business ideas for kids
Updated April 09, 2020

51 Small Business Ideas for Kids

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Starting a business is an incredible opportunity for children to not only earn income but also learn valuable life skills.

And when it comes to entrepreneurship, kids these days have far more options than the lemonade stand of old.

As a parent, be sure to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of your child based on their strengths, knowledge, preferences, and even artistic inclinations.

Check It Out: Once your child starts earning money, he or she can start contributing to a Roth IRA.  Here’s how.

1. Candy Business

Anything bought in bulk can be sold for a profit, and reselling merchandise will teach children about price calculation, marketing strategies, and communication skills.

Given that it’s easy to find affordable bulk candy packages, a candy business can be a great opportunity for children to resell their favorite treats to their schoolmates or neighbors.

Peter Koch over at Dollar Sanity actually got his first taste of entrepreneurship from his childhood candy business.

2. Acting

Child actors are sought for commercials, clips, documentaries, movies, and even voiceovers.

If your kid has the talent and the stage presence, you may want to consider the idea.

Television acting can pay really well and you can save the money for an investment in your child’s future.

3. Lemonade Stand

While the lemonade stand has turned into somewhat of a cliché in the world of small business ideas for kids, it’s still a great choice for youngsters.

Good to Know: A little bit of help from an adult will be required in terms of getting permits and developing the right lemonade recipes. Retail skills and customer service play a key role in business development, which is why acquiring such skills in childhood can be great.

4. Illustration Services

Many authors of children’s books are actually looking for illustrations created by kids.

There are also various international contests that drawings can be submitted to.

These contests offer various types of prizes,  from cash to scholarships and even international travel opportunities.

Winning one of these contests could open doors to more lucrative opportunities for your child.

5. Mowing Lawns

As far as business ideas for kids go, this is another classic. Mowing neighborhood lawns is a great choice for the summer.

Help your child determine what the charge is going to be and whether they’d be offering additional services — gardening, leaf raking, an outdoor cleanup, etc.

6. Pet Care

Pet sitting, dog walking, and other jobs involving animals are both fantastic business ideas for kids.

Taking care of another living being can teach children a lot about responsibility.

As with other service businesses on this list, work with your young one to determine and price out their menu of services.

Some of the tasks that kids could handle include pet sitting, walking, cleanup after pets, pet bathing and grooming, and even pet training (kids who have their own pets will already know how to do that).

Who knows?  Your child’s love for serving animals could result in a lifelong career interest.

7. Selling Used Books

Does your household have a bit too many children books?

Chances are, you and your children will only care about keeping the ones that have sentimental value with the majority ending up donated at some point.

So rather than give these books to Goodwill or the Salvation Army for them to sell at 100% profit margins, why not encourage your children to make money selling them?

Of course, as your kids grow older, they can expand their enterprise used textbooks or study guides.  The demand for these is very high because more and more students are opting to purchase textbooks used rather than buying them now.

8. Blogging

Kids that like to write and create multimedia can be particularly successful in the online realm.

The topic should be something your child is interested in — but also something many other people are interested in as well.

Definitely encourage your child’s zanier creative outlets, but be realistic with them when it comes to starting a business and doing a market analysis.

Placing ads on a blog is a good choice for income generation because of the simplicity and the reward children will grow in the end.

As they grow older and their audience expands, alternative monetization possibilities such as affiliate marketing can be sought.

9. Babysitting

The best business ideas for kids to make money will solve a problem that adults may have, and all parents of young children need babysitting every now and then.

Of course, a babysitter will be responsible for taking care of other little humans, so it’s probably best to carefully evaluate your child’s maturity before signing off on their next babysitting gig.

10. Doing Chores

There could be a set fee being paid to youngsters for handling specific tasks — laundry, sorting clothes, doing backyard work, cooking a family meal, etc.

