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What Small Business Ideas Can You Start in the Philippines?

Venus Zoleta

Venus Zoleta

Last updated October 05, 2023

Around 99% of business enterprises in the Philippines are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).[1] This overwhelming number shows that most Filipinos have an entrepreneurial streak!

Want to join this booming industry, be your own boss, and grow your finances by starting your own business venture?

If your answer is yes and you're wondering, "What small business can I start in the Philippines?" here are some small business ideas in the Philippines you can set up with low capital.

Small Business Ideas in the Philippines You Can Start with 10K

👉 Homemade Beverage or Palamig Business

small business ideas in the philippines - palamig business
  • Start-up cost: ₱500 to ₱5,000
  • Items to invest in: Ingredients, purified water, containers, plastic bottles

Want to set up a business with a small capital? Selling ice-cold drinks is one of the best small capital business ideas in the Philippines. Filipinos love ice-cold milk teas, coffees, and fruit drinks during summer, but you can sell them all year round. For as low as ₱500, you can start selling drinks.

👉 Home-Cooked Meals

  • Start-up cost: ₱1,000 to ₱8,000
  • Items to invest in: Meal ingredients, plastic containers, kitchenware

Selling home-cooked meals is one of the best businesses requiring low capital, especially if you have a passion for cooking. It’s time-consuming, but you only need as low as ₱1,000 for this business.

Start with advertising your meals online on social media and cook meals on a made-to-order basis.

Read more: What’s Cooking? How to Start a Catering Business from Home

👉 Cellphone Loading Business

  • Start-up cost: ₱5,000 to ₱8,000
  • Items to invest in: Basic phone, retailer SIM card, starting balance of ₱5,000

Perhaps one of the easiest small business ideas to put up is a cellphone-loading business. For as low as ₱5,000, you can start earning at home or even at the office.

However, unlike other small business ideas in the Philippines, don’t expect to earn much from this venture. As a load retailer, you get your earnings through a commission, which can be 3% to 13% per transaction. For example, a prepaid load worth ₱50 may deduct ₱47 from your load wallet, leaving you with a ₱3 profit, depending on your chosen telecommunications company.

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Small Business Ideas in the Philippines You Can Start Under 20K

👉 Lugaw / Arroz Caldo/ Goto Business

  • Start-up cost: 2,000 to ₱11,000
  • Items to invest in: Ingredients and take-away packaging

Lugaw, arroz caldo, and goto are undoubtedly among Filipinos' favorite comfort foods. Not only are they easy to prepare—they’re also delicious and made with affordable ingredients. 

If you have a special lugaw, arroz caldo, or goto recipe, start selling and earning from it. Sell from home or set up an online store to reach more customers. You can make it as special as you want with delicious toppings, or just serve the classic and traditional style everyone loves and enjoys.  

👉 Face Mask Business

small business idea in the Philippines - face mask business
  • Start-up cost: 2,000 to ₱11,000
  • Items to invest in: Tight weave cotton fabric, elastic, sewing materials  

Do you love making something functional yet beautiful with your hands? Why not make handmade washable face masks a business? The worst of the pandemic may be over, but plenty of Filipinos still wear masks as a precaution.

Invest in tightly woven cotton fabric to make masks more effective against droplets. You can choose different kinds of patterns or designs that will appeal to your target market. Maybe choose prints with kawaii characters that children will love, bold prints for the creative types, or classic and understated colors for those who like simple and minimalist designs.  

A yard of 44-inch wide fabric can make around 15 face masks, and it costs around ₱120 to ₱150 per yard. The price will vary depending on the type of fabric, of course.

But don’t forget to price your time, too. Whether it took you five minutes or 30 minutes to make one face mask, make sure to factor in your skill and speed. 

👉 Barbecue Stand / Ihawan Business

  • Start-up cost: ₱5,000 to ₱15,000
  • Items to invest in: Food to be grilled, sauces, charcoal, stainless grill, tongs, barbeque sticks, takeaway packaging

Usually, the best location for a barbecue stand or ihawan business is right outside your home, especially if you live in a busy area with a lot of foot traffic. Your customers can be your own neighbors or commuters who happen to pass by your barbecue stand. 

Depending on what you want to sell and grill, you can lower your capital. For example, if you want to sell isaw, betamax, or adidas, you can already start with a capital of only ₱3,000. 

If you want to sell pork cuts, chicken, or seafood, you’ll need a bigger investment. Always go for a good supplier with high-quality products. Moreover, work on your marinades and dipping sauces―they’re usually what customers keep coming back for!

