Green businesses and eco-friendly companies are part of one of the fastest-growing industries around the world. This presents a great way for creative entrepreneurs to not only find financial success and opportunity but also pursue something that makes a positive impact on the world.
Below, we’ll explain how new entrepreneurs can enter this exciting field and we’ll give you some tips for starting your own green business.
What Is a Green Business?
A green business can take a lot of different forms. Essentially, a green business looks to prioritize sustainability through various business practices or by implementing certain technologies.
For example, a farm that uses less water than traditional farms to produce the same crop yield could be considered a green business. Another example is a company that installs solar panels on homes to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.
These are just a few examples, but the possibilities are nearly endless as many traditional businesses can be converted into green businesses.
A key aspect of a green business is sustainability. This means the business can run and expand with a minimal negative impact on the environment or people. This can also include things like fair labor practices in areas that are traditionally unfair, or industries that normally source raw materials in an environmentally unfriendly way. By making this raw material sourcing more sustainable, the company can be transformed into a green or eco-friendly business.
25 Green Business Ideas
Below are 25 green business ideas to help spark your entrepreneurial creativity and help you start thinking of new opportunities.
Sustainable Fashion Store
This is a great way to mix a strong fashion sense with the green business movement. The fashion industry has often come under fire for labor practices. By flipping this and sourcing fashion made with fair labor practices and eco-friendly materials, an entirely new niche can be created with a sustainable fashion boutique.
E-Bike Conversion or Sales
E-bikes have exploded onto the scene and are selling like crazy all over the world. These eco-friendly modes of transportation reduce carbon emissions and make cycling fun for everyone. Converting old traditional bikes to e-bikes can be easy and profitable. Another option is to sell e-bikes at a retail store or even create your own brand of e-bikes.
Organic Smoothie Bar
Smoothies are a high-margin and easy avenue to open your own business. By choosing all organic ingredients, you can reduce harmful chemicals associated with agriculture. Customers also resonate with this more healthy option which also helps the environment.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Company
This can be a commercial cleaning company or a maid service for homes or businesses. The goal is to use only safe and eco-friendly cleaning products. Many consumers have concerns or even allergies to harsh cleaning agents. By avoiding these you attract eco-conscious clients and help the environment as well.
Another aspect of this is that you can immediately set yourself apart from the competition by offering green cleaning options.
Bicycle Rental Service
If you live near a tourist area or where people visit, offering a bike or scooter rental service can help alleviate car traffic and exhaust emissions. This is also relatively inexpensive to start and can be done without a permanent physical location.
The options here are almost limitless and you can quickly expand to other locations if your area can support it.
Green Dry Cleaning Service
Dry cleaning often uses harsh and environmentally unfriendly chemicals. By offering a more eco-friendly option, you can attract customers who want a more sustainable option.
Customers are often happy to pay a premium for these green services, so it provides a higher margin product for you to sell.
Organic Tea or Coffee Shop
By serving organic and fair-trade coffee or tea and offering sustainable food options, you can attract an entirely new customer base and also charge a premium for these high-quality products. This means higher margins and happy customers while helping to promote sustainability.
Solar Panel Installation or Repair
If you already have home repair or construction experience, installing or repairing solar panels can be a great way to enter the green business market. You can even add this to your existing list of services if you currently work in home construction.
Solar panel installations require maintenance as well, so even if you don’t install these, you can still offer maintenance packages to homes or businesses with solar panels. Solar energy is an expanding field as electricity prices move higher, so now is a great time to enter this area.
Consider starting a business where people can swap goods instead of letting them go to the landfill. Things like gently used furniture or other home items can often be used by other people. This saves waste and helps those in need. This can also be run as an app and proceeds can come from advertising revenue or fees.
Plant-Based or Vegan Restaurant
Many environmentalists believe that plant-based or vegan foods are more sustainable than meat dishes. You can lean into this concept with a plant-based or vegan restaurant.
Organic Lawn Care Service
Most lawn care companies use harsh chemicals, but there are organic options that can often be used instead. Organic lawn care is a fast-growing industry right now, so this is a great opportunity to increase your customer base.
Green Business Consulting
If you have knowledge in a certain area of green business or have experience in environmentalism, consider consulting for other companies looking to increase their sustainability. Some businesses are required to become more eco-friendly due to various state or federal laws, so this offers a lot of opportunities to earn a substantial income.
Sustainable Beauty Salon
Offering more sustainable and organic versions of hair coloring, nail polish, makeup, and other beauty products can set you apart from the competition. There is also a large market for these safer products.
Electric Landscaping Service
Landscaping uses loud and polluting equipment that some homeowners don’t like. There are commercial mowers and tools available now that are all electric. Market yourself as an eco-friendly landscaping company with lower emissions and less noise.
Sustainable Pet Supply Company
Consider only offering toys and products made from safe or recycled materials. You can also sell brands of organic pet food.
Pet spending by consumers is a growing area, so this can be a solid way to take advantage of two growing sectors.
Eco-Friendly Home Remodeling
Offer low-chemical or safer construction materials such as flooring with no toxic glues or finishes or low-fume carpeting that is safer to install.
There are many safer and less toxic home materials on the market now. Use these to your advantage to find new customers and help the environment as well.
Reusable Bottle Company
New reusable drink bottles are entering the market all the time. Some now are even battery-powered and communicate with your phone. Create a new idea for a reusable bottle and save the environment along the way as it helps consumers create less waste from plastic bottles.
Create an Environmental Advocacy Group
Creating an advocacy group that promotes environmental initiatives and causes can help spread the word about what’s important to you. Your services can be offered to companies and other businesses who want to also promote their eco-friendly practices.
