Home Businesses That Cost Less Than $500 to Start Up

by Kristie Lorette; Updated September 26, 2017

Millions of businesses across the country are run out of people's homes every day. The great part about starting a home-based business is that it keeps overhead low because there are no space rental costs. While some home-based businesses cost a considerable amount to create, there are many others that you can start for less than $500.

Cleaning Service

Start a cleaning service for local homes and businesses. All you need to do is buy cleaning chemicals, mops, brooms, a vacuum, towels, buckets and a set of business cards—about a $150 investment. It can be a lucrative business with the potential for a great return on your investment. For example, Molly Maid, which now is a multimillion-dollar cleaning service, started with a broom, mop and founder that provided a quality and reliable cleaning service to clients.

Lawn Service

A lawn care service is another good option, as it requires only a lawn mower, edger, blower, rake, shovel, clippers and business cards—about $450. Start by mowing yards in your neighborhood and branch out into other local areas. With just a few regular clients you can quickly recoup your investment costs and start turning a profit.

Writing Service

If you possess the talent or love of writing you can start a freelance writing business, creating copy for businesses anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a computer and Internet access, which you can purchase for as little as $500—and less if you already own a computer.

Online Store/Retail Sales

Whether you have your own products to sell or you market another company's goods, you can easily start and sell items through an online store. With a computer, Internet access and a website your store will be up and running in a day or so for an investment of about $450.

Consulting Service

Starting a consulting service can be as easy as getting business cards and using your own experience and knowledge, so the estimated cost is between $30 and $50. Depending on your background and experience you can become a consultant in almost any field, such as marketing, college admissions, legal consulting and quality control, just to name a few.

About the Author

Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.