👉 Fruit and Vegetable Business 

small business ideas in the Philippines - fruit and vegetable business
  • Start-up cost: ₱5,000 to ₱15,000
  • Items to invest in: Fruits and vegetables for selling, packaging, weighing scale, business phone  

If you’re looking for small capital business ideas in the Philippines, try selling fruits and vegetables. Aside from the fact that there are many fruit and vegetable suppliers in the country, it’s easy and quick to set up. You can also start with under ₱20,000. 

Whether you plan to set up a physical fruit and vegetable store or an online one, you just need to stock up on the goods, price them accordingly, and start selling. Get Pinoy favorites like mangoes, bananas, and apples. Make sure to sell the most commonly used vegetable ingredients as well. 

If you wish to cater to a more specific clientele (vegetarians, health buffs, etc.), you can also sell their top fruit and veggie essentials like cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots, seedless grapes, and many more.  

👉 Plant Shop

small business ideas in the Philippines - plant shop
  • Start-up cost: 5,000 to ₱15,000
  • Items to invest in: Plants to sell, pots, soil, planting tools

Do you love plants and know how to propagate them successfully? One of the best small capital business ideas in the Philippines you can explore is selling plants. 

If you have adequate space in an accessible area, like near main roads, you can put up your own nursery or plant shop and display your plants for sale. You can also set up an online plant shop. Less space is required, and you’ll still reach target customers online who enjoy urban gardening. 

Start small with cacti and succulents. You can get around 30 pieces for less than ₱2,000 from a good supplier.

If you scout for a good supplier outside Metro Manila, you can get a good deal on the most popular plants in the Philippines, such as marigolds for ₱50 each, forget-me-nots for ₱100 each, or orchids for ₱130 each. You can get caladiums and snake plants for ₱100 to ₱200. You can also get fortune plants, money plants, and aglaonema for less than ₱500 each. 

Consider the care requirements as well when choosing which plants to sell. Start with a few plants that you know will do well and have a big market. 

👉 Milk Tea Business

  • Start-up cost: ₱6,000 to ₱15,000
  • Items to invest in: Electric sealer, film sealer, cups, milk tea shaker, straws, milk tea ingredients and syrups, measuring cups and scoops 

Love milk tea? You can have your own milk tea business with less than ₱20,000. 

The great thing about milk tea is that it’s popular all year round. Filipinos find it hard to resist a delicious and refreshing milk tea when they’re thirsty, hungry, or both! 

There are many online sellers online milk tea business packages, complete with equipment, utensils, and supplies. You can set up shop at home or build a small stall or cart. Take orders online and offer both pickup and delivery options.

It’s really up to the scope and size of your milk tea business.  

👉 Meat Shop

small business ideas in the Philippines - meat shop
  • Start-up cost: 15,000 to ₱20,000
  • Items to invest in: Meats to sell, freezer, knives, weighing scale 

If you live in an area where the market is a bit far away, a meat shop is a 
good business to start with small capital. Start with processed meats like tapa, tocino, longganisa, and more. Price them accordingly for a good profit margin.

For a small investment of ₱20,000, you can also start selling poultry meat. Just add in pork and beef once your business grows.

Small Business Ideas in the Philippines You Can Start Under 50K

👉 Online Tutoring Business

small business ideas in the philippines - online tutoring business
  • Start-up cost: ₱2,000 to ₱40,000
  • Items to invest in: Computer, quality web camera, headphones, microphones

Thanks to the internet, learning has become more accessible even from the comfort of our homes. With an online tutoring business, you can teach students and budding enthusiasts via Zoom or Skype. 

It's a small business idea in the Philippines that's perfect for teachers, musicians, and artists who would like to share their knowledge with a large audience. Assuming you have the expertise, all you need to start this business is a computer, a quality webcam, headphones, and a stable internet connection.

👉 Cake and Pastry Business

small business ideas in the Philippines - cake and pastry business
  • Start-up cost: ₱3,000 to ₱5,000 if you already have equipment / ₱30,000 to ₱40,000 if you still have to invest in equipment and materials
  • Items to invest in: Oven, mixer, cake pans, cupcake liners, decorating tools, cooling rack, measuring spoons, mixing bowls

Do you like baking during your free time? Why not turn this hobby into a profitable business? A cake and pastry business is a great way to earn money at home. With capital as low as ₱3,000, you can create tasty bread and pastry you can sell online.

Determine your target market and identify your specialty. Don’t forget to find a supplier who can provide ingredients at a low price. Lastly, build a Facebook or Instagram page to help you advertise your business.

