How to Start a Business as a Teen

With the many requirements and legalities vital for a business, starting a business (how to start a business at 17 years old) can be an intimidating process to anyone, especially a teen. However, with the right guidance, attitude, zeal and hard work starting a business can be such a fulfilling and life-changing journey for a teen

Whether it is to finance your movie dates, lunch hangouts, trip to the mall with friends or to pay for that summer trip you and your friends have been planning for a while now; you are going to need money. Sometimes, your parents will not be able to finance your activities therefore as a teen, you will need to figure out alternative ways of how to make money. 

Besides financing your fun activities, starting a business can be beneficial to you as a teenager in other ways such as;

Running a business will teach you important life skills such as time and money management, communication skills and accountability. 

  • Helps to enrich your skills, talents and abilities. 
  • Helps in raising money for your college tuition fee. 

The most popular way is to get a summer job, however, if you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you can decide to venture into your own business. Lots of teenagers have done it before and some have become successful and so can you. 

To help you out, in this article we are going to highlight how to start a business as a teen; what you need and a few examples of business ideas. 

Step by Step Guide on Starting a Business as a Teen 

Step 1: Set out the Basics

Brainstorm on ideas

The most common type of businesses teenagers engage in (small business ideas for 17-year-old) are those providing basic everyday services such as babysitting, pet walking, running errands, etc. However, you could choose to go beyond that and get into the business of selling products or offering professional services such as photography and lawn mowing. While brainstorming on ideas, you should put into consideration your interests, experience, knowledge, skills and talents. 

Carry out market research

In every market, there is a possibility of having two or more businesses offering the same products and services as you. Therefore, before anything else, you need to conduct market research to help you determine;

  • Your target market: 
  • Your competitors; figure out their strengths and weaknesses to enable you to identify your opportunities and possible threats.  

By clearly understanding your business environment, you will be able to come up with a business plan that will drive your business to success. 

Decide on a name

Brainstorm on possible business names keeping in mind that the name you choose for your business has to be clear on what your business is all about. Keep the business name short and simple. It helps your clients to remember your brand. 

To avoid confusion, ensure there is no other business that has the same name as your business. you can easily find this out by doing a quick search on the internet

Businesses, whether they are run by an adult or a teenager are guided by some laws therefore, you need to ensure you register your business to make it legal. 

While small businesses such as pet walking and babysitting do need you to set up a whole registered business, others such as starting a cloth line business or professional photography need to be registered. You can have an adult to help you with this process.  

Step 2: Strategize


How much you require to start a business varies from one business to another. Regardless, you need to have some money to be able to get your business up and running. As a teenager, you might not have the required capital upfront, this should not discourage you. You could choose to ask for help from your parents or mentor or, you could get online and do some easy tasks that will enable you to earn money fast such as taking online surveys and testing websites. 

While at it, ensure that you come up with a simple but detailed budget plan for your business. This not only helps with record-keeping but also accountability to yourself and any potential investors. 

Decide on a work schedule 

As a teenager, you have other engagements such as school work, helping at home as well as you also need time to hang out with your friends. Similarly, some states have rules governing businesses that are run by school kids, they state that no business should be run during school hours or later than 10 pm during a school night. 

Therefore, be thoughtful and strategic when deciding on your working days and hours. 

Acquire equipment

Businesses such as photography, car wash or lawn mowing will require you to purchase some basic equipment to start with. Ensure to be mindful of your budget when making first purchases. If you can find good quality second-hand equipment, then go ahead and buy those to help save on money. You should also strive to make do with what you already have at home by asking your parents to lend you the equipment for your business.


Marketing is a crucial aspect of any business, startup or not. It is how you get to spread the word of what you have to offer. If you are targeting to reach clients beyond your area of operation, you can easily market your products and services online on social media platforms. If your target clients are mostly people within your local area, you can market your business by going door to door handing out flyers, business cards and brochures. 

Having accomplished the above steps, the next thing to do is to launch your business. 

Running a business can become overwhelming sometimes, when it does, take a break and strategize. Do not be ashamed to ask for guidance or help when you need it. 

In Conclusion

Teen run businesses are not so different from other businesses. However, the greatest advantage of starting a business as a teenager is that being young, you have the opportunity and leeway of making mistakes. It is how you learn and how you can shape up your business for future success. Therefore, put aside your doubts and start that business now. 

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  1. […] Most successful business people, for example Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg started out when they were teenagers. Therefore, being a teenager should not hinder you from starting your business (how to start a business as a teenager). […]