pretty cheap.

If you decide to go this route, we have a guide on how to choose a domain name.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: $50 – $100

Time Commitment: High


2. Niche Websites

Niche websites are sites centered around a specific topic. In the case of small business ideas for kids, it could be something your child is interested in, like sports or video games.

Check out our guide on how to build a niche website for more information on this.

This is one business idea you would need to help them with. You will need to purchase the domain and website hosting. Bluehost is an excellent choice for website hosting.

However, if their website is successful, it could easily turn into a solid investment that benefits them for many years down the road. 

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: $50 – $100

Time Commitment: High


3. Chores

The tried-and-true method of making money by doing chores still holds up today if you don't mind paying your child for the duties they complete.

One of the best ways to go about this is to treat it like a business by having them on a set schedule of tasks that need to be completed each week. 

This can help them to learn consistency with their work and allows them to understand basic economics.

Parents Needed: Not For The Work

Startup Costs: $0

Time Commitment: Low – Medium


4. Jewelry Designer

You might be surprised by how many teens and younger children have started many successful jewelry companies.

If your child has an artistic flair, this could be a good way for them to make money doing something they enjoy.

There will be some startup costs, and you will need to help them get set up on eCommerce platforms like Etsy or eBay to sell their jewelry.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: $50 – $500

Time Commitment: High (manufacturing, marketing, and selling)


5. Illustrator/Graphic Designer

Does your child have a passion for drawing and illustration? If so, you may be able to help them turn that into a paying hobby.

Many individuals and businesses pay for professional illustrators to create graphics for their business or things like wedding invitations.

If you can get your child's portfolio together, you can help them find clients online willing to pay for their specific style. 99designs is one of the major sites for freelance graphic designers.

Check Out 99designs

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: $50 – $150 (assuming you already have a computer)

Time Commitment: High


6. T-Shirt Designer

T-shirts are still a hot commodity, despite thousands of established T-shirt makers already in business.

If your child enjoys drawing, you can help them get started selling their art on T-shirts. If they're interested in this, check out our guide on the best way to sell T-shirts online.

The best way to go about this is via dropshipping on a platform like Printful. You will need to help them set up on the platform and handle their sales and earnings.

Check Out Printful

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies (Low)

Time Commitment: Medium – High


7. Dog Walker

Another tried-and-true way for kids to make money is by walking dogs. This is probably better suited for older kids and teens who aren't afraid of animals.

This can be a good opportunity if there are a lot of dogs in your neighborhood and a lot of busy people. You will likely need to help your child initially to get clients.

Parents Needed: In some situations

Startup Costs: $5 – $20 (poop bags and a leash)

Time Commitment: Low – Medium (depending on client numbers)


8. Pet Washing

Pet washing is another of many good small business ideas for kids. As with dog walking, pet grooming is better for younger teens and older kids.

One thing to note is you will need a place to wash the pets, so make sure your child thinks about that and what products they will need for the startup.

Parents Needed: In some situations

Startup Costs: $15 – $50

Time Commitment: Low – Medium (depending on client numbers)


9. Pet Sitter

This is another of the pet-related small business ideas for kids. If you have neighbors that regularly travel, your child can offer pet sitting services.

This can range from hosting pets, if you are comfortable and have the space, to going to the client's house and taking care of them daily. 

Parents Needed: In some situations

Startup Costs: $0 – $20

Time Commitment: Low – High (depending on the arrangement)


10. Gift Wrapping Service Operator

Mom with daughter wrapping gifts after learning small business ideas for kids.

Gift wrapping can be an excellent seasonal small business idea for kids. During the holidays, you likely have busy neighbors that would pay to have gifts wrapped.

One thing to note is you will have to work with your child to make sure they can adequately wrap gifts. This may be a better idea for older kids and younger teens.

Parents Needed: No

Startup Costs: $15 – $50

Time Commitment: Medium – High


11. Soap Making

If your child has an interest in crafts, soap making can be a great venture. However, you will need to supervise this activity as lye and certain other chemicals involved in the process can be dangerous if mishandled.

You will also need to help your child set up on eCommerce platforms to sell their soap and accept payments.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: $100 – $300

Time Commitment: Medium – High


12. Coloring Book Designer

If your child has a talent for drawing and illustration, they could turn that into coloring book design.

In the beginning, this is likely something they will need to offer for free on a website. However, once you have traffic, you can begin selling full coloring books.

Parents Needed: At the beginning (website setup and payments)

Startup Costs: $20 – $50

Time Commitment: Medium – High


13. Leaf Removal

Few people enjoy raking leaves during the fall months when the weather is beginning to get cold. This creates a perfect opportunity for your child to do the work for them.

The startup costs for leaf removal are low, with only a rake and trash can. Your child can also use the leaves for composting, another of the small business ideas for kids we'll cover later on.

