How to Start a Startup with No Money

Starting a business with no money might initially seem like a far-fetched idea, but it's not impossible.

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Are you eager to launch a tech startup, rent office space, and become the next Bezos but are also low on funds? Getting any start-up off the ground can be daunting, but having enough funds to get it off the ground is sometimes the most daunting part since there's no such thing as free money in the business world. Not only do you need to invest money, but valuable time as well.

The good news is, there are ways to cut costs. Plus, starting your tech company on a tight budget is a good way to test the waters.

You can find out if your idea works without wasting too much time or money. Once you see results, you can make a bigger commitment.

What are some ways to start a business with no money?

There are several ways you can start a business with no money:

  • Offer a service: If you have a particular skill or expertise, you can offer services such as consulting, coaching, or freelancing. This can be a low-cost way to get started, as you likely already have the tools and knowledge you need to get started.
  • Sell products online: There are a number of online platforms, such as Etsy and eBay, that allow you to sell products without upfront costs. You can start by sourcing products from garage sales, thrift stores, or even by creating your own products.
  • Utilize free resources: There are many resources available to help you start a business with no money, such as free business plan templates, free marketing tools, and free or low-cost legal services.
  • Look for grants or funding: There are a number of grants and funding opportunities available to entrepreneurs, particularly those in underserved or disadvantaged communities. Researching these options can help you find financial support for your business.

There are several industries that may be particularly well-suited for starting a business with no money:

  • Service-based businesses: If you have a particular skill or expertise, such as writing, editing, or graphic design, you may be able to offer your services as a freelancer or consultant.
  • Online businesses: It is often relatively inexpensive to start an online business, as you can utilize free or low-cost resources such as social media and e-commerce platforms.
  • Home-based businesses: If you have a home office or other space that can be used for your business, you can start a home-based business with little or no money. Examples include home-based catering, tutoring, or consulting businesses.

Once you have your business idea down, follow these steps:

1. Form Your Company

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The first step in starting a startup is forming your company. This can be done by filing the necessary paperwork with your state and choosing a business structure, such as an LLC or corporation.

You will also need to obtain any licenses or permits required for your industry and open a business bank account. Once you have completed these steps, you can officially begin operating as a legitimate business.

Forming an LLC does cost money in the form of filing fees and possibly hiring a lawyer, but it can provide liability protection for you and your business. It is important to weigh the cost against the potential risks before deciding on a business structure.

2. Find Easy Ways to Make Money

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According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, most micro-businesses cost around $3,000 to start, while most home-based franchises cost $2,000 to $5,000. While every type of business has its own financing needs, experts have some tips to help you figure out how much cash you'll require.

You will probably need six months' worth of fixed costs on hand at the startup. If you don't have any money for your startup then you can use the internet to start earning money fast. Thankfully, you can find ways to make $900 fast with a list of realistic ideas to get money in your bank account fast this month. Others can consider learning about direct loans or personal loans to secure funds. Some can explore options such as business loans others can consider learning about direct loans or personal loans to secure funds.

3. Look to Others for Inspiration

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There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other companies similar to yours. Find a website that’s trying to achieve the same results as you and use it as a template. The truth is, hiring a freelancer or website company to design your page from scratch is expensive. Using another website as a guide saves a lot of time and money.

Find a website whose look and feel mirror your image. Collect 3-5 sites to get a good variety. Although it’s not a bad idea to see what your competitors are doing, avoid using direct competitors for inspiration. Customers will pick-up on the similarities, which may confuse them and discredit you.

Just be careful not to copy these websites or companies too closely. If you breach copyright laws, you might be facing legal ramifications. Always keep in mind that if you wanted to start your own website, it's very possible to do and usually costs less than $3 per month — you can discover how out how to start your own blog here.

4. Use AdWords to Your Advantage

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Google AdWords is one of the most popular ways to advertise and gain traction for your tech start-up. If you’re going to invest any of your money, it should be on paid advertisements. When running an AdWords campaign, you’ll either need to do it yourself or hire a manager. While hiring a manager will offer in-depth knowledge of the process, their expertise comes at a cost.

The good news is, there are a lot of free AdWords tutorials available on YouTube. These videos will show you the basics and then you can build from there.

Some of the first things you’ll do are choose keywords and set up your advertising budget — both steps that, if done yourself, can save you hundreds of dollars a month.

Get the most out of your investment by using automated bidding strategies via AdWords. This platform collects important, detailed data on what type of customers are clicking on your ads and how many of them are converting. After a few weeks, AdWords will automatically start running ads for you based on this data.

5. Hire Freelancers


Freelance workers are quickly becoming an inexpensive necessity for start-up companies. Hiring large consulting firms can get really expensive, really fast. Consultants for the development, design, and management of your tech business can cost thousands. These expenses are even greater in tech hotspot cities like Silicon Valley and London.

Sites like Upwork & Fiver allow you to find freelancers across a range of specialties. Each freelancer will have a rating and a previous work completed catalog.

You can create jobs for what you need, specify your budget, and state your timeline. Freelancers will then approach you to be hired.