Start a travel agency that specializes in eco-tourism or tourism with a far less negative impact on the environment. Things like bicycle tours of cities and hikes can all be part of the packages.
Website About Environmental Concerns
Create a website to educate people on green businesses and how they can participate. Accept advertising from eco-friendly businesses and others to generate revenue.
Sustainable Toy Store
A toy store with only products made with sustainable labor practices and sustainable materials. You can sell a variety of toys or specialize in one specific type of toy.
Green Product Review Site or App
A website where you either write reviews of green products or let users share reviews and feedback. Revenue can come from advertising or paid memberships.
Provide a service that picks up composting material to be composted and repurposed for fertilizer.
Electronics that end up in landfills can cause toxins to enter the ground and water. Collect these items for proper disposal and recycling. You can charge to pick up items from homes or large businesses looking to get rid of computers or other equipment.
E-Scooter Sales and Repairs
E-scooters have replaced cars for many people in cities. Consider a shop to sell or repair these scooters in an area where they are popular.
Green Gift Shop
If you are near an area with a lot of foot traffic, consider a store or pop-up store to sell eco-friendly items and clothing.
7 Steps for Starting Your Green Business
Once you have your idea, it’s time to turn it into a reality. Follow these steps to get your company started.
Write a Business Plan
A business plan outlines the goals of your business in a formal way. How you will start the business, acquire financing, or market your company are all things included in a business plan.
This acts like a roadmap for your business, so dedicate the proper care and attention when creating your business plan. Many problems you may face can be addressed in a business plan, which means an easier time when you launch your new business.
Choose Your Business Structure
Your business will need to be registered as a legal entity. Below are common ways to structure your business along with the benefits of each.
A sole proprietorship is the most basic type of business structure. It’s essentially just you as an individual doing business as yourself. You can do business under a different name by submitting a DBA or “Doing Business As” form with your state. However, your business finances and personal finances are seen as the same by the law which means your personal assets are exposed to liability.
This is similar to a sole proprietorship but with more owners. The owners can agree on terms internally and should have the terms of their relationship in writing.
However, this has the same pitfalls as a sole proprietorship as there is no protection from liability for the owner’s personal assets.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
This is the most common way to structure a business for entrepreneurs. A limited liability company or LLC can be created as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or even a corporation. However, it has the added benefit of providing limited liability protection.
This means that the member’s or owner’s personal assets are protected from lawsuits or judgments against the business.
A corporation is the most complex business structure as it requires annual meetings and paperwork to be filed regularly to maintain its legal status. A corporation can also complicate taxes as the owners need to pay themselves as employees. However, the owners can take dividends, which are taxed differently than a salary.
However, for complex businesses, the advantages of a corporation can be worthwhile.
Obtain Licenses and Permits
Depending on what services or products your business offers, you may need specific licensing or permits. For example, an organic or sustainable beauty salon would need the same licensing and permits as a conventional beauty salon. This would apply to the staff as well if they perform services on customers.
Not all businesses require this though, so it’s important to research your business first and look into any licensing that may be required.
Open a Business Bank Account
This is a critical step to take after creating a business entity, such as an LLC. With the documentation you receive after creating an LLC, you can open a business bank account under the business name.
This keeps all your business finances separate and it also makes it easier to obtain services like merchant accounts or business insurance.
Look for Funding
Funding for a small business can be a complex topic, but a good place to start is simply at your local bank or credit union. If you have good credit and a solid business plan, you may be able to secure financing.
Next, look into SBA loans which are secured by the Small Business Administration. These loans can be made in amounts up to $5 million and often have friendly terms.
SBA loans do require extensive paperwork, but the work is worth it if you can secure funding.
Green businesses may also be eligible for certain funding programs like grants or even tax credits from state and local governments. So make sure to investigate these avenues as well.
Not all businesses need a business loan or financing to get off the ground. If you need to start small, don’t let that discourage you. Many successful businesses are started with no financing.
If you’re providing a service or are selling from a retail store, you likely will need business insurance. This can vary from business to business and even state to state.
Business insurance providers will walk you through the process of what’s required in your state. Just make sure to shop around for the best premium.
Market Your Green Business
Every business needs marketing, including a green business. Marketing campaigns can cost anywhere from free to millions of dollars. A good place to start is simply on social media.
Create social media profiles for your new business on all the popular platforms. If you aren’t social media savvy, try to focus on one platform you are most comfortable with.
From there, create your accounts and start posting relevant information. These take a while to grow, so begin as soon as possible, even before you launch your business.
Next up is paid advertising. This can come in the form of buying ad space on websites or paying for clicks from various platforms. Start small with paid ads and be sure you are turning a profit before spending more money.
Don’t rush your marketing spending as it can quickly cause a loss of money that you may need for other business expenses.
Start Your Green Business Today in an Eco-Friendly Way
When you’re ready to take that next step and make your green business a reality, trust doola to help you register your business.
doola helps green businesses create an LLC or corporation in a fast and easy process, with no credit checks or background checks. Our team of experts can also assist with business checking accounts and manage your bookkeeping for you so that you can focus on running your green business.
Why start a green business?
The green industry is a fast-growing area of opportunity with many areas still untapped or unsaturated by competition. It’s a great place for creative entrepreneurs to start a successful business and also do something positive for the world around them.
What is an example of a green business?
A green business provides services or produces products in a way that is more ecologically friendly than a traditional business. A green business can also focus on sustainable and fair practices. For example, a company that produces its products with 100% recycled raw materials would be considered a green business.
What is a green business known as?
A green business is known as an eco-friendly business or one that prioritizes sustainability and ecological consciousness. A green business attempts to provide a product or service that does less harm than traditional products or services in that same industry.
A green business can also be a completely new kind of business that solves a problem in a new and novel way.