See also: Why You Should Open a Bakery: Tips to Get Your Business Off the Ground

👉 Beauty Products Reselling Business

small business ideas in the philippines - reselling beauty products
  • Start-up cost: ₱5,000 to ₱30,000
  • Items to invest in: Beauty products for reselling, smartphone

The country’s beauty industry is worth a whopping ₱152 billion and is expected to reach ₱213 billion by 2023.[2] If you’re a beauty enthusiast but don’t have the huge capital to start your own brand, you can resell beauty products instead.

Starting with a budget of ₱5,000, you can start reselling products from more popular brands like Skin Magical, Human Heart Nature, Avon, and Ryx Skincerity. 

👉 Web Design Business

  • Start-up cost: ₱5,000 to ₱40,000
  • Items to invest in: Computer, design software

You can start a web design business and cater to startup companies wanting to build their own websites. You can also offer your services to individuals who want their own websites for personal use. This is one of the simplest small business ideas in the Philippines that you can start at home.

If you already have the industry experience and skills, the startup cost can be as low as ₱5,000 for additional tools. Profit for this business ranges from ₱20,000 to ₱50,000, depending on your client.

👉 Bills Payment Business

  • Start-up cost: ₱5,000 to ₱45,000
  • Item to invest in: Point-of-sale (POS) device

Great small business ideas in the Philippines solve customers’ biggest pain points, like having to go to payment centers to pay bills or send money.

Run a digital payment business offering bills payment, remittance, and mobile e-loading services to your neighborhood. With this business with low capital, you can earn an average monthly income of ₱10,000 and recoup your investment in one to eight months.

If you already own a sari-sari store, eatery, internet shop, or any small business, this is a great way to boost your income.

👉 Online Fashion Boutique

  • Start-up cost: ₱15,000 to ₱35,000
  • Items to invest in: Products for reselling, camera, smartphone, stable internet connection

Clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and beauty products are among the most sought-after items by online shoppers. Explore this opportunity with a buy-and-sell business.

Find cheap yet trendy ready-to-wear clothes from Taytay Tiangge or Divisoria, then sell them via Facebook, Instagram, or online marketplaces like Lazada, Shopee, Carousell, or eBay.  You can also set up your own website using an e-commerce platform like Shopify.

Invest in a camera so the high-quality product photos on your website can attract prospective customers.

👉 Piso Wi-Fi Vending Machine

  • Start-up cost: ₱17,000 to ₱30,000
  • Items to invest in: Internet hotspot device and unlimited broadband plan

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that Filipinos can’t live without an internet connection—we spend an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes on social media alone per day, according to the Digital 2023 Global Overview Report.[3] This makes a Piso Wi-Fi business one of the best small business ideas in the Philippines.

Enterprising people can take this as an income-earning opportunity by running a Piso Wi-Fi business that provides an affordable internet connection. This small capital business idea is cheaper to set up than an internet cafe.

Simply purchase a coin-operated internet vending machine that serves as a hotspot and charge a fee per minute/s of internet use. For example, your rate could be ₱1 per 5 minutes, ₱5 per 30 minutes, or ₱10 per hour.

Sales of a Piso Wi-Fi business can go anywhere from ₱6,000 to ₱40,000 a month.

👉 Vlogging

small business ideas in the philippines - vlogging
  • Start-up cost: ₱20,000 to ₱40,000+
  • Items to invest in: Vlogging camera, microphone, tripod, video editing software

Do you have a knack for hosting or storytelling? Be a vlogger. Earn income using your talent and video production equipment with a small capital.

Vlog using a smartphone that can shoot high-resolution videos, create interesting content, and share your video on YouTube, Instagram, or your personal blog. Your content can be anything you’re passionate about, like travel, humor, or sports. Or you may want to share advice with fellow moms or create makeup tutorials.

To earn income through vlogging, sign up for a Google Adsense account and start earning from ads displayed on your videos.

👉 Personal Shopping Services

  • Start-up cost: ₱10,000 to ₱45,000
  • Items to invest in: Smartphone, laptop, vehicle

Often called pasabuy, personal shopping is popular among customers who don’t want to go out to shop. As a personal shopper, you'll be asked to look for and buy specific items—from simple grocery products to bulkier items such as furniture. Personal shoppers charge between 10% to 15% of the total purchase price.

To start a personal shopping business, you need to know your way around malls and other shopping establishments. You also need to invest in a vehicle such as a motorcycle to make transportation easier. Advertise your services on Facebook groups, or you can create a website for your business.