Keep in mind you should not pay kids for responsibilities like maintaining their room clean. If you do, you’ll teach them that they shouldn’t handle such tasks unless a payment is provided.

11. Tutoring

Children who excel academically in one subject or another could provide tutoring services to their classmates.

As already mentioned, solid small business ideas for kids are based on their strengths and knowledge.

12. Doing Online Surveys

Some prominent online survey websites are available to individuals aged 13 and up.

Teens can earn some extra cash by completing paid surveys.

Note that the payouts are relatively low but the surveys take only minutes to complete. In time, the amount can easily add up.

Survey Junkie is a survey site that allows teengers to sign up.

13. Shoveling Snow

While gardening is a suitable kid’s business idea for the summer, shoveling snow is a great alternative for the winter. You can help your kids promote their services by designing flyers together and distributing those in the neighborhood. Soon, neighbors will learn about the availability of such assistance and the phone calls will start coming in.

14. Newspaper Delivery

While we love innovative entrepreneurial ideas, we also enjoy the classics in terms of business ideas for kids. Newspaper delivery is definitely a childhood occupation and one of the first job-related experiences that many adults have had.

Good to Know: Doing the job is great because it will necessitate approximately 30 minutes to one hour of involvement per day.

Advantage: Holding such a job at a young age teaches responsibility, discipline, and effective time management. Collecting fees door to door in the end of the month is the sweetest part of the entire experience.

15. Making Basic Jewelry

Most kids collect seashells, snail shells, pebbles or minerals. These collections can easily be monetized. Crafty children can start making their own jewelry that they’ll get to sell to other kids or to neighbors. Eventually, a website can be created for the purpose of selling jewelry online and reaching a larger audience.

16. House Sitting

Because of the responsibility involved, this business idea for kids is best for teenagers. It may be wise to start with the houses of family members and close friends. House sitting is relatively easy but some discipline will be required to handle all tasks.

Good to Know: A few of the issues teens will have to deal with include basic cleanup, watering plants, taking care of the garden, bringing in mail, and eventually – taking care of pets.

17. Social Media Management

As far as small business ideas for kids go, this is a great choice for tech-savvy teenagers. Social media management is natural for those who have grown up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There could be various local businesses interested in reaching a more youthful audience. As a result, such companies wouldn’t mind partnering up with a teenage digital wizard.

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to learn a bit more about Facebook monetization and digital marketing before doing job pitches.

18. Helping Seniors

Charging a small amount to help seniors in the neighborhood is another great idea for youngsters. Older people may need assistance with grocery shopping, meal prep, small everyday chores, walking around, and cleaning their house.

Good to Know: Some of them could even be looking for someone to read them or take them out for a walk. The job is great because it teaches children to care for others, build lasting relationships, and anticipate the needs of those who may experience certain kinds of limitations.

19. Pool Cleaning

A sub-division of backyard maintenance, pool cleaning is a perfect summer job for kids.

20. Video Creation

Video clips can easily be monetized. We’ve already talked about making money watching videos and this is another great opportunity. Children who can work on animated clips, shorts documentaries, funny clips or how-to guides can easily monetize those.

Pro Tip: YouTube video creators can earn a lot and the creation of a channel can eventually turn into a nice passive income generation option.

21. T-Shirt Design

Artistic children can design clothing items and sell those for cash.

You can learn more about how to make money selling t-shirts online here.

22. Podcasting

As far as viable digital business ideas for kids go, podcasting ranks among the greatest opportunities. There are a few technical aspects an adult may need to handle. In fact, podcasting can quickly turn into a fun activity for the entire family that comes with the added bonus of income generation.

23. Balloon Artist

Balloon artists are often invited to events, birthdays and special family occasions. Kids who are skilled may print out flyers, distribute those in the neighborhood, and get invited as entertainers to neighborhood events.

24. Magician

Continuing from the previous idea, those who are skilled illusionists can also pursue an entertainment job in the local neighborhood.

