• Julie Morris

Starting a Business 101: Tips for Teenagers

Starting a business as a teenager is a great way to hone your entrepreneurial skills at a young age. If successful, your business can even provide some extra money for things like school. Leap Canada equips students with resources and connections to bridge the gap between high school and post-secondary school. This guide provides the information you need to get your own business off the ground as a Canadian teen.


Benefits of starting a business as a teenager


Starting a business as a teen offers many unique advantages. First, there’s the obvious fact that you can make some extra money. However, starting a business can also teach valuable life lessons, like perseverance, hard work, and focus. You’ll also learn problem-solving skills, master money management, and find ways to express yourself creatively.


Business ownership is also a great way to make connections. You can begin building a professional network, getting to know others in your field, and creating potentially life-long links. You never know when these contacts may come in handy later in life. For example, professional connections can be useful for getting jobs.


Teen-friendly business ideas


The first question when starting a business is, what kind of venture should you establish? There are many teen-friendly options. A home-based company is ideal. This is a cheaper and lower-risk model since you won’t have to pay big bucks for commercial rent. From blogging to ecommerce stores and dropshipping, there are many home business models.


Small Biz Trends provides a roundup of business ideas that are especially well suited for young people. Suggestions include child care, pet sitting, podcasting, and more. When choosing a business model, consider your personal goals and passions. Ideally, whatever model you choose will support your larger ambitions in life.


Quick tips for getting your business going


Once you’ve settled on a business idea, it’s time to get your company going. Start by writing a business plan. This provides a detailed overview of how your company is structured and run, covering everything from a product and service description to marketing ideas. You can find free templates online to help you write your business plan.


When writing your business plan, you’ll want to define what business structure you will establish. Incorporating a business in Canada can simplify tax filing and bookkeeping. Popular options include a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Each type has its own requirements in terms of taxation and reporting, so do your research first.


To formally register your chosen business entity, you’ll need to file paperwork with the relevant province. The Government of Canada provides an overview of the relevant information according to the various provinces and territories. Once you’re formally registered, you’ll get a federal business number and tax account.


Odds are that you’ll need to invest some money into your business at the beginning. For example, if you sell products online, you’ll have to buy inventory. Get the funding you need via business grants. Ownr has a list of small business grants in Canada, like the Youth Employment Skills Program and Digital Skills for Youth Program. Grant applications require detailed attention, so make sure to apply to industry-relevant grants and follow all guidelines.


Once you have the money you need, you can start investing in the necessary business tools required to run your company. Examples might include laptops, mobile phones, and software. The right technology can help streamline operations. Look for organizational tools like Asana, G Suite, and EverNote to make day-to-day life easier.


You might think that you’re too young to start a business if you’re a teenager. In fact, this is a great time to venture into entrepreneurship. The risk is low and there are many resources to help support you on your path to success.


For more content to help you find success as a teen entrepreneur, check out the Leap Canada resource hub.