👉 Hair and Grooming Home Services

small business ideas in the Philippines - hair and grooming home services
  • Start-up cost: ₱50,000 
  • Items to invest in: Hair products, quality grooming equipment

A home service salon is perfect if you’re an aspiring hairdresser who wants to start their own business. Aside from haircuts, you can offer treatments like hair coloring, rebonding, and perming.

Some of the products you need to get for this business are hair products and quality grooming equipment. Updated yourself on the latest hairstyle trends to better serve your customers and their grooming needs.

Small Business Ideas in the Philippines You Can Start Under 100K

👉 Bicycle Shop Business

small business ideas in the philippines - bike shop
  • Start-up cost: ₱50,000 and up
  • Items to invest in: Bicycles, bicycle parts, tools

While the Philippines isn’t as bicycle-friendly as other countries, the demand for bicycles is growing, especially since cycling is now viewed as a safe and efficient mode of travel.

Aside from selling bicycles, you can offer rentals, repairs, and tools. The capital for this kind of small business starts at ₱50,000, depending on the products and services you want to offer. Set up shop in a high foot traffic area or near a biking destination to boost your chance for profit.

👉 Car Wash

  • Start-up cost: ₱70,000 and up
  • Items to invest in: Cleaning products and equipment

A car wash is one of the best business ideas with small capital that's ideal for car lovers. It's a great business idea if you know your way around cars and auto detailing.

Since there is steady demand from customers for a car wash service, just set up a car wash business in an area with high foot traffic to maximize your business’ potential growth.

Read more: Wash and Earn: How to Start a Car Wash Business in the Philippines

👉 Delivery / Courier Services

  • Start-up cost: ₱80,000+
  • Items to invest in: Smartphone, motorcycle, or bicycle

Demand for delivery services in the country continues to increase as more and more people choose to shop online. Consumers consider delivery as part of their shopping experience, so it’s important that a courier takes care of the parcels during transit and delivers them on time.

With this type of small business idea, you'll spend ₱5,000 to ₱80,000 on one vehicle needed for deliveries. Partner with an online shop to deliver its items or advertise your services on social media.

Have a Bigger Budget? Here are More Negosyo Ideas 

👉 Meal Plan and Delivery

small business ideas in the philippines - meal plan and delivery
  • Start-up cost: ₱30,000 to ₱150,000
  • Items to invest in: Kitchenware, plastic containers, meal ingredients, delivery vehicle

Release the inner chef in you and turn your passion into a profitable business with a meal plan and delivery business. Target busy professionals who don’t have the time to cook healthy and tasty meals.

You can offer weekly meal plans with three dishes delivered every day for seven days. The startup cost for small business ideas in the Philippines like this one can go as much as ₱150,000, depending on the meals you plan to offer and the equipment you need to cook meals.

👉 Home Cleaning and Repair Services

  • Start-up cost: ₱50,000 to ₱150,000
  • Items to invest in: Cleaning and repair tools, disinfectants, protective gear

You can start a cleaning and repair business that caters to professionals leading a fast-paced lifestyle. Some of the services you can offer are appliance repair services, housekeeping, and even plumbing.

Aside from tools, disinfectants, and protective gear, you need the necessary training to do home repairs and housekeeping. It can cost a significant amount, but there are online classes you can take for free such as the ones offered by TESDA.

👉 Food Cart Franchise

small business ideas in the Philippines - food cart franchise
  • Start-up cost: ₱50,000 to ₱300,000
  • Items to invest in: Whatever item you think can improve your business. Franchisers usually provide equipment and initial supplies to help start this kind of business

Food carts offering one or two products typically start at a franchise fee of ₱50,000, which includes equipment, training, and marketing support. More popular food cart franchises can cost as much as ₱300,000.

When investing in a food cart business, choose a location with good foot traffic such as malls, terminals, and cafeterias. Also, don’t forget to secure an emergency fund for unforeseen circumstances. Remember that real profit only comes in once you’ve earned the money you’ve invested in your franchise fee.

Read more: 32 Food Franchise Businesses You Can Start Under ₱1 Million

👉 Graphic Design and Video Editing Business

  • Start-up cost: ₱70,000 to ₱150,000
  • Items to invest in: Graphic tablets, design software, PC or laptop

The rise of Filipino YouTube influencers and vloggers means there's also a growing need for graphic design and video editing. Use your creativity in design and video editing to start a small business.

Tap startup businesses here and abroad for their multimedia needs. This small business idea in the Philippines requires an extra set of skills. Aside from a powerful computer, graphic tablets, and industry-standard graphic programs, you need editing and design prowess. 

