How to Start a Business as a Teen?

Starting a Business FOR TEENS:

There are many ways to make money as a teenager. This can include an allowance, or working as an employee for a company like McDonald’s. Or perhaps you found a gig with a trade, like I did when I was in high school. I worked alongside a carpenter as his assistant for $10 an hour. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s a lot more that you can do.

Not every teenager wants to be an employee. Some want to be the employer. I’m going to talk about potential businesses and side hustles that you can have, that you won’t see on every typical “business for teens” article.

How Much Time is Required for these businesses?

Obviously, you will have school to go to, and maybe even sports! It may be dark by the time you get out of your extracurricular activities. You can still run these businesses without interfering with school! Just remember, homework comes first!

Vending Machine Company

I began with this business because it requires the most capital to begin. If you don’t have a way to save several hundred dollars, then this will not be a good business for you to begin. Now, while this business requires more capital than the other ideas to begin, it also yields potentially bigger returns in the future. A vending machine business can lead to passive income that can provide many thousands of dollars a month through compounding. let me explain.

You can go online right now and buy a vending machine for $800. It’s not one of those bright, light-up, fancy vending machines that you might see in the mall. But it still gets the job done. It’s kind that you may see in school, or at the parts store down the road. That’s all you need to get started. Do the research on the kind of vending machine you want to buy, and then make the purchase.

Once you purchase the vending machine, you’re going to need to scout good locations in your area to put it. Find very busy locations, near stores. Don’t put it near restaraunts, but try shopping centers. Talk to the managers of the stores, a lot of them will be lenient and allow you to place your vending machine there either for a commission or a monthly fee. But this is the most important part: If you place the machine in a bad location, you will lose money in this business. However, if you find a great spot for your vending machine, it can produce good returns that pay back the cost of the machine fairly quickly.

Consider: It will be up to you to go to the store and buy the items to restock the vending machine every day, or every other day. If you don’t restock it for a couple days becaue you’re out of town, it’s perfectly fine, you just won’t be making money on it.

How Vending Machines can yield BIG returns in the long run:

Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.” -Albert Einstein

In the vending machine business compound can be put to work very quickly. Compounding is when you take the profits you receive to make even more profit.

Essentially, if you buy one vending machine for $800, and place it in a spot that produces $400 a month, you will bring home $400. Assuming the store manager takes a 10% cut, and food and drink takes $160, then you cash in $200. Do this for 4 months, and you have another $800. Instead of spending the money, save it so that you can buy another vending machine. Once you buy the second one in 4 months, you will need to buy double the drinks (assuming they are being bought up just as quickly as in the first location). That means you will be spending $320 on food and drink. But now you are getting $800 a month in revenue because now you have two vending machines! Let’s assume again that the manager charges a 10% commision, and you end up with $400 to take home. Now you can buy another vending machine twice as fast: In two months, you can have another vending machine instead of four. If you duplicate this process over and over again, you will have a fleet of vending machines possibly generating a full-time income in your twenties.

Obviously, it can get pretty busy keeping all of the vending machines filled. This is where things can turn into a full-fledged business. Outsource the work to other teenagers looking for work. You can pay them to keep the vending machines stocked, and you can continue to build up your business!

Lawn Care Business

A lot of people get turned off by the idea of mowing lawns, because that is the typical job for people that are “too young to work”. There is a lot more that you can do though!

If you mow someone’s lawn, you can bring in between $40-$60 on average. Now what if you add in other forms of lawn care?

  • Edging
  • Trimming
  • Weedeating
  • Pruning
  • Fertilization

I didn’t say a Mowing Business, I said a Lawn Care Business. For everything that you do, that’s extra that you can charge. And the best part is the recurring income. If people like your work, then they want you to come back again in a few weeks. You can easily earn a full-time income once you get ten customers or so!

Obbiously, you’ll need money to buy the items needed for everything on the list. But pruners are cheap, tools to trim are cheap, and if you have a lawn mower that’s all you need to get started! Buy the other tools when you can.


This is for the people that don’t want to be involved in hiring help, and for the people who have a knack for buying and reselling. You can flip anything you want. People flip motorcycle parts, entire cars, online domains, games, real estate. Whenever you’re in the flipping business, you get into whatever you’re interested in.

For example, last week I bought a GMC Denali from an auction for $1800. The Denali was missing two tires and had a bad battery, but everything else was great. We put two tires on it, put a new battery in it, and in the end had about $2200 in it. In my area, Denali’s of that same year in similar shape are selling for about $4000. If I sell it for $4000 that’s almost a 100% profit!

That is what is so good about flipping. If you know what you’re doing, you can make a really quick profit.

Affiliate Marketing

This is the last option. This is definitely the uncommon option for most teenagers, but it can be the most rewarding. You can purchase a domain with hosting for under $100, and then you can begin your path towards making money from affiliate marketing and adsense!

Affiliate marketing is essentially when a company gives you a product, and it is up to your to advertise the product. it can be on social media, a website, or wherever you can get the word out. If someone goes through your link and buys the product, then you will receive a commission for each sale. The percentage ranges depending on the program you choose, since there are hundreds of programs out there. It typically ranges between 2-15%.

If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, I either suggest affiliatemarketingmc on Youtube, or Wealthy Affiliate: a community of affiliate marketers of all levels; some new, some that are generating thousands of dollars every month. I took the route of Wealthy Affiliate. If you want to follow in my footsteps then you can sign up here

Starting a business as a teen isn’t just a way to make money, it’s a way to set yourself up for the rest of your life. A lot of people begin businesses as a teenager, and they continue it after their high school days and they grow it bigger and bigger. There are many other businesses that a teenager can have but these four are staples for teenagers nowadays, and they are all efficient ways to make money.