If you're operating your business as a sole proprietorship in the United States, you don't technically need an EIN for the business – you can file taxes for your business along with your personal taxes. However, you may want one if you want to open a bank account for your business, or if you don't want your Social Security number to appear on business documents.


With more of us working fewer hours and with a resulting earnings gap to close, there's arguably never been a better time to set up a business you can run in your spare time from home. Whether it's to help make ends meet, or to follow your passion, or maybe even both, we've asked the experts to come up with 50 practical and cheap ways to make some extra cash.

Have a good understanding of how search optimization works? Put those skills to use. SEO consulting is booming and many online businesses are prepared to pay handsomely for expert advice and actionable tips that can help increase traffic and revenue. Many businesses take to Google when looking for a SEO consultant, so your first challenge is to establish a solid online presence and get your own website ranked high in the search results. Have a look at Gareth Bull’s website to get a better idea of what services you could offer and become a certified Google partner to get free access to a host of free training resources and promotional offers.

Don’t leave the house without your camera? People love the style and feel of your images? It’s time to put a price tag on this hobby! One of the easiest ways to earn passive income online is to start selling your photos on sites like Shutterstock and iStock Photo. With visual content on the rise, the demand for unique photography is growing rapidly, so don’t miss out on this side business idea. If you own more gear than just a professional camera, you could also consider hunting for headshot or wedding photography gigs. If you start out by offering your services for free to your friends, you’ll be able to test your abilities, build a portfolio and get some free word-of-mouth advertising in no time.
Network marketing (sometimes referred to as multi-level-marketing) can sometimes have a bad connotation if you have ever been scammed in the past. However, there are very reputable companies out there that you can start working for today with very little buy-in or overhead. A member of our family started off her network marketing business as a side hustle and has turned it into a part-time gig with full-time income. Warning: if you are told it doesn’t require any actual work – run away!

Stylish new plates and silverware can really elevate a dinner party to the next level, but most people don’t want to spend a fortune on them. You store can carry quality dinner supplies at a great price, and can also include napkins and other decor that fit the theme. Photos and excellent descriptions are vital here. You want to make sure that your items are superb, and that guests compliment the host on their taste. When this happens, you will not only bring your initial customer back to your store, you will acquire more customers in the process.
#24 – Magoosh – If you are good at GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, SAT, and ACT, and tests, Magoosh is looking to hire online test prep experts to help students prepare for these papers. As a requirement, you must be an experienced BA or BS holder with high scores in GRE, SAT, GMAT. The standard pay for weekdays is $20 an hour and shoots up to $25 an hour over the weekends.
If trends hold steady, there will be an estimated 6 billion smartphones in the world by 2020. This is an incredible opportunity for those who want to break into this market, as there will be increased demand for products to protect these expensive investments from dents, scratches, and breaks. The majority of phone cases are sold online to decrease overhead costs. However, retail storefronts can be a good investment for entrepreneurs depending on the target customers.
17 Flower arranging Imagine doing what you love and getting paid for it, which is what this idea brings to mind. "The nature of the product means you're likely to cater to a local audience, so why not impress with a business card and delivery car adorned with flower power," suggests Jones of enterprisenation.com. "It'll turn heads and attract new business as you turn corners."
Valentine's day. Birthdays. Weddings. The list goes on and on—throughout the course of a year, there are dozens of occasions when people need to order flowers. What's more is that once you're up to speed with this business idea, your costs can stay relatively low if you know where to source your flowers, and typical margins are in the neighborhood of 300% (or more) on cut flowers which makes this a particularly profitable side business idea in the right geographic area. Check out this amazing interview with floral designer, Sara Tedford of Ladybird Poppy to hear about how her floral design company started out as a side business idea of doing weddings and events for her friends and family.
Think blogging is no longer a viable source of income? Think again. Tens of thousands of bloggers (including yours truly) are creating profitable content on topics as diverse as scrapbooking, home cooking, travel, film, lifestyle, business, personal finance and more. And we're growing our blogs into six-figure businesses thanks to a combination of email subscribers, affiliate marketing, blog sponsorships, and other revenue streams. Your first step with starting a blog is quickly getting the technical side of things handled (my free master course on blogging will show you how), and then both understanding what your audience craves and learning how to attract those readers online.
This is a fun, exciting job to add to your work week! Giving real-time online tours of cities and historical landmarks gives you the opportunity to make money while sharing your knowledge with people looking to explore new locations. You need to be upbeat, well-informed, and passionate about what you are doing. Your job here is to create an amazing online experience and convince someone who is on the fence about visiting a certain location to book their ticket right away.
In the last few years, I’ve created online courses, launched a self-published book (under a fake name—not proud of this one), done marketing consulting, launched an email course, Airbnb-ed my apartment, traded stocks, bought cryptocurrency (my best investment to date), bought a condo and put it on Airbnb, wrote a book (a better one), bought a business, put affiliate links on my site, given paid talks, written book summaries, and built an affiliate site for a basketball dribbling course I never took (also not proud of this one).
Imagine this scenario: You’re at work and a customer from your side business calls your personal cell phone. He has a problem with a product you delivered the night before and needs you to fix it immediately. If you don’t, he’ll refuse to pay for it and you’ll have to eat the expense. But you also have a project that’s due in a few hours at work that can’t be late. What do you do?
Companies of all kinds are looking for mystery shoppers. Mystery shoppers buy in secret, documenting their experiences with the retailer. This can be done at a physical store or an online store. If you do a simple search on becoming a mystery shopper, you can likely locate several services that will assist you. Or, you can simply contact companies directly to pitch your mystery shopping services to them.
Ahh the wonderful world of freelancing. Freelancing is a bit different than many of the other options on here, but it is equally as lucrative and there are many different ways to go about it. If you have a specific skill that you excel at, you can make money freelancing. And I’m not just taking about coding here. You can earn money formatting Kindle books, as a photographer, as a copy writer, as a virtual assistant or even playing Pokemon Go!.
Crafts are a great way for parents to entertain their children and encourage them to be creative, but it’s not always easy to come up with new projects in the moment. Selling templates of images that children can trace or attempt to draw on their own can be a fun side business and a popular product. You can put together themed template-books, along with guides that teach children how to make various types of crafts.

If you like shopping, you can also give mystery shopping a try. With Jobs2Shop, you find local mystery shop gigs in your town. Once you’re on a mission, you might take pictures of product displays or even scan product barcodes for price checks. Of course, you can also have the opportunity to evaluate customer service and the cleanliness of the store or restaurant too.
The book did not disappoint (of course). I love the step-by-step layout of the book with a very specific 27-day roadmap for how to discover your side hustle mission all the way through to launch date and beyond. The advice is practical and down to earth with direction like "launch before you think you're ready and adjust as you go." You can't let perfectionism hold you back if you want a side hustle to be a success. And don't worry if things don't work out the first time, Chris gives you lots of tips on how to evaluate your launch and make changes for the next iteration.
Domain trading has been around for decades, and while the best ones have long been sold off (Insure.com went for $16 million in 2009), there’s plenty of others you can get your hands on for relatively cheap. Earlier this year, I registered thelaunchformula.com for $11.95 because it was a catchy title for an upcoming course I’m filming. Since then, I’ve already received two offers to purchase it for just under $1,000.
Credibility is critical, so it’s imperative that you have a connections in the entertainment business. You do not need to be famous, but you need to have relationships with others in the industry, so they can verify that you have the knowledge needed to teach others the art of acting. If your specialization is in film acting training, you should be a current or retired film or television actor, director, casting director or have similar industry experience. If you’re teaching commercial acting, you should have experience as a commercial actor, director or on the ad agency commercial production side. Your reputation in the acting community and how you promote your credentials will be critical to your success.

Ahh the wonderful world of freelancing. Freelancing is a bit different than many of the other options on here, but it is equally as lucrative and there are many different ways to go about it. If you have a specific skill that you excel at, you can make money freelancing. And I’m not just taking about coding here. You can earn money formatting Kindle books, as a photographer, as a copy writer, as a virtual assistant or even playing Pokemon Go!.


Free work from home jobs are becoming more and more plentiful now a days. Around 40 million people are working at home in one way or another. Most of the free work at home jobs are based on using a computer. This is a result of the Internet being such an vital part of our lives. You may want to consider starting a home business because it can help you enter in the expanding market of e-commerce. Free Work At Home Jobs continued...
If you own a car but barely use it, you can make some easy cash as an effortless side business idea by renting it out on Turo. Before you freak out, know that there’s a $1 Million insurance policy on all cars, plus drivers are prescreened, so you can have peace of mind. Closely related to renting out your car is another new service I recently came across (available only in the UK at the moment) called YourParkingSpace where you can sign up to list your available parking space through the app, and earn when people decide to use your spot.
If you enjoy writing and have a talent for words, then this popular side business idea is right up your alley. Start by creating quality content and building up a subscriber base among your readers. Monetize your blog by featuring advertising, adding products to sell, and setting up affiliate marketing. Between these different revenue streams, you can earn a nice profit from something you already enjoy doing.
People who love social media and marketing will thrive in this business. However, this love must extend beyond just checking Twitter and Facebook every 15 minutes. If you want to start your own social media marketing business, you should know how people interact with different platforms, where your target demographic is most likely to live, and what type of content will spark the most interest. You should also know how (and why) different platforms evolve over time.
When people go on trips, they’re often concerned as to what will happen with their pets. That’s where you step in — offer yourself as a safe place to leave their pets, or be willing to go to their home to take care of their pets. In many cases, people are more than willing to pay a qualified pet sitter in order to avoid sending their pet to a professional kennel.
If you have marketable skills as a developer, designer, or online marketer, there's an online audience who’d be willing to pay for your expertise, in order to become experts, too. Start by testing your way into the market on Udemy or Skillshare, where there’s already an existing audience for career-related courses. As you build your brand, aim for teaching on higher-visibility online education platforms like CreativeLive.

If you can attract a regular audience for your podcast, there’s good money to be made from sponsorships and other digital product offerings. At my own day job, we regularly pay $250 to $500 for 30-second advertisements on relevant business podcasts. Check out this episode of the Conscious Millionaire Podcast for an interview with John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur on Fire, for more tips on how to make money podcasting, including selling online courses, eBooks, and coaching sessions.
The most important lesson here is not to leave too early. Take it from someone who got all excited about her income potential and left a great job she probably should've kept working for a few more months. You not only want a healthy amount in savings for the transition, but you want to have a business that makes close to your same level of full-time income.
If you have something you're skilled at and very passionate about, you can turn that winning combination into offering your services with one-on-one online coaching as a solid side business idea. Just be sure to implement your own opportunity management system so you don't get caught up working with clients that you can't measurably help. Elmira Strange will give you a step-by-step plan for putting your skills and experience to work by developing an online coaching business—even as a side business idea in the time around your full-time job—so be sure to check out her course on Udemy for a jump start on this side business idea.
Not only is Airbnb a great way to make money by renting out your spare bedroom or living room couch as a legitimate home-based business idea, but you also have the benefit of meeting new people and making new friends if that's your kind of thing. You can even rent out an entirely new apartment just to manage as an Airbnb side business idea, but don't make the mistake of thinking this will be a passive source of income—you're on call whenever you have a guest and you'll always need to keep the place clean for incoming visitors. On top of just renting on Airbnb, you can take this business idea to the next level by offering your guests add-on and personalized experiences for an extra charge. Take Lauren Gheysens' Airbnb-based side business idea, Royal Day Out in London, England for example—where she gives visiting tourists a local's only tour of the city, complete with bespoke 18th century costumes.
We all know you can buy and sell stuff on Craigslist, but have you ever thought about offering a service you can provide. If providing a service isn’t your thing, you can scan Craigslist for great deals and then later resell items for a profit. This takes persistence and patience, but I have a friend who went from a $4k truck to a $24k in truck in 18 months by flipping cars from Craigslist.

Can you draw, paint, or create another form of art that others would be willing to purchase? Create a Facebook or Etsy store to create works of art commissioned in your preferred medium. I know someone who draws Valentine’s cards, Christmas cards, and even birthday invitations for extra money for her family. With that money, she helped fund an international adoption. Another friend draws beautiful portraits of babies and children from pictures that are sent to her.
Once you know what you will be selling, you can start to create. Make sure to get good quality images and write detailed descriptions of your products. To add a fun visual touch to your website, consider photographing your creative process from beginning to end. This side business idea is great to promote on your social media accounts. You can also get friends, family, and followers to spread the word about your new business.
Self-publishing is thriving, eBooks and online guides are slowly but steadily making a lot of online authors richer every day and, to the surprise of a number of cynics, people are still reading! So here’s another golden nugget for you – write a book or a long-form guide and sell it online. Whether you have a great personal story to tell, a valuable, educational piece cooking up in your head or have accumulated a wealth of resources or knowledge on a particular topic that could prove invaluable to others, you can start making money off it as soon as it gets online. If you publish your eBook through Amazon Kindle Publishing and continuously promote it on your blog or website, the sales will keep on trickling in.
I no longer build WordPress sites, but back in the day I easily built over 100 of them and worked on even more. I was an OG WordPress adoptor and loved building websites for anyone who needed one. I got my early clients from Craigslist and eLance (now UpWork) and started building websites for law offices, consulting firms, non-profits, churches, real estate companies, and e-commerce startups.
If you’re still not having any luck with the jobs I've shared above – check out FlexJobs. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau,  along with a money-back policy if you are unhappy with the website. FlexJobs guarantees that every single job is hand-screened for legitimacy. This is a great way to search for legitimate work at home jobs without the hassle of dealing with scams.

