12 Businesses to Start with $500 or Less

If you want to start a business and only have $500 in your pocket, you might want to check out these ideas.

There are plenty of low-cost businesses you can start on a budget, just like how our founder Peter started his Amazon FBA business.

From cleaning companies to blogging: these twelve companies can become six-figure companies without major investments.

Creative business ideas that don’t require a lot of money

So let’s get started! These are easy to start businesses that do not require large investments. With $500 or less, you’re good to go!

Freelance writing

Let’s be honest; some people are just more blessed with a way of speaking than we are. If that person is you, then you are one step ahead in starting your own freelance agency.

With the demand for quality content ever increasing, freelance writing has great potential for future growth, as long as you’re willing to be patient.

Freelancing doesn’t require you to set up a physical location if you can’t afford it. Even better, you can start it from your bedroom! All you need is a computer, a workplace and a good internet connection!


What exactly is dropshipping? This is where you have your online store, where you sell various products from a third party, for example Amazon.

You don’t keep the products yourself, but when a customer purchases from your store, you purchase the item from a third party and provide the customer’s shipping information so that the product is shipped directly to them.

With this model you don’t have to worry about shipping costs, storage costs and much more! Plus, a customer must buy from you before you buy from the third party!

Sounds good, right? That is not enough! The great thing about dropshipping is that you set your own prices and thus determine your profit margins!

Social media management

In today’s world, every business, whether established or new, needs a social media account.

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The good thing for social media managers is that many business owners don’t have the time or expertise to manage their accounts. And that’s where you come in.

With just a basic understanding of a social media platform, you can already have an idea of ​​what you’re going to do.

Tutoring services

If you have the ability to explain complex topics to people using simple terms and help them understand them better, then you can consider taking up tutoring as a business.

Tutoring is a great opportunity to turn your knowledge into a business with $500 or less.

For starters, to further keep costs down, you can tutor online from the comfort of your home. The great thing is that there are always students looking for these services.

Cleaning services

Starting these types of businesses is quite easy. All you need is a willingness to do the work, attention to detail and a passion for cleaning up.

There will always be a demand for cleaning services, whether for businesses, homes or apartment dwellers. This way you will always find customers.

Depending on your pricing structure, the number of customers and the industry you serve, you can expect to earn between $20,000 and $30,000 in your first year. This amount is expected to increase as you expand your customer base.


Believe it or not, starting a website can cost much less than $500. With a unique voice and niche, you can attract a dedicated readership. Platforms like WordPress and Blogger offer affordable ways to launch your site.

Earn money through ads, affiliate links or sponsored content and watch your passion project grow. Over time, a blog can become more than just a hobby: it can be a significant income stream.

Personal chef

With many health complications emerging, many people are looking for healthier meal options but don’t have the time or skills to prepare them.

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As a personal chef, you can earn a reasonable income by preparing meals for clients based on their dietary needs. All you need is the skill to prepare delicious and nutritious meals, and a little marketing skills to get the word out.

Other customers will ask you to provide some form of certification. Make sure you have this to hand as it is the only way to prove to them that you have trained and are qualified.

Babysitting animals

If you have a thing for animals and enjoy spending time with them, then becoming a pet sitter may be the perfect job for you. Furthermore, most of the skills required for pet sitting are basic, and you probably have them.

Pet sitting involves feeding, grooming, walking or playing with pet(s) while the owner is away from home.

Use flyers and posters in your area to advertise your services to new customers, and don’t forget to register your business as it becomes more popular.

Car wash

If you live in busy urban areas, you can easily start a car washing and detailing business at very little cost.

You’ll need basic cleaning supplies, a basic water source, a water tank, and a good location. If it is expensive to rent a specific location, you can opt for mobile car washing services and deliver these services to your customer’s doorstep!

If permits and licenses are required in your area, make sure you get them to stay on the safer side of the law.


Do you have green fingers and a love for plants? Then it can be much easier for you to start a gardening business.

This is a great opportunity for nature lovers who prefer to work outdoors to earn money. You just need to have knowledge of different plants or learn the tricks of the trade over time.

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And here’s a tip: There are ways to get free seeds to boost your gardening business.

Once you’ve purchased the necessary equipment, which should cost less than $400, you’re good to go!

Turn around

Flipping isn’t just about making a quick buck; it’s about seeing the potential in overlooked items. You can find treasures in furniture, old clothes, gadgets or even domain names waiting for a new life.

Places like Facebook Marketplace, eBay or thrift stores down the road are full of hidden gems. With a good eye and a little know-how, you can turn yesterday’s castoffs into today’s popular items.

Language translation

With the rise of globalization, the world has become a village, but full of people speaking different languages.

You have an advantage if you can understand different languages. This is a business opportunity to work as a translator! You don’t need a physical office to get started.

All you need is to be found! And for this to happen, you need to set up a professional freelance profile on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr and advertise your services there.

Highlight the languages ​​you are good at, and your previous translation work, if available. If you find multiple clients, you can start a translation agency and hire several freelancers to help you!

What’s the best way to start a business with just $500?

With $500 there are dozens of business opportunities. You can start a blog, open a car wash, clean houses or help companies with their social media. Every idea has its advantages!

Some of these may be easier or make money faster. But a smart move? Try a mix of them!

Think about what you like to do and how much time you have. With some hard work, that $500 could be the start of something big.

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