100 Business Ideas with Low Startup Costs

Updated February 16, 2023

You may have dreams of starting a company but would like to keep your overhead costs low while you build your business. Starting a business does not have to be expensive. With a small investment, you can launch a business doing something you enjoy. In this article, we will explore some business ideas with low startup costs.

Related: 40 Great Business Ideas You Can Start Today

100 business ideas with low startup costs

Here are 100 business ideas you can start with only a small financial investment:

1. Accounting and bookkeeping

Use your training and experience as an accountant or bookkeeper to offer your services to individuals or businesses.

2. Online affiliate sales

If you have a growing online platform, partner with businesses who can sell related content through your site.

3. Airbnb host

Rent living space out to guests whether it's a room or an entire apartment or house.

4. Antique refurbishing

Repair or refurbish customers' antique items.

5. Mobile app development

Use training you have, or train yourself, to write apps for phones or tablets.

6. Babysitter

If you love children, consider setting up a babysitting business.

Related: 14 Small Business Ideas for Teenagers

7. Baker

Put your baking skills to use selling your freshly baked goods.

8. Blogger

Write about things you know and care about, and monetize your content.

9. Brewing beer

Buy a starter kit, hone your flavor and sell your own beer.

10. Car washing and detailing

With basic cleaning tools, you can offer services cleaning and detailing cars.

11. Career adviser

If you've had success advising friends and family on their careers, you could turn this into a business.

12. Caregiver

With the appropriate training, credentials, permits and a love for the elderly, you could hire yourself out as a caregiver.

13. Carpet cleaner

Make a small investment in the appropriate equipment and start a business cleaning carpets.

14. Caterer

Use your culinary skills or experience to make food for events or special occasions.

15. Tailor

Monetize your expertise with a needle and thread to mend and make clothes.

16. Sports coach

If you love sports and play well, you could coach players or teams.

17. Coffee cart operator

Cafes and coffee shops can have a higher overhead, so start small with a coffee cart.

18. College counselor

Contract with colleges to discuss admissions, financial aid and careers with students.

19. Computer technician

You can either leverage skills from your IT job or take some classes to learn how to diagnose and fix computers.

20. Computer trainer

Teach computer skills to children, retirees and anyone else who needs to keep up with technology.

21. Customer service contractor

Work with businesses to fill their customer service representative needs.

22. Courier

Delivering messages and packages can be a good way to start a business requiring little more than a vehicle.

23. Dance teacher

You might have dance training in your past that you can now use to teach others.

24. Data analyst

If you're good with numbers and analyzing data, you could contract your services to businesses.

25. DJ

With knowledge of mixing, sound design and production, start a business as a professional DJ.

26. Dog walker

Leverage your love of dogs by offering your services to dog owners who need help to walk their pets during workdays or vacations.

27. Author

Writing a book takes time and talent, but if you have both you could pursue a self-publishing career.

28. Online reseller

Make use of online auctions and marketplaces to buy and resell items.

29. Event planner

Use your organizational skills to help people plan birthdays, concerts, corporate events and other occasions.

30. Flea market vendor

Flea markets, craft markets and similar venues are good start-up opportunities to sell your merchandise in person.

31. Artist

If you have artistic skills, you can get started with just a small investment in supplies such as pencils, paint or clay.

32. Flower arranger

With skill as a floral arrangement and a good supplier, you can start a business designing bouquets and displays.

33. Custom software developer

Hire yourself out as a freelance software developer for private individuals and businesses.

34. Proofreader or editor

If you have language expertise, and can accurately detect grammatical errors and typos, consider being a proofreader or editor.

35. Copywriter

Use your love of writing to create content for various business websites or magazines.

36, Furniture maker

Turn a carpentry hobby into a business making custom furniture to sell from your home.

37. Ghostwriter

If you can research and write, you could make a business writing books for CEOs, executives and other non-writers.

38. Graphic designer

Apply your artistic abilities to creating logos or branding designs.

39. Greeting card writer

Use your skill with words and poetry to earn money writing greeting cards.

40. Hairstylist

Put your training as a cosmetologist to use and freelance as a hairstylist.

41. Home appraiser

With the appropriate credentials and market knowledge, you could become an independent home appraiser.

42. Housecleaner

If you enjoy cleaning, with some basic supplies you could start a house cleaning business.

43. Home maintenance

Start a home repair business with tools you may already have and, perhaps, certifications for plumbing and electrical systems.

44. Painter and decorator

The cost of supplies and perhaps a van can start you on a career painting and decorating houses.

45. Housesitter

Take care of people's houses while they are away.

46. Human billboard

This is a simple business idea that's inexpensive to start if you have a fairly outgoing personality.

47. Junk remover

All you need is a truck and equipment like wheelbarrows and rakes to launch a business taking away people's trash.

48. Landscaper

If you have a green thumb and basic gardening supplies, consider beginning a landscaping business.

49. Makeup artist

Go freelance with your cosmetics skills working on photo shoots and special events.