Parents Needed: No

Startup Costs: $10 – $20

Time Commitment: Medium


14. Actor

Acting is one of the small business ideas for kids that is location-dependent. You will likely only be able to find acting jobs in larger metropolitan areas with lots of films and commercials.

If you can find the work, acting can pay well. My own son was able to make over $2,000 for one commercial for a luxury housing development as an infant and more as he got older.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies (clothing and gas to get to auditions)

Time Commitment: High


15. Commercial Model

As with acting, modeling is one of the small business ideas for kids that depends heavily on where you live.

Commercial child models are used for advertising such as for clothing. This can pay very well, up to the thousands and tens of thousands for a day's work. However, competition is fierce.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies (clothing and gas to get to auditions)

Time Commitment: High


16. Pet Poop Cleaner

This is the last of the pet-related small business ideas for kids. It's also one that many people hate doing, presenting a good opportunity for your child to make money.

The startup costs are quite low, only a bucket and poop cleaner is needed. So, profit margins will be quite high. 

Parents Needed: In some situations

Startup Costs: $10 – $20

Time Commitment: Medium


17. Candy Maker

If your child has a knack for cooking, making candy could be a pretty sweet way for them to earn money. 

This is an idea better for older children and younger teens as it requires working with the stove and oven. It's also an activity you will likely want to supervise to avoid messes.

Parents Needed: In some situations

Startup Costs: $50 – $100

Time Commitment: Medium – High


18. Cake Decorator

As with candy making, cake decorating is one of the good small business ideas for kids that like baking and have an artistic flair.

You will need to help them the first few times to make sure to avoid messes. Also, there is a bit of startup cost involved in getting the right equipment.



Parents Needed: At the beginning

Startup Costs: $20 – $75

Time Commitment: Medium – High


19. Lemonade (or other drink) Stand

The old lemonade stand. As with chores, this is one of the original small business ideas for kids from time immemorial.

While this isn't going to pay your child's way through college, operating a lemonade stand can be a good way to teach them about business and saving money.

Parents Needed: In some situations

Startup Costs: $5 – $10

Time Commitment: Medium


20. Collecting Cans and Bottles

Aluminum can on the road.

Can and bottle collecting is another of the traditional small business ideas for kids. You likely have neighbors throwing out cans and bottles every day.

If your child can work out an agreement to collect these cans and bottles on specific days, they can profit while doing a good service for the climate and community.

Parents Needed: For transport to the recycling station

Startup Costs: $0

Time Commitment: Low


21. Live Streaming Video Games

If you have an older child or younger teen that's into video games, they could be making money live streaming on platforms like Twitch.

If they're interested in this route, check out our guide on how to make money playing video games.

There is some initial startup cost for this. They will need a relatively high spec computer for streaming along with a quality camera.

Parents Needed: No

Startup Costs: Varies greatly

Time Commitment: High (playing and promotion)


22. Selling Trading Cards

For kids and younger teens that enjoy sports and collecting sports cards, they can turn their hobby into a moneymaking endeavor.

Be forewarned that selling cards can easily turn into a money pit. You will need to work with your child to understand buying and selling and minimizing expenses.

Parents Needed: Yes (setting up on eCommerce sites)

Startup Costs: Varies greatly

Time Commitment: Medium – High


23. Building Websites

If you're looking for small business ideas for kids who enjoy technology, building websites can be a great option. The great part about this is it can eventually develop into a highly lucrative career.

There is a steep learning curve making this more suitable for younger teens. However, if your child can stick to learning, they will eventually be able to find work.

Parents Needed: No

Startup Costs: Varies greatly (depending on if you pay for courses)

Time Commitment: High


24. Washing Cars

Washing cars can be a fantastic way for kids to make money during the warmer months. You don't need a complete car washing setup either, just a garden hose and other equipment.

Make sure you work with your child to understand how profit margins work. Since they will be using your water they will need to understand all of the expenses that go into their new business.

Parents Needed: In some situations

Startup Costs: $20 – $50

Time Commitment: Medium


25. Selling on eBay

If your child has any hobbies that involve collecting things, they could turn that into making money on eBay.

As with many online platforms, you will need to help them with setting up their eBay account and opening a PayPal account. You will also need to manage the financial side of things.

Check Out eBay

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies greatly (based on the items they want to sell)

Time Commitment: Medium – High


26. Shoveling Snow

For the kids who choose to clean up leaves, the next logical step is to shovel snow during the winter months. The good thing is that equipment isn't too expensive so startup costs are low.

To further help your child, explain to them how to upsell clients on leaf cleanup and snow cleanup packages to make more money.

Parents Needed: No

Startup Costs: $10 – $20

Time Commitment: Medium – High


27. Window Washer

As with many of the other business ideas for kids so far, window washing is something most people don't enjoy are would be happy for someone else to do the job.

The startup costs are quite low, and business should be easy to come by as long as your child can be consistent and do a good job.

