What to consider when choosing a business idea

Most teens have a full schedule, so any new business should ideally fit in with their lives. As transport options for teenagers can be limited, its agood idea to select a business which is easily accessible if it can’t be managed from home. Teens should also be mindful of any financial investment and start-up costs which can vary significantly depending on the business.

It’s also worth considering opening a separate business bank account - a parent or guardian will need to help with this if the teen is under 18.

What are the benefits for teens starting a business?

Besides gaining some financial independence, a small business can give a teen invaluable financial management skills, including saving, budgeting and re-investing. It can also assist with building self-confidence, and help develop communication skills by dealing with customers, vendors and community groups. A teen with a small business may enjoy enhanced career opportunities and can show their ingenuity and ambition to prospective employers.

Business ideas for teenagers

While there’s no limit on business ideas, below are some of our favourites.

Selling crafts or homemade items

Crafty and creative teens can list their home-made items on a variety of online platforms at little or no cost, or at market stalls. Local community markets are generally a great way to sell handmade arts and crafts, desserts, clothing or antiques and they can be an easy way for teens to start a business. They can also consider creating their own online store.

Data entry

To learn skills relevant for using spreadsheets and working with data, teens can start a business in data entry. This can give teens a flexible work schedule and the ability to learn an important new skill. Teens can offer their services to schools, universities or any business looking for data entry on a casual basis.

Web design

Many small businesses need websites and may not be able to afford to pay for a professional web designer or developer. By offering their web services at a discounted rate, teens can get a foothold and start their own business at almost no cost. With some training and experience, a tech-savvy teen can practice and develop their skills, make some extra money without leaving their bedroom.

Dog walking

Teens can combine fun and fresh air while giving our furry friends the exercise they need. This is a business that is easy to both start and grow using word-of-mouth advertising.

Dog sitting

Help pet owners ease their dog or puppy’s separation anxiety by dog sitting while they’re away. This saves owners using expensive kennel services. Not only can teens make good money, they get to enjoy playing and exercising with the dog outdoors.

Car washing

A car washing business is very simple and cost effective to start. Teens can spend more time outside on their weekends cleaning cars inside and out, stating with neighbours in their local community for starters, and broaden once their business grows.

Lawn mowing

Teens can get some time outside in the sun while earning some extra money by offering their services to mow lawns within their community.

Housesitting

When people travel they need someone to help with looking after the place, caring for pets and plants, and other important tasks. Starting a housesitting business can be a great way for teens to earn some extra money while filling a need in their community.

Tutoring

An easy business idea for teens is to become a tutor for secondary school students. Whether they’re good at maths, science, technology, writing, reading or languages, teens may have the skills required to teach someone else who may be struggling in that subject.

Childcare and babysitting

A smart business idea for teens is to operate a childcare or babysitting business. On the weekends or even during the week after school, teens can help neighbours or family friends by caring for their young children.

Cleaning services

Eager teens can offer home cleaning services throughout their community. This business is simple and cheap to start and can grow quickly through customer advocacy (and hard work!). It’s also a great way to help out busy families or provide a valuable service to those unable to clean due to age or disability.

How to start your teen business idea

There are a number of things that you may need to consider before a teenager can start a small business, especially

Getting an Australian Tax File Number (TFN)

Children can apply for a tax file number (TFN) themselves once they turn 13. You can apply for a TFN for your child at any age. Find out more at how to apply for a TFN, opens in new window. A tax file number may be necessary if the teenager is making a substantial income, invoicing an organisation or business, or not accepting cash payments.

Check if any licenses or permits are needed

The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS), opens in new window can help you find the government licences, permits, approvals, codes of practice, standards and guidelines a teenager in business may need to follow. 

Check for any intellectual property issues

Be aware of any intellectual property issues that could cause problems later. This could include accidentally copying a business name, or using protected ideas, logo or processes. For more information visit IP Australia, opens in new window.

Open a business bank account

Teenagers looking to get their own business bank account, might consider our NAB Business Everyday Account ($0 monthly fee). For teenagers 18 or under, a parent or guardian will need to be an Authorising Party or Signatory for the teenager depending on how the account is used. You will need to visit a branch to open a business bank account and verify ID.

You may also like to consider why you should open a separate business bank account

Thinking about starting a business? We have tips, tools and solutions to back you. Request a call back or call us on 13 10 12.

Important information

Any advice on this page has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting and starting a business, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances.