What Kind of Business Can You Start With $10,000?

by Greg Brian ; Updated September 26, 2017
With $10,000 or less, you'll be surprised what businesses you can start.

Starting a business might seem daunting if you don’t have the necessary capital. But if you can only afford to stay within the $10,000 range to start a business, you might be surprised at what you can do. Many self-starting businesses can fall under unique categories, franchises and in the world of advertising. Much of that $10,000 will be used for marketing, licenses or office equipment.

Professional Organizer

Businesspeople in restaurant, man using electronic organiser, close-up

Forbes.com listed this career in a November 2009 article by Helen Coster as a start-up for under $10,000. A professional organizer will help households or companies get their lives or records organized in a manner that provides more efficiency. Being a self-starting business, you can set your own hours, and your marketing budget may not be as tremendous as you think. Forbes says that starting a website, business cards and newspaper advertising could cost around $1,500. The rest of marketing comes in networking with companies, which will cost very little. A good tip is to pay to place a logo with your business’s phone number on your business vehicle. Many calls may come from people seeing it when you drive in traffic. This career can pull in six figures if you get a substantial client list.

Vending Machines

Vending machine

Mainstreet.com cites this as a franchise opportunity that starts under $10,000. Through a company called U-Turn Vending, you invest in vending machines that contain bulk candy. These machines are placed in places that get a lot of foot traffic and have potential to make good money. You can get started with an investment in a machine for around $7,000. The reason is that many of the vending machines through this company are made economically. When you invest in a machine, you’re responsible for stocking it and placing it in a desired location. Plus, you can potentially make up to $70 an hour, according to U-Turn Vending's website.

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Advertising Agency

Businessman giving a presentation at meeting

Netadspro.net says that starting your own advertising agency can be done within the $10,000 range. This doesn’t mean starting a major agency in a corporate skyscraper, but actually right out of your own home. A self-started advertising agency will work with small businesses in creating logos and work closely with them on advertising strategies. Most of your investment in starting this business will be in office equipment that generally won’t exceed $10,000, depending on how much you need. Experience in advertising will also be a plus, though isn’t essential.

Private Investigation


You might be surprised at this cheap start-up idea. It can be filed in a unique category, though Forbes lists it as a growing start-up field for retired law enforcement agents. Most of your $10,000 capital will be used for license fees and office equipment, as you can usually work out of your home. Most states require a license to be a private investigator as well as liability insurance. It’s recommended that you choose a particular specialty so you can focus your customer base. Some of the best categories are insurance fraud or working on identity theft cases.

About the Author

Greg Brian is a freelance writer who took his diverse writing skills to the Internet in 2007. He currently writes for various prestigious websites. He earned an Associate of Arts degree in business management from Trend Business College in 1993.

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