Parents Needed: No

Startup Costs: $20 – $40

Time Commitment: Medium – High


28. Social Media Graphics

Many businesses and individuals will pay good money for graphics they can share on social media. If your child has a knack for digital art, they could be making money from this talent.

You will need to help them accept payments and get set up on freelancing platforms. There are also some upfront and ongoing costs.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies greatly (a computer is necessary and software such as Adobe illustrator)

Time Commitment: Medium – High


29. Start an Etsy shop

If your child enjoys making things like jewelry, woodworks, or other homemade goods, they could make money from these on Etsy.

You will need to help them set up an account and accept payments. It's also likely they will need help with shipping items.

Check Out Etsy

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies greatly (depending on the items sold)

Time Commitment: Medium – High


30. Writing Books

Young girl at a table writing on a notebook.

Books aren't just for adults. There are many children who have made great money writing books for kids and young teens.

This can be a good way to teach your kid about persistence, as they will need it when trying to sell their book. They will also need your help with selling their book online.

Check out our guide on how to make money writing a book.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies greatly

Time Commitment: High


31. Garage Sale Arbitrage

Garage sales and estate sales are the perfect places to find undervalued items that can be sold online for a profit. 

You will need to help your child with this one. First, they will likely need help going to garage sales. However, you will also need to help them set up on eBay or similar platforms.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies greatly

Time Commitment: Medium


32. Composting Business

Composting involves recycling organic matter to be broken down and decomposed into useful fertilizer. 

This is one of the good small business ideas for kids that enjoy working outside and don't mind getting a little dirty. There is an upfront investment for a composting bin.

Parents Needed: No

Startup Costs: $50 – $150

Time Commitment: Low


33. Photography

Photography is another of the small business ideas for artistically inclined kids. The only downside to photography is that startup costs can be expensive.

There are various ways your child can make money through photography, ranging from working for clients to selling stock photography. It's likely they will need your help for transportation and setting up accounts on stock websites.

Parents Needed: Yes

Startup Costs: Varies greatly (hundreds to thousands)

Time Commitment: Mid – High

What makes a good business idea for kids and teens?

While there are endless possibilities to make money, small business ideas for kids are a bit more limited. 

There are certain criteria that an idea should meet to be a good fit for kids and younger teens.

Home-based or Easily Accessible

Since younger teenagers and kids can't yet drive, it's essential for any business they want to operate to be home-based or at the very least easily accessible.

There is always the possibility for you to take them where they need to go, but this isn't always going to be convenient or fit in with your schedule. 

Ideally, for non-home-based businesses, your child shouldn't need to go further than other houses in your neighborhood. The notable exceptions to this are ideas such as garage sale arbitrage, which require going places to pick up new inventory.

Low To No Financial Investment

Unless your child has been receiving an allowance regularly and has been very good about saving and not spending, they likely don't have much in the way of expendable income. 

This means that the best small business ideas for kids are those with low upfront investment costs unless you don't mind helping your child get started.

There are a few notable small business ideas for kids listed above that don't fully fit into this criteria. Notably, photography and graphic design can be quite costly to get started.

So, if your child is interested in starting one of these higher-cost businesses, just make sure they can follow through until they see a return.

Flexible Hours

The final thing you want to think about when considering small business ideas for kids is how much time commitment is involved.

It's likely your child has more going on than just trying to make money from a business. Between school, extracurricular activities such as athletics, and family time, they are quite likely already pressed for time.

So, the best businesses for kids will require a lower time commitment, or at the very least a flexible commitment.

Some examples of business ideas that require a lot of time would be affiliate marketing or website design. However, these also have quite a bit of flexibility, allowing your child to work when they can.

By keeping your child's business hours flexible, they will have plenty of time to complete their schoolwork and other work and still commit to their new business. 

One Final Consideration: Taxes

It's unfortunate, but you and your child will need to think about taxes. If you've been collecting income for your child from an online business, it's essential you keep proper records.

The best thing you can do is speak with a professional to make sure that your child is in compliance with taxes, otherwise, you could be liable for payment.

Make sure your child knows to put aside a certain percentage of the money they make to cover any tax liabilities they might incur from their business. Especially, if they are working online and taking electronic payments.

Final Thoughts On Small Business Ideas For Kids

There are plenty of small business ideas for kids. However, the main thing you want to ensure is that your child can commit to what they are doing long enough to learn and start seeing results.

It's important that your child understands any business they try and start is going to take persistence and patience. Learning this lesson early in their entrepreneurial endeavors will help them to succeed now and later in life.

Also, make sure your child understands business basics such as how to set their prices, sales, and marketing. These will be important skills and, while highly complex, can be broken down into bite-sized bits of helpful information geared towards helping them succeed.




Start a Business

By Devin Hargrove

Devin is a former journalist turned content writer and strategist.

He spends his time working with businesses to create content-forward marketing plans. On the side, he tinkers with authority and niche sites in between traveling with family.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

Yes! I Love to Learn

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