👉 Local Grocery Store Business

small business ideas in the Philippines - local grocery store
  • Start-up cost: ₱70,000 to ₱200,000
  • Items to invest in: Grocery items, shelves, plastic bags, label makers, refrigerator

A local grocery store is like a sari-sari store, only bigger. You can set up this business idea with ₱70,000 to ₱200,000, depending on the store's size and location. Its profit margin is 20 to 30% if the business is booming.

Set up a local grocery store in an area where there are no local markets nearby. You can also offer services like online shopping and delivery to stand out from the traditional local grocery stores.

👉 Laundry Shop Business

  • Start-up cost: ₱70,000 to ₱250,000
  • Items to invest in: Washing machines, dyers, baskets, detergents

A laundry shop offering pickup and delivery services is the perfect small business idea in the Philippines if you live near condominiums and business districts. 

Laundry shops typically charge ₱150 to ₱250 for 8kg of laundry, including washing, drying, and folding. Pickup and delivery may incur delivery charges, but you can offer this service for free as a promotional deal.

For your reference, here is a laundry shop business plan sample:

  • Decide on a type of laundry business. Do you want a laundromat or a wash and fold service?
  • Think about your business name. Brainstorm and choose a catchy yet unique business name.
  • Write a business plan. Create a comprehensive overview and actionable plan for your laundry business.
  • Find a location. This is very important. Apart from location, choose a commercial space with good plumbing and water line hookups.
  • Register your business. You need to prepare for this step whether you're franchising or starting a laundry business on your own.
  • Get the proper permits and licenses. You'll need a business permit from both the mayor and barangay of your chosen location.
  • Get the proper equipment. A huge chunk of your capital will go to this so prepare and budget wisely.
  • Market your laundromat. Take advantage of free platforms like Facebook and Instagram when promoting your laundry shop business.

👉 T-Shirt Printing Business

small business ideas philippines - shirt printing business
  • Start-up cost: ₱80,000 to ₱200,000
  • Items to invest in: Computer, printer for pigment ink, printer for sublimation ink, heat press, silkscreen line table, rotary press, flash dryer, frames, squeegees, t-shirts

It’s easy to earn from a t-shirt printing business, especially if you already have connections with companies and organizations. Apart from customized tees, you can also focus on printing office uniforms, jerseys, hoodies, and canvas bags.

However, before putting up this kind of business, it's best to learn different printing methods (digital printing, silkscreen, direct-to-garment) for a more specialized venture. You can start your business in a spacious garage at home or rent a small commercial space.

👉 Pest Control Services

  • Start-up cost: ₱100,000 to ₱250,000
  • Items to invest in: Pest extermination equipment, pest control products, protective gear

Pests exist everywhere and can compromise our health. A pest control service helps eliminate these unwanted pests, protecting households and businesses from infestation. Offer fumigation, termite control, and rodent control to residential and commercial customers.

👉 Water Refilling Station

  • Start-up cost: ₱100,000 to ₱350,000
  • Items to invest in: Water refilling machine, slim water bottles, round water bottles, heat gun, stickers, delivery vehicle

If you find a place with no water station or far from one, take the opportunity and put up a water refilling business. There is a high demand for clean and drinkable water, especially in rural areas.

With a budget of ₱100,000, you can franchise a water refilling station like Crystal Clear or Bluewaters. Starting your own brand, on the other hand, can cost as much as ₱350,000.

The investment is worth the money, though. Water is highly profitable and does not expire, unlike other products in the market.

Small Businesses in the Philippines: FAQs

1. Do small businesses pay taxes in the Philippines?

If you earn only ₱250,000 or below each year with your small business, there's no need for tax registration, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).[4]

2. Does a small business need a business permit?

Yes. According to the DTI, all businesses are required to secure a mayor’s permit or municipal license from the city or municipality where they are located. This is to ensure compliance with the standards and requirements of the business locale.[5]

Final Thoughts

Did you find any small business ideas in the Philippines that suit you? Which ones made it to your top ten best small business ideas? With strategy and creativity, you can be your own boss even with low capital. 

But before setting up a business, determine your target market. Make sure to explore business ideas with small capital that are highly profitable. 

Wondering how to start a business with small capital? Start things off with the help of a loan. Compare your options and apply for free through Moneymax!

Apply for a personal loan through Moneymax


Venus has almost 20 years of combined experience in content marketing, SEO, corporate communications, and public relations. Most of her career was spent creating informative articles on personal finance and digital marketing. She also invests in stocks, mutual funds, VUL, and Pag-IBIG MP2. Venus graduated cum laude with a Journalism degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. A hardcore Hallyu Tita, she loves bingeing Korean shows on Netflix while bonding with her cats. Follow Venus on LinkedIn.


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