Here Are Some Businesses You Can Start For Less Than $100

A lack of start-up funds can beat down many an entrepreneurial dream, but not all ventures need big-time backing to get started. Some minor operations require little cash to get going. You can turn them into side jobs or use them to build up funds to start your dream business.

MoneyCrush names businesses that don’t require much scratch to start:

* Social media guru. Approach businesses with lacking social media profiles and offer to take them on as clients.

* Tutoring. If you managed to work your way through high school or college, you can help out others who are struggling to do so.

* Craft seller. Sites such as Etsy and eBay offer simple, low-cost ways to sell your wares online.

Seven Businesses You Can Start for $100 or Less [MoneyCrush]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Wonderweasel says:


    Unlicensed/Creepy Massage Therapist and/or Breast Examiner

  2. YouDidWhatNow? says:


    • Cat says:

      You can buy the book, “I Wanna Be A Ho” from the “Velvet Jones School of Technology”

      Watch the infomercial here:

      Be Somebody…Be A Ho!

      • CosmosHuman says:

        Hey, my new career…goodbye unemployment!!!

        • Cat says:

          This might work for Cosmo, too… You didn’t have your dog fixed, did you?

          Funny thing, you’re allowed to rent your doggie out for sex to other dogs (sometimes against their will!), but such things are illegal for consenting human adults.

          Am I missing something here?

          • YouDidWhatNow? says:

            Yeah…full-body fur and a tail.

          • CosmosHuman says:

            I had to get him fixed, he was humping all the other dogs in the dogpark, no matter what size, I mean he was reaching up to the German Shepards; male and female. Now, he is less agressive, but is very protective of me and actually saved my life twice. 1. My daughter’s psycho ex-boyfriend was pretty drunk and went after me and the neighbor, and Cosmo (grew them back) and chomped on his ankle. 2. I became very ill and passed out on the floor, and he licked my face and awoke me, just in time for 911 to be called by the neighbor for medical help.

            Plus, he has no papers and I could not reach the breeder, I think she died. He is a pure bred JRT.

          • kobresia says:

            I’m glad you asked!

            You see, it’s okay for humans to rent out animals for sex as long as the humans don’t derive any carnal pleasure from watching or “helping”. It would presumably be okay for humans to rent out other humans for sex if none of the humans involved derived any pleasure from it, but that would really defeat the purpose.

            Well, unless you’re into that sort of thing.

  3. pop top says:

    * Crft sllr h, wht bt th fs ssctd wth y knw, ctll crtng whtvr prdct y’r sllng? Tht sms lk t’d b bt mr thn $. h wt, ths s Phl. H dsn’t cr.

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      “Hey, check out this blog I found while googling ‘Making Macaroni Pictures For Profit'”

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Well, it’s a combination of my suggestion about and Phil’s. First, you have to be a thief and steal a bunch of stuff to make crafts with. Then you give yourself a promotion to Craft Seller.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      You can get started on Etsy with less than $100, I’ve done it myself. Doesn’t make this post any less crap, but you know, it is totally possible.

    • RedOryx says:

      My Etsy store cost me less than $100 to start up, so, yes, it is possible.

    • Ratty says:

      I dunno, I turned $120 in supplies into $300 with about 1/4 of the supplies left. But I already knew what I was doing and already had people interested in buying. The rest is going to Christmas gifts. It feels hard to find buyers on Etsy.

  4. sirwired says:

    Tutoring is the only one of those three where you have any significant chance to pull in anything more than hobby income (as in, better than minimum wage.)

  5. Cat says:

    8. You can buy a digital camera for under $100. Print some business cards and become a photographer!

    9. Same as #8, only make business cards that read “Talent Scout”, and recruit attractive women for online porn.

  6. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    And photographer, amirite?

  7. Nobody can say "Teehee" with a straight face says:

    How can you “start” as a guru? That’s almost as stupid as a new restaurant opening up with “famous” dishes.

    • Cat says:

      Nobody knows you aren’t a guru on the internet.

      And “Famous Amos” was never famous before he named his cookies “Famous Amos”

    • rmorin says:

      That’s a pet peeve of mine when I go to a resturant. “World Famous” food items are one as well.

      Really? Am I to believe that there are people all across the globe that rave about your chili/soup/whatever it is?

      • shepd says:

        Sure, if you’re serving famous canned food. You’d have “world famous” chicken noodle soup if you bust open the Campbell’s, for example.

      • quail says:

        It’s the lawyering of words. “World Famous _____.” They don’t mean that their’s is “World Famous,” although they want YOU to make that assumption. Legally they’re saying that “Product X” is World Famous. Everyone knows about Hungarian Goulash, or American Hamburger, or Chinese Stirfry, etc.There’s seldom a mention that THEY make it “World Famous”.

  8. Atherton says:

    Well, the business license fee in my city is $100 per year.

    So I guess that leaves “brothel”.

