Top 10 Business Ideas You Can Start for Less Than $100


Have you grown tired of working hard only to make someone else richer? Are you ready to strike out on your own? Making your own way in life as your own boss can be one the most satisfying moves one can make as he/she finds his/her niche and does it so well he/she smokes the competition. For most, this dream can seem like a long-shot with the high costs of owning a franchise. While that may be true in some respects, you can also create your own business with less than $100 if you have some initiative and put in some effort.

Here is the list of the top 10 businesses you can start with little to no capital and some elbow grease. We’ll even help you figure out which one suits you the best by discussing the start-up costs, the tools or equipment you’ll need and what you need to know about the job.

House painting
Start-up costs: Right around $100
Tools and equipment: Paint supplies, a vehicle, and a ladder

As a house painter, you can find yourself working towards a credible business as you work and build up your reputation. Like many of the other businesses you’ll find below, you can find several ways to save on start-up costs with house painting by going door-to-door within your neighborhood and others close by, borrowing paint supplies or buying them from dollar stores, and even getting your clients to purchase the paint prior to you starting the job for them. Then, as you build your business with more customers and work, you can purchase your supplies and even adding other services. You can find some inspiration and painting tips by visiting Youtube or your local hardware store.Before you begin, you’ll want to obtain a tax ID to make your business more legitimate.

With this type of business, you can find yourself supporting yourself and your family in a relatively short amount of time as you keep improving your standards and add services, including exterior/interior painting and maybe even wallpapering among others that you feel comfortable offering.

Related: Top 10 Most Profitable Offline Businesses for First time Entrepreneurs

Used Books Seller
Start-up costs:$0-$50
Tools and equipment: Smartphone, Internet access, used books

This type of business takes some practice and some insight into the world of used books. Your best starting point is to visit yard sales and flea markets to search out all kinds of books, paying attention to textbooks. You’ll want to inspect their condition and determine the value of the book as a saleable object for profit. You can find out their worth using a site like and then offering to pay their asking price or negotiate down to the half price mark. Then, you can turn around and sell it on a site like Amazon or another book trading site.

You’ll definitely want access to Internet while you’re out searching through all the sales you can visit that day. You’ll also need to have some free time to devote to this since you can hit several bad sales before landing on one that provides you with the right types of books.

Pet Sitting
Start-up costs:less than $20 in most instances
Tools and equipment: Possibly nothing

If you like pets and don’t mind having them in your home or going to their home, you may have yourself a job in pet sitting. Most pet owners dislike putting their pets into a kennel as they travel or have a late night out, so this is where you can find some extra cash, upwards of a $100 a night in some cases. Get the love and attention you want from caring for another’s pet without having to worry about the permanent upkeep of your own. Most owners will probably provide the essentials for their pets, but having some dog food, extra bedding, and some toys can make the pet a happy guest in your home while the owner is away.

Tour Guide Service
Start-up costs:as low as $0 to start if you use
Tools and equipment: Internet access, computer/smartphone, knowledge of area, vehicle

Do you know the area surrounding your home well? Can you give people the best and most interesting information about the landmarks of your hometown? Then, you might have found yourself a job as a tour guide. When you sign up at, you’ll find the site helps you find new tourists to guide around your fair area while you persuade them to call you directly the next time and even refer you to others. To use the site, you’ll need internet access and either a computer or smartphone to sync up with your tourists.

With this business, you can show off your knowledge and provide tourists with a great time while they’re in your area.

Tax Preparation
Start-up costs: cost of software program at most
Tools and equipment: Computer, writing instruments, knowledge of current tax laws

If you’re good with numbers and getting everything to equal the right amount, especially on your taxes, then you may have yourself a position as a tax preparer. Most tax preparing companies are hiring and training associates in time to the first day of tax season. This is your chance to gain some easy and relatively free training, a job with the company, or a chance to strike out on your own, preparing taxes for those in your family and even your neighborhood and beyond.