When hiring using these platforms, you need to be as clear as possible as about what is required and expected. Also, keep in mind that less expensive freelancers may not have English as their first language so there may be communication issues to contend with.

Whenever possible, be directly involved with the freelance process, giving plenty of feedback and reviewing the work personally. Hiring freelancers for certain jobs can cut down on your tech start-up’s overhead costs. You can also get a lot done by utilizing the best tools for entrepreneurs that I've found.

6. Utilize Friends and Family

how to start a startup with no money

Who better to help you get your tech company started than those you trust most — your friends and family. Use your loved ones as test subjects for trouble-shooting your website. As the founder, you’ll know how your site works from the inside out. You can easily navigate it by pressing the right buttons and easily filling out forms. But is your website clear and user-friendly for someone unfamiliar with it?

As founder of Rentround, Raj Dosanjh explains,

“Having insight into the customer journey before launching your tech start-up is invaluable information. It allows you to identify and fix system bugs and website features that need renovating.

Hiring people to test your website is another unnecessary cost. Instead, look to your friends and family. Sit with them as they navigate your site and see where they get confused or tripped up.

Ask them questions and let them ask you. If they’re getting confused or frustrated, chances are your prospective customers will too. Use these insights to create a more user-friendly experience.”

7. Provide Tools to Boost Traffic

how to start a startup with no money

When working on a tight budget, you need to gain as much traffic as possible without spending much. Beyond having the best web hosting platforms, certain tools can help boost your website’s traffic while also improving SEO. Examples of such tools include weight loss calculators, mortgage repayments and tax bills.

Offering these tools for visitors is one way to improve your online presence, but creating your own tool from scratch is costly. The good news is there are countless online websites that allow you to easily create these types of calculators. All you do is enter your formula and edit the design and color scheme. Last, you simply enter the code into your website and voila!

Plugins are another great tool for boosting traffic and SEO on your tech website. There are an abundance of SEO analysis tools and productivity apps available on the market. Plugins are easy to install and some are even free, which is perfect when launching a start-up on a tight budget. Once the plugin or calculator is in place if you need help updating it, you can hire a freelance developer to implement modifications.

8. Consider Content on Journalistic Sites

how to start a startup with no money

Websites like HARO are a great resource for journalists to find stories to feature articles and blogs. Here, journalists publicize a topic and outline exactly what they’re looking for. Subscribers to the site then contact the journalist with short snippets and other information to help the writing process.

If your information is chosen, your reward is usually a backlink to your website. Backlinks are an important part of increasing your organic search results on Google.

Another way to get backlinks is to pay for them, but this is a costly avenue, especially if you’re trying to proposition sites with high domain authority – as much as £500 for just one link!

Journalist websites allow you to get backlinks, free of charge. The only thing you’re sacrificing is the time it takes to write your submission. View these websites regularly and be sure to respond quickly. There may be stiff competition for certain topics, so you want to be ahead of the pack by responding and submitting early.

Tips to Remember

Here are some tips for starting a business with no money:

  • Start small: It is often easier to start a small business with little or no money and scale up as you are able.
  • Be resourceful: Look for free or low-cost resources and be creative in finding solutions to problems that may arise.
  • Focus on providing value: By offering a high-quality product or service that meets a need in the market, you can attract customers and build your business without relying on a large budget.
  • Network: Building relationships with other entrepreneurs, potential partners, and industry professionals can help you find opportunities and resources to support your business.


Is it possible to start a business with no money?

Yes, it is possible to start a business with no money, although it may be more challenging than starting a business with access to capital. However, there are several strategies you can use to minimize your start-up costs and get your business off the ground with little or no money.

Are there any risks to starting a business with no money?

Starting a business with no money can be risky, as you will likely have limited resources to draw on if things do not go as planned. It is important to carefully assess the potential risks and to have a solid plan in place to mitigate them. It may also be more difficult to attract investors or secure loans if you do not have any capital to contribute to the business.


Starting a business with no money can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. Here are some steps you can take to get your business off the ground:

  1. Define your business idea and target market: Clearly define what your business does and who it serves. This will help you focus your efforts and resources on a specific market, making it easier to get your business off the ground.
  2. Create a lean business plan: A lean business plan is a simplified version of a traditional business plan that focuses on the essential elements of your business. This can help you save time and money on unnecessary details and allow you to get your business up and running quickly.
  3. Find free or low-cost resources: There are many resources available to help you start your business without spending a lot of money. These can include free or low-cost business training programs, grants, and mentorship programs.
  4. Use your network: Your network of friends, family, and colleagues can be a valuable resource when starting a business. They may be able to help you with advice, connections, or even financial support.
  5. Get creative with funding: There are many ways to fund your business, even if you don't have a lot of money upfront. Some options include crowdfunding, applying for grants, or seeking out investors.

By following these steps, you can start a business with no money and turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality.

Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs is a personal finance expert, and the founder of Hustler Gigs, a personal blog helping you make extra money in the gig economy. He helps readers increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. He regularly writes about side hustles, gig work, and the gig economy aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. He has been quoted as a top personal finance blogger in major publications including Insider, Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, MSN Money and more.
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