As a freelance illustrator, you can take your skills in a number of directions. You might work for advertising agencies, stock image houses, magazine or book publishers, record labels, greeting card companies, digital properties, merchandisers, or other businesses. Some illustrators serve such narrow specialty niches as courtroom sketch artists, or niches in fashion, medicine, or technology. Or you might primarily work in fine art to be sold to customers directly or through galleries or agents.
As a freelance illustrator, you can take your skills in a number of directions. You might work for advertising agencies, stock image houses, magazine or book publishers, record labels, greeting card companies, digital properties, merchandisers, or other businesses. Some illustrators serve such narrow specialty niches as courtroom sketch artists, or niches in fashion, medicine, or technology. Or you might primarily work in fine art to be sold to customers directly or through galleries or agents.

If you love baking and are able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, making gourmet cookies is a great side hustle with plenty of long-term potential. Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Sell your cookies online or to people in your local community.

Oh man, I haven’t experimented with those myself, but I’m all about trying out new things! I feel like you really have to just give these things a shot to really find out if it’s something worthwhile or not, as too many people have skewed opinions and situations. Worse case you can always just stop and/or sell your car, right? So I say give it a shot for a month and then report back your findings ;)
Top side hustles have one big thing in common: there’s a high demand for it. A virtual assistant is an assistant who works in a remote location. They can help with tasks such as administration, social media, bookkeeping and more. There’s been a growing demand for virtual assistants from business owners who need help on various projects. As a virtual assistant you can specialize in countless areas. In the past, I’ve hired virtual assistants for social media and customer service. And there are countless other businesses around the world who rely on virtual assistants to grow and maintain their brands.
Ahh the wonderful world of freelancing. Freelancing is a bit different than many of the other options on here, but it is equally as lucrative and there are many different ways to go about it. If you have a specific skill that you excel at, you can make money freelancing. And I’m not just taking about coding here. You can earn money formatting Kindle books, as a photographer, as a copy writer, as a virtual assistant or even playing Pokemon Go!.
Instead of having to open up your brick and mortar store, sell your creations on Etsy. Whether you make clothing, crafts, baby toys, or jewelry, you can open up your own store at Etsy. I have a friend selling her awesome clothing line on Etsy and it brings in a very nice income for the family. This is another great side hustle, but don’t expect instant results. You may need to be patient for this one.
The items you are selling should have some type of certification or grade so customers know that they are the real deal. You will want to have a professional storefront, which you can easily put together using the Selz store builder. Reviews are also very important in this line of business, so don’t hesitate to ask previous customers to drop you a line with their thoughts.
There’s a big difference between drinking beer and learning how to brew it. But, with patience and a bit of persistence, brewing it yourself could result in something special over time as you perfect your craft. Pick up a starter kit, like one from Mr. Beer and get creative about finding a winning flavor combination. Start small by setting up a booth at a local street fair and networking with local restaurant owners. Be sure to brush up on local regulations and proper licensing before you start selling.

