7 Home Business Ideas for Teens

How Teens can Make Extra Money from Home or College

Teen home business owner
Teens can build successful home businesses too. Credit: Peter Dazeley | Getty Images

If adults are bemoaning the tough job market, consider the challenge for teens. In a bad economy, entry-level jobs are often taken by out-of-work adults, leaving no opportunities for teenager. As dependents, teens have people to care for them, but when you consider the cost of maintaining a car or saving for college, you recognize the importance of a job for teens.

But like adults who’ve turned to home business in a tough economy, so too can teens. Here are 7 home business ideas teens can use to make money.

Please note, that just because the owner is a teenager, it doesn’t mean that rules of operating a business, including taxes, don't apply. Teen business owners need to follow the steps to setting up a business and paying taxes, just as adult owners do.

Etsy for Artistic Teens

Craft Business Idea
Sell your home made crafts. Credit: Masko | Getty Images

For crafty teens, Etsy is a great way to make money from their creations. The possibilities are plenty, from crafts, jewelry, paper-goods, swag, house wares, candles, and even edible goods such as jam. Esty takes a small listing and payment processing fee, but in turn offers a complete storefront, including shopping cart and payment collection.

To earn a profit, teens need to make sure they find a low cost source of materials, and price their items in such a way as to cover their time and expenses.

More Information:

Home Business Ideas for Creative People

Sell Used and Unwanted Stuff on eBay

Start Your Own Profitable eBay Store. Allison Michael Orenstein | Getty Images

One of the best ways to motivate a teen to clean their room, is the promise of money made on the items they can sell on eBay. Since many teens like name brand items, they have an inventory they can sell online. Once they’ve sold their unwanted items, they can declutter the house by selling other unused items in the family.

Beyond cleaning the house, the teen can identify items that sell well and then search for a source of low-cost inventory. For example, if designer t-shirts sell well, the teen can visit consignment and thrift stores for used tees to sell on eBay.

More information:

Make a Living Selling on eBay

I Want an eBay Business, But How Do I Start?

Social Media Assistant

social media
Help businesses engage and connect on social media. freedigitalphotos.net/jscreationzs

If there is one business teens are naturally fitted to, it’s social media assistant. Businesses know they need to use social media to reach their market, but often are confused and overwhelmed by it. Teens active on social media can help. They can focus on one platform, such as helping businesses promote on Instegram, or they can manage conversations on multiple networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

It will be important for the teen to be professional and polite when posting on behalf of a business. More than one business has been hurt by a social media assistant posting something inappropriate.

More Information:

Start a Social Media Management Business


teen tutoring home business
Teens make great tutors. Credit: Prasit photo | Getty Images

Many students need extra help in school, and older teen students are a great resource for help. Often children are more likely to listen to someone nearer to their age, and teens are closer to having learned the material, making tutoring a win-win for both.

Beyond basic academic tutoring, teens can teach other skills, such as computer use, piano or other musical instrument, art, SAT/ACT testing, etc. Any skill the teen does well can be taught to someone else.

Jack/Jill of All Trades or Assistant

Teenager with handyman business
Teens can be handy assistants. Credit: Barry Willis | Getty Images

I spent a summer working for my aunt and uncle doing a host of tasks, including cooking, cleaning, errand running, baby sitting, computer work, and more. Teens are a great resource for help around the house from folding laundry, weeding the garden, painting a room, organizing and just about anything else that needs to be done.

Teens can be put to work in a home office as well, doing research, filing, organizing, and even virtual support work.

Child Care/Babysitter

Teen babysitting business
Teenagers make great caregivers. Credit: 3bugsmom | Getty Images

Babysitting and retail work tends to be the go-to income producer for children. It’s ideal because it’s flexible and in need. During the summer months, teens can help working parents by offering care when the kids are out of school.

Teens with good driving records can do more than just sit home and entertain the kids. They can take them to summer camp, outdoor activities, to the park and pool and more. They can demand a higher income if they organize enriching activities, such as arts and crafts.

House/Pet Sitter

Teen petting siting business
Pet sitting is a flexible, fun home business for teens. Credit: Lucy Lambriex | Getty Images

Like babysitting, house and pet sitting are ideal home businesses for teens. They’re flexible and in high need, especially during the summer months when people travel. House sitting can involve staying at the house or simply stopping by once or twice a day. Usually house sitters check the mail, bring in the paper, water the plants, and sometimes take care of pets.

Similarly, pet sitters can stay at the house or visit a couple times a day to check on the animals. Along with feeding, pet sitters are expected to walk the dog and spend time with the pets, petting and/or playing with them.

More Information:

Pet Sitting Services

6 Home Business Ideas for Pet Lovers