25. Gift Wrapping Service Provider

This option ranks among the best seasonal small business ideas for kids. The holidays result in added stress for many families.

Good to Know: Hiring a little helper to handle a tedious aspect of Christmas preparation will free up a lot of time for other activities. Hence, the demand for gift wrapping service operators is going to be high during December.

We have a range of additional Christmas income generation ideas you can explore here.

26. Musician

A continuation of the entertainment theme, children who are musically-inclined can offer services at local celebrations and earn money.

27. Baked Goods Maker

Many kids exhibit exceptional culinary talents. Those who like to bake have a great business concept to explore. Baked goods can be sold locally or they could be sold online.

Pro Tip: The key here is to shop smart and help your children develop a brand (for example, through colorful packaging) that stands out.

28. Greeting Card Maker

Drawing talent can be monetized in several ways. Apart from selling their illustrations, children can start their own line of greeting cards.

Good to Know: Great business ideas for kids can focus on service provision or product development (or both). Greeting cards can be sold within the local community or you can explore online platforms for the purpose.

29. Gift Basket Creator and Deliverer

Does your child have a special gift basket idea? Help them bring the concept to fruition. Making gift baskets and providing delivery services can result in some nice income generation at an early age.

Here are a few additional great hobby ideas that can generate money.

30. Recyclable Material Collection

Collecting recyclable materials teaches children about being environmentally-responsible and about earning an income at the same time. The collection of recyclable materials in the neighborhood can be monetized when these are taken to a recycling center.

Good to Know: Not only is this a great business idea for kids, it also increases activity levels and can turn into a family bonding experience.

31. Selling Items on eBay

Holding on to items that are no longer needed can result in tons of clutter and mess. Ask your kids to sort through their belonging and identify the ones they no longer want. Knowing these items can earn them money will act as an additional source of motivation.

Good to Know: Selling on eBay will teach children entrepreneurial skills, marketing, and effective communication with potential customers.

32. Car Washing

The range of neighborhood service business ideas for kids is immense. Car washing in the summer is a quick and easy activity. Help your kids determine how much they’re going to charge and what the best marketing method for their services is.

33. Computer and Gadget Repair

Computer repair is a job idea for teens but some younger kids are actual tech geniuses who can complete the task successfully. Many adults struggle with computers, gadgets, and wearable tech that has stopped working.

Pro Tip: If your child has sufficient hardware knowledge, a successful repair business can be set up at home.

34. Party Decoration and Planning Assistance

Who doesn’t love working on party planning? Often, families run out of time when planning birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.

Good to Know: Children can help with venue decoration, table set up, music selection and even greeting arriving guests while adults handle more strategic aspects of the process.

35. House Painting

There’s no need for additional explanation, as far as this small business idea for kids, is there?

36. Video Game Live Streaming

Yes, you can get paid to play video games. Kids who love the video game experience could do live streams and upload those to YouTube or other platforms.

Pro Tip: Entertaining and strategic video gaming is a popular genre. Many will be interested in watching such videos and advertising monetization opportunities will be easy to pursue.

One thing to keep in mind is that gaming can quickly become addictive. Come up with a daily schedule that results in more balanced everyday activities that include sports and sufficient outdoor time.

37. A Local Food Growing Business

Starting a vegetable garden in your backyard will teach children a lot about food production. On top of that, the produce can be sold locally.

Pro Tip: It doesn’t take a lot to start a garden – you’ll need some seeds and fertilizer. If you’re looking for minimum investment small business ideas for kids that can grow quickly, this one would be a great choice.

38. Advertising Space Seller

Is your child known for riding their bike around town? The two of you can easily turn a favorite activity in a viable business concept. Offer mobile advertising space for sale to local companies and service providers. Depending on your approach and strategy, you can quickly win a sufficient number of loyal customers.