50. Jewelry maker

If you can make hand-made jewelry, there are many outlets where you can sell your products.

Related: Top 50 Small Business Ideas for You

51. Laundry service

Picking up and washing laundry for clients can be a profitable business with little cash investment necessary.

52. Model

With the right look, attitude and a portfolio of pictures, you could become an independent model.

53. Musician

Play for events or gigs to build a business.

54. Music teacher

Pass on your musical skills to students working either from a studio or your home.

55. Notary Public

There are initial requirements to fulfill, but a notary can be a full-time business.

56. Podcaster

If you have something to say and can draw an audience, you could become a full-time podcaster.

57. Online teacher

Teach online courses in something about which you are skilled and passionate.

58. Personal chef

Help out busy families by cooking meals for them.

59. Personal trainer

Partner with a local gym, work at a park or offer virtual sessions giving strength and fitness training to clients.

60. Pet groomer

Appropriate training, a license and grooming tools are all you need to get started in business.

61. Petsitter

If you love animals, you can make a business out of looking after clients' pets.

62. Photographer

With a high-quality camera, you can offer your services photographing weddings and other events.

63. Pool cleaner

With the appropriate pool cleaning equipment, you can start building your client list.

64. Public speaker

Look for paying opportunities to speak publicly about a subject in which you have expertise.

65. Real estate consultant

If you know the real estate business, you can set yourself up as a consultant.

66. Recycler

Start a business gathering and selling recyclable materials.

67. ESL teacher

Teach English as a second language to overseas students over the internet.

68. Resume coach

Help job seekers write and design attractive resumes.

69. SAT tutor

Tutor high school students to prepare for their SATs.

70. Scrapbook maker

Use your scrapbooking skills to help clients preserve their memories.

71. Fashion designer and maker

Create your own fashions and sell through online vendors.

72. Life insurance salesperson

If you have an outgoing personality, you could become state certified and sell life insurance.

73. Snowplow driver

This is a good business opportunity for those living in colder parts of the country.

74. Social media consultant

Help businesses build their brands on popular social media sites.

75. Social media influencer

Use your social media platform to help other businesses attract attention.

76. Dating consultant

Apply your matchmaking skills to bring couples together online.

77. Tax consultant

Use your knowledge of the tax system to help businesses and individuals file tax returns.

78. Tour guide

This is a good business idea if you live in a popular city and know your way around.

79. Translator

If you're at least bi-lingual, establish yourself as a translator for individuals or businesses.

80. Travel consultant

Turn your love of travel and your experience getting great deals into a service.

81. T-shirt designer

Design and sell custom t-shirts through online services.

82. Seasonal decoration artisan

Whatever the holiday, use your crafting skills to make appropriate decorations.

83. Private taxi driver

If you have a car in good working order, you could contract with a private taxi service as a driver.

84. Vehicle advertiser

Use your vehicle as a mobile advertising space for businesses.

85. Virtual assistant

Work from home helping busy professionals with their email, scheduling, communications and social media.

86. Voice-over talent

If you have an engaging speaking voice, start a business doing voice-overs.

87. Web designer

Create good-looking, easy-to-use web experiences for your clients.

88. Website developer

Code websites that perform to your clients' specifications.

89. Window cleaner

Contract with local businesses to clean their windows.

90. Dropshipper

Use your e-commerce site as a conduit for vendors to sell their products.

91. Yoga instructor

Either work with a local yoga studio or offer in-home personalized classes.

92. Vlogger

Start a monetized video channel with one of the popular platforms.

93. Car seller

If you're good at finding car deals, form a business buying and reselling cars.

94. Electronics reseller

Create a business buying faulty electronics then refurbishing and reselling them.

95. Domain name trader

Create website domain names that you can sell.

96. Property manager

Take over the administration and maintenance of rental properties.

97. Errand runner

Run errands for clients, such as picking up laundry or grocery shopping.

98. Stock photographer

Take quality photographs and sell to stock photo companies.

99. Investor

Play the stock market, With the appropriate expertise and licensing, consider offering consulting services for clients.

100. Commission-based salesperson

Connect with start-ups and be a salesperson for their brands.


Explore more articles

  • How To Make a Change in Leadership Announcement
  • Normalization Formula: How To Use It on a Data Set
  • 55 Hard Work Quotes To Motivate You
  • How To Change the Language in Chrome in Windows and Mac®
  • How To Insert a Checkbox in Word (With 2 Methods and Tips)
  • How To Create a Custom Function in Excel in 11 Steps
  • 5 Congratulatory Note and Email Examples (With Tips)
  • Venn Diagram: Definition, Types and What It's Used For
  • How To Conduct an Effective 1-on-1 (With Example Topics)
  • 10 Types of Essays: Examples and Purposes of Each
  • 80 Strategic Questions to Ask Your Mentor (With Tips)
  • 4 Types of Team Conflict and How To Resolve Each Effectively