If you speak like James Earl Jones or Scarlett Johansson, quite a number of digital publishers (including game developers, animated film-makers, and training video producers) pay good money for voice talent and the time investment isn't too intensive—making this a great side business idea. You can find these publishers looking for voice-over artists on sites like PeoplePerHour, Freelancer and Upwork, as well as their calls for talent directly on their websites or through voiceover agents. If you do pursue this as a side business idea, be prepared to invest for the long-haul as it can be a very competitive industry.
If you love baking and are able to keep your hand out of the proverbial cookie jar, making gourmet cookies is a great side hustle with plenty of long-term potential. Start by learning how to execute unique and tasty gourmet cookie recipes, then seal the deal by creating or purchasing professional-looking packaging. Sell your cookies online or to people in your local community.
A dried flower business will sell dried flowers to hobbyists or craft stores. A flower preservation business will save important flowers, like wedding bouquets, for interested parties. Owners may do one or both of these services, but they are separate. Dried flowers do have a demand amongst a variety of people who use them to finish their craft projects. Flower preservation is perfect for those who want to scrapbook their memories, or fill boxes and chests with important mementos. Demand has increased for dried flowers over the past few years, as more people discover easy and fun DIY challenges.
Dropshipping Tip: Want to start your own dropshipping business? Sign up for Oberlo on Shopify. The Oberlo app allows you to choose from millions of products that you can start selling on your store today. Plus, it automates several parts of the business process. You can add products in a simple one click and process orders with the same swift action.
Fashion, style, and grooming continue to be a lucrative side business idea that can be done in your hours outside of work. If you know how to mend clothes, then you have a growing market of budget-conscious and/or personalization-obsessed customers. Entrepreneur says you need around two thousand dollars to start a decent side business idea in this niche but there’s no harm in starting smaller and growing from there, as long as you can make magic with needle and thread.
The photo booth business is perfect for any person who likes photography. Whether you’re a photographer, a framer, a painter or simply love taking pictures of others, you can establish a photo booth business to give customers the chance to take their own pictures. Operating a photo booth does take some familiarity with camera settings like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. The ideal photo booth business owner will also have a solid software foundation. It takes time to hook everything up, but it’s certainly worth the effort when customers are satisfied.
Starting a new business online requires much less risk than investing your dollars into a brick-and-mortar storefront or downtown office. Because your business is based online, you can reach more potential customers, work from virtually anywhere and make money online without large overheads. When I start to blogging, I have some problem with writing texts. And guys from essayforme.org helped me and I was happy. Even if you have a regular nine-to-five job, a side business or a part-time gig means you’ll have extra money for traveling, shopping, or saving an emergency fund.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I'd recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.

Anyone can start a blog, but monetizing it is a different story. However, if you are experienced and passionate about a certain subject, or have an existing blog that you can turn into a money-making endeavor, consider focusing your energy there. Blogging can be a great way to turn your passion into a side business, and blogging is—you guessed it—incredibly flexible. With no time constraints, the ability to work for as long or as little as you wish, and the freedom to work from virtually anywhere, blogging is an excellent side business option.


I’ve never worked as a freelance writer for any websites because I was never able to find lucrative enough gigs. I didn’t want to write posts for $200-$300 each. I wanted to get paid to write $5,000 – $10,000 reports! So I haven’t written as a freelancer for any websites, but what I have done quite a bit of is write white papers for companies. Here’s basically how it works. Consulting companies, engineering firms, law firms, and tons of other professional service firms like to put out “thought leadership” reports which basically are blog/research reports on steroids. Sometimes they are pretty big.

Great read Lauren, always looking for extra ways to make cash. I just wanted to share something I’ve been doing recently. I run an office and have noticed that unused toner was piling up in storage. Looked into returning but that was no good. Tried out the site http://www.tonerconnect.net/ and was impressed. They had quick service and that payout was nice.
If you are always trying out new hairstyles and enjoy working with hair, then this could be the perfect side business idea for you. Start with a specific tutorial, such as a how-to on making stylish braids. You can upload videos to your website or store demonstrating each type of braid, and produce a guide that gives step-by-step instructions for each.
If you love to create art of any kind, you could be making a little side-income with your talent. Custom, one-of-a-kind paintings are popular decorations, and many people are willing to pay for unique works. This side business idea is great, because it takes something you love (and would probably be doing anyway) and turns it into a source of income.

A real estate appraisal business can be operated from home, on a part-time basis, making for a fun side business idea if you have the credentials to back it up. A perfect option if you want to keep your day job while earning a little extra on the side. You won’t need a college degree to start in on this business idea, but you’ll need bankable appraiser credentials (including relevant training and professional licenses), strong knowledge of the sector, and a growing network of industry players including mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, and fellow appraisers that'll want to utilize your services.
Similar to selling on Amazon, eBay is a place to make money selling just about anything you can think of as a side business idea, with the added excitement of using the auction selling model to sometimes get way more than you expected for that antique baseball card you picked up at a local street fair. To turn your eBay selling into a legitimate business idea, look for opportunities where you can buy in-demand products at a discount—and later sell them for a profit. Eventually, you can even take the lessons learned from your eBay store and build a full on blog or eCommerce business like what the team over at Gear Hungry has done.

Comon’ man… this article is about getting YOUR side hustle ON. Re-read the gianormous list Nick gave, then read ALL the comments – many of which offer additional ideas – and then rethink how little you have to offer or can do. I mean, it’s just not possible for you to feel that lost if you really consider the list provided and the vast world of opportunity we currently live in. Unfortunately ALL the ideas require you to actually DO something – no room for the wallowing “woe is me” attitude – sorry, just dropping some TRUTH on you but sounds like you need it. Only YOU can make it happen for you. Remember the sobering and sage words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!” So which is it going to be for you?
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