39. Organizing Puppet Shows

A kid can put on a puppet show for the neighbors and earn money. Performance art passion is relatively easy to monetize, especially if your child is talented. Entertainment opportunities will always attract crowds, especially when they’re properly advertised.

40. Music Lessons

Apart from playing music at events, talented children can also start a music lessons business. If you do a bit of online search, you’ll come across dozens of such stories. Some children make 20 dollars per hour and even more teaching others to play the piano, guitar, violin, and various other instruments.

41. Writing Books

Numerous kids become published authors at a tender age. Children benefit from their limitless imagination and the fact that they haven’t become accustomed to social conventions. Encourage your child to continue writing and seek expert opinion on the quality of the work.

Good to Know: Self-publishing eBooks ranks among the best online business ideas and you can easily turn your child’s talent into a family venture.

42. Device Set Up

What happens when the nice senior lady living next door gets a new computer? She’ll probably ask for set up and installation assistance. Many children are naturally talented in the technical realm. Such children can start a device set up business.

Good to Know: Depending on the size of the local community and the age of the residents, the idea can expand into a solid business quickly.

43. A Photography Business

Photo creation for money ranks among the best small business ideas for kids. The easiest way to get started is to sell licensed photographs via stock image portals. A larger portfolio of images will quickly turn into a great passive income generation option.

44. Garage Sales

How many items do you have collecting dust around the house? Put your child in charge of organizing a garage sale. Garage sales provide business ideas for kids to make money and they also result in a much more pleasant living environment.

45. A Cleaning Business

This small business idea for kids is similar to doing chores but it can be turned into a niche venture.

Obtain environment-friendly cleaning supplies and advertise your green cleaning company in the neighborhood.

46. Moving Assistant

Helping someone pack their belongings and move can be expanded into a childhood business. Moving can be both stressful and costly. This is why many families seek affordable moving solutions. The key to growing this business idea is intense neighborhood networking.

47. Post-Construction Cleanup

On a similar note, home renovations and construction leave a massive mess behind. Few people have the time and the desire to deal with the chaos. Thus, a wonderful kid business niche emerges.

48. Selling Homemade Jam

This is a continuation of the baked goods opportunity and it works in the exact same way.

49. A Knitting Business

Handmade accessories and clothes like scarves, hats, gloves, jumpers, and cardigans are in high demand.

Kids who love knitting are at an advantage – they are already excelling in the creation of items that can be sold.

Knitted items and clothes can easily be sold online for cash.

50. Handcrafted Wedding Invitation Business

Young artists and those who enjoy calligraphy can start a budget-friendly wedding invitation business that financially-pressed couples will favor over other solutions.

51. Non-Profit Work

Sometimes, business ideas for kids don’t have to be focused on monetization. Non-profit work teaches children about values and idealism.

Good to Know: If there’s a cause your child is passionate about, you should encourage volunteer work.

Such type of work is beneficial in several ways – it results in a high level of satisfaction, it looks good on a resume, and it can make a range of educational opportunities available in the future.

A Few Final Essentials to Keep in Mind

Small business ideas for kids can be monetized easily, as long as you’re pursuing the right concept.

While considering the best activity to turn into a business is essential, you’ll have to keep a few practical essentials in mind.

The Internal Revenue Service requires all tax payers to file a tax return and pay their taxes, regardless of age.

Here’s some more information on filing tax returns for minor children.

  • If you ignore this essential because the sum is a relatively small one, you may face stiff penalties in the future.
  • It’s also a good idea to calculate the business starting expenses in advance.
  • You may have to invest in some equipment, a website, and advertising materials like flyers.
  • Show your child how budgeting works to teach them financial responsibility at an early age.

Based on this information, kids will later on get to determine just how profitable their business is.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun.

Bonus Tip: Small business ideas for kids should be more focused on the acquisition of skills and the pursuing of a passion than on money. Turn the project into an enjoyable activity for the entire family – amazing bonding opportunities will arise out of business concept development.

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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