You’ll want to get the same training each year so you can be updated on new tax laws as well as the certificate showing you are able to prepare taxes for others.

Cleaning Service
Start-up costs: $0-$50
Tools and equipment:Cleaning supplies and vehicle

This is a service you can offer if you like to clean and organize. Save your start-up money by using your own supplies, your clients’ supplies, or buying most of your supplies at a dollar store. The dollar store brands are just as good usually as the name brands at a fraction of the costs. You’ll need transportation for this since you could be hauling everything from mops, vacuums, cleaners, and towels. For this type of service, you can choose how you charge: by the room, by the hour, or combination of the two as an a la carte menu style.

Homemade soaps
Start-up costs: $25-$50
Tools and equipment: soap making supplies, gift wrapping, and some type of heating element

If you like crafts and DIY projects, making your own soaps might be just the thing to make yourself some extra cash. You can take your crafty and creative nature and put it to work making homemade soaps with all types of fragrances and healing powers for the skin. With this business, you’ll need to purchase at least a comprehensive soap making kit or you can get by using some old pots and pans along with essential oils, soap bases, and other supplies. Find out what you need upfront to save on overall costs and add more later on as your business grows. Don’t forget the finishing touch with a label and cute name for your soaps.

Related: 4 Business Ideas You Can Easily Start From Home

eBay Sales
Start-up costs:pay listing fees and sale fees; usually less than $5 an item depending
Tools and equipment: old stuff you no longer need, computer, internet access, eBay account

If you like using eBay for buying, why not try selling? We all have stuff we no longer need in our homes, but don’t want the hassle of garage sales or time for one. Well, eBay can be just the solution as you list your stuff for a nominal fee and sell it to the highest bidder. eBay will require a small deposit from the sale, but you keep the rest. As you finish selling all your unwanted stuff, you can begin looking into an area where you can sell more and build up your inventory through wholesalers and bulk purchases. Since you’re starting with your stuff, you won’t have much in the way of start-up costs, which is a nice bonus to this business.

Related: Top 10 Most Profitable Online Businesses for First time Entrepreneurs

Errand Service
Start-up costs:as little as $0
Tools and equipment:Vehicle or other mode of transportation

Do you have a vehicle and some extra time on your hands? Then, you may want to make some extra money running errands for others. You can deliver packages, visit the pharmacy or grocery store, drop off packages at the post office, and other services you want to offer. This is a great business for someone that would like to make some extra money, such as a stay-at-home mom or a college student. You don’t need much besides your mode of transportation and a sense of direction along with good time management skills. With this business, you can either offer a flat rate per job completed or enjoy an a la carte type fee table.

Resume Writing
Start-up costs:as little as $0
Tools and equipment:Computer, Internet access, printer paper

Do you know what employers and hiring managers are looking for in a resume? Then, you’re in the position to help others that may not know. You can help them build amazing resumes that are guaranteed to get them noticed. With this business, all you’ll need is a computer to type the resume and then print or email to your client for their approval and use. As you build up your experience, you can add on other features like writing cover letters. This business has great potential for those willing to put in the effort since current rates can be quite high for this type of specialized service. If you’re new, you may want to consider building up a client base on sites like where it’s free to start your business with their fee coming out upon the completion of an order. With this business, you have plenty of resources and opportunities to build a successful business for yourself with very little in start-up costs.


With each of these businesses listed above, you can find immense success without having to spend thousands of dollars in the very beginning. With each of them, you’ll want to gain a Federal tax ID number to make the government happy, but that money can be recouped within your first few sales. As you build your business, you can find areas where you want to expand and how you want to expand them to make your business the best it can possibly be. With only a hundred dollars, you’d be amazed what you can do and build for yourself and your family to achieve the financial success and dreams you’ve had for some time. Be your own boss and enjoy the fun of doing something you’re passionate about without worrying about making money for others instead of yourself.

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