    I’ll gladly keep my day job, thankyouverymuch.

    • shepd says:

      Came here to say that.

      That being said, if you want to operate under your entire real name as the business name, then you don’t need a business license. But you’re not even legally allowed to say what the business does as part of the name. So you can’t have Hiram Ulysses Grant’s Concrete Delivery as your business. It has to be Hiram Ulysses Grant. “We Deliver Concrete”.

      Would make social media guru impossible, tutoring pretty possible, craft seller, well, might work if you sell them locally but eBay and Etsy are off since you need aliases.

  9. Bagumpity says:

    Bee Keeping. Although $100 might require cutting some corners. Double that, and you’d have a fairly decent starting setup that could have you selling jars of honey at local flea markets in a single season.

    • tinyangel says:

      I’m a beekeeper… do you know how expensive it is to raise bees? and as a start up you really shouldn’t harvest any honey in your first year. besides the cost of all of the equipment you will need, a start up colony will run you $72.00 (that’s 3 lbs of bees and a queen). I had to re-queen my hive this year… $65.00 because I had to have her shipped. This year, from my hobby hive, I harvested 5.5 quarts of honey and my girls were busy this year.

      • SporadicBlah says:

        Ive thought about this hobby many times. My grandfather had a few hives and we used to enjoy working the bees. His were so gentle you didnt need suit.

    • tiz says:

      not to mention the fact that local markets usually have a fee that you have to pay per week. ours is $25 i believe.

  10. AstroPig7 says:

    I teach classical guitar to students who thought learning guitar meant shredding and headbanging.

  11. RiverStyX says:

    Brothel inspector – Licensing now available for $3.99 at your local spencers next to the “How to keep an idiot busy for hours” card. Act now and get your very own Bikini Inspector card for 50% off!

    But seriously, these are terrible ideas. Search engines, wordpress and lawnmowing? Sounds like it was written by a very unemployed blogger. Even the author admits in her first reply that she’s never used Etsy to sell anything, so she has no real experience in these matters.

    The companies have already been approached to spice up their site by somebody who lives in a country you probably can’t find on a map. I’ve tried more than one of these ideas (tutoring for one..I learned the hard way that kids don’t take college seriously) and never made a dime in profit. Lawn mowing doesn’t pay enough by itself, you have to be more universal (plus compete with juan and pablo for less than minimum wage).

    However, I am (somewhat) successfully self-employed (Auto Detailing/Computer work) and can offer some advice: Do it better and cheaper then the competition and you’ll always have repeat business. I’ve put a handful of other business owners under because of this. Watch “American Gangster” if you want an outside-of-the-box lesson on this concept. Don’t be greedy about making money, its better to have job security for the future then a few extra bucks in your pocket now.

    Another piece of advice is that you have to accept that customers will either buying or not at all. You’ll either be making money and getting calls (Assuming you built up a good reputation) or you’ll have a dry spell for weeks. These periods come and go all the time for what seems like no reason, its these times you realize people really are the same deep, down inside.

    You could try advertising to be a typist if you can do 60+ wpm and can prove it. I was emailed by one or two companies after posting an ad…I wasnt offered enough so I nixed the idea for something better, this was years ago so I don’t know how it is now.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      In her about me page, she came off a huge stint of unemployment after she got married. These types of people always play pretend “job” by knitting beanie hats for etsy or starting a blog while someone else foots the mortgage.

      • RiverStyX says:

        “Chef, we need Butters to gain about fifty pounds fast.”
        ‘Fifty pounds? Why?’
        “School project..”
        ‘Well, if you want him to get really fat as fast as possible, one of you will have to marry him. It definitely worked for every woman I ever met.’

        “Oh no no no! I ain’t gettin’ married; my parents will ground me!”
        ‘Yeah, none of us wanna marry Butters.’
        “Well uh how come? What’s wrong with me?”

    • wackydan says:

      With the arrival of our baby, this past year I paid a lawn service to mow and edge for me. I pay $40 a week and he does about five homes in our neighborhood. He has one of those fast wide commercial mowers and can literally mow my entire yard in under ten minutes, 5 to edge, and then a few minutes to blow the clippings.

      Granted he has his maintenance costs and fuel costs, but he is popular because he doesn’t require a contract, and he only mows when the lawn actually needs it… so we only averaged two times a month this year…

      By my calculation, he makes about $200 in 2 hours doing yards here. – It is seasonal though.

      Still mowing, can provide an income with a flexible schedule, But to do it right you need the right gear.

  12. dangermike says:

    Don’t move to California. An official business license costs upwards of $800 here.

    • RiverStyX says:

      Carl’s Jr is packing up shop and probably moving to texas because new business fees are getting too expensive, thanks to Jerry Brown..I never voted for that bald-headed son of a bitch, Arnold was actually decent compared to that shithead.

      • dangermike says:

        I feel no love for Ahnold. He went beyond RINO. He was a turncoat. His policy was every bit as much of a monumental failure as George HW Bush’s “Read my lips…” promise. The governator’s willingness to expand spending on the promises of a Dow Jones average of 30000 by 2015 was a major factor in why our state decided to re-elect dopey old Jerry. And now we’re going to have more propositions in November trying to bilk us into paying more taxes, like $1500+ per year in addition income taxes for median wage earners. California is going the way of Greece. There are enough coat-tails-riders addicted to the public teat that any and every election expands their influence and decreases my take-home pay. Looking at the last election, though, what were the choices? Meg Whitman never had the chops for the job but managed to buy out the primaries. She would have been another Schwarzenegger. A hack and a fraud. All talk and no real reform. No spine to stand up to the massive leftwing lobbies. There was no possible good outcome from that election, and now we’re going to pay for it. If we have another ballot full of untenable yet popularly elected bond measures and if any of the new tax legislation wins out, I’m pretty much outta here myself.

  13. backwerds says:

    Here’s a good business you can create for basically free: Start up a crapticular financial blog with common knowledge ideas and then load it up with sidebar ads. Get some other blogs to link to your articles to increase site views. Hell; you can also dole out this financial advice without any formal financial education experience; imagine the profits without any supply costs!

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      I’m clearing $1000/month doing that.,,but you need to be ranked high in Google.

  14. sir_eccles says:

    Anyone who calls themselves a “social media guru” is not one.

  15. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Caustic Internet Critic.

  16. impatientgirl says:

    Business Licenses. Insurance. Articles of Incorporation Paperwork. New bank accounts. Business Cards. Website. Lawyer. Accountant. Overhead for space. Materials for Products.

    Try doing it for $100.

  17. CosmosHuman says:

    I was thinking of becoming a “mechanic” for hire. I have the equipment and the technology. I’m really good at solving problems.

  18. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Great, more Social Media Gurus and Search Engine Optimization Experts who don’t know WTF they are doing and don’t rank well themselves.

  19. autonym says:

    Sell my wares? Tutor somebody? Thanks, Phil Villarreal, for your blog post. I am going to be successful.

  20. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I wish there was a market for removing dead critters from homes/businesses. At work, our building is mostly empty, and I’ve removed a few decomposing critters over the last few weeks. Since most people are squeamish about such things, you’d think this could be a paying proposition. Yes, I am getting desperate for some extra cash.

  21. LanMan04 says:

    Most worthless post evar

    • RiverStyX says:

      Eh don’t knock it. She could have the fat siphoned out of her ass, I know tyler durden is always on the hunt for more soap-making supplies.

  22. Wolfbird says:

    Craft seller, yes! I made $660 this weekend making costumes. I don’t sell via Etsy either (I use a free niche market auction, it’s lovely). Startup isn’t that bad either, there’s a bit of investment but the markup is so high on these things you catch up quickly if you do it right.

  23. Jules Noctambule says:

    Listing on Etsy isn’t a guarantee of selling; the site rarely advertises to buyers, so if you don’t have a lot of time to market yourself you likely won’t see much money. It’s easy for me because I skip listing my handmade work and stick to vintage; searching ‘silver owl earrings’ will give a buyer a lot more choices than ‘vintage silk 1940s slip bust 38’.

  24. kobresia says:

    I think I see a typo there– shouldn’t “Craft seller” be “Crap seller”? When Regretsy isn’t battling Paypal, it’s showcasing some of the aberrations people have committed in the name of arts & crafts.

    Missing from the list is “yoga instructor”. According to an NPR story this morning on All Things Considered, it’s what college students these days who obtained unmarketable degrees & are having trouble finding real jobs are doing. Me, I just worked on computer skills and ramped-up some other wheeling-and-dealing sorts of business schemes when I was either funemployed or underemployed. I guess that technically, I’ve never been funemployed, only self-employed when between jobs.

  25. Wireless Joe says:

    Housecleaning: some cleaning supplies, your own vacuum, and an ad on craigslist.

  26. bigTrue says:

    This won’t work for everyone, but I make 10 dollars an hour (under the table) as a medical pot trimmer. Start-up cost was footwork and networking, 6 dollars for some comfy, small scissors and being the right kind of person.

    Being the right kind of person is somebody who is ok with people who grow pot while not being an unreliable stoner who tries to take product home, shows up late and smells of patchouli.

  27. DrLumen says:

    They missed the obvious. You can always get a squeegee, a rag and some cheap glass cleaner and stand out on street corners waiting for traffic to stop.

    Painting is also a cheap business if the customer supplies the paint. Some experience would help though.

  28. quail says:

    The part about mowing yards is true. The hard part is being able to find customers locally without having to invest in a small trailer and driving gas. If you can mow just 4 yards over a weekend at $30 to $50 a pop, that is an extra $120 a week minimum for only a few hours of work.