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50 Best Passive Income Business Investment ideas

Are you a retiree or employee looking to earn passive income streams online part time? If YES, here are 50 passive income business & investment ideas.

Passive income is an income earned without much participation from the earner. It is taking advantage of already working systems to create cash flow for yourself. Yes, you can actually earn money while you sleep, but to actually rake in the big bucks, you have to work to put the processes in place.

One of the major issues in being a passive income earner is setting up the specifics. In doing this, you need to roll up your sleeves and put in a few hours every day. But the good news is that once everything is in place, it can just run on its own with you putting in just a few hours a week, or even a month.

Passive income ideally is something that comes in on the side and is able to run side by side with your day job or business without stressing you out. You have to note that a passive income source may not give you a lot of money at once, but do you remember what they say about little drops of water that make a mighty ocean? That’s the idea here.

That said, find below 50 best passive income business and investment ideas  suitable for this economy. For ease and clarity, we have separated the ideas into passive income that requires finance and passive income that does not require finance.

Best Passive Income Business & Investment ideas & Opportunities

Passive Income ideas that Require Finance

1. Set up an ATM

You can earn passive income by setting up ATMs in business areas. Some bank ATMs can charge $5 or more per transaction, and you would get a piece of that as your commission. If you place the ATMs in a location that sees a lot of traffic everyday, then you are likely to earn more.

The drawback here is that the startup capital is on the high side, but it can guarantee constant flow of passive income if it is properly located.

2. Get vending machines

Vending machines are one of the fastest earners in the passive income segment. You would need some capital to buy the machines and stock them with candies, drinks, etc. but you can recoup your expenses in a few months if your machines are placed in a viable location that sees a lot of leg walk.

3. Bonds/CD ladders

Bonds are investments that yield interests annually. You can apply a strategy where you can purchase different types of bonds and stock them up.

The interests accruing for them can add up to a very tidy sum. In a similar way, Certificates of Deposit (CDs) can be piled up similar to bonds and they would mature at various times with various interest rates. On the plus side, it is really easy to move your money in and out of this business.

4. Selling antiques on eBay

People tend to clean up their houses every few years and throw out the junk. Most of what people call junk are antiques that can fetch a lot money when refurbished or simply cleaned. You can collect or buy these items very cheap and sell them on eBay to make a tidy sum.

5. Peer to peer lending

This is a situation where you lend money to people who need them to solve their various problems, but with an interest. Investing with companies like Lending Club can guarantee you returns of up to 10 percent.

6. Share dividends

Dividends are monies paid to shareholders of stocks. Share dividends are a good source of passive income as you get to receive a small return on your investment every quarter or so without you lifting a hand to do any extra work.

7. Real estate via crowdfunding

You can make a lot of money through real estate, but since the capital required to start up is much, it is advised that you invest using a crowdfunding website.

8. Buy an existing Online business

One of the lures of online business is that you can do it from anywhere, but setting up an online business can be slow and time consuming. Solution? Why not buy an existing online business that is in a niche you are interested in and start working from there. Sites like Biz Buy Sell have a long list of such sites for sale. You can pick one that is within your price range.

9. Open a high yield account

Opening an account is one of the very passive, if not boring way to earn residual income. A high yield savings account pays better interest than the traditional savings account, and it is much safer as you are not in any danger of losing your money.

10. Fund a business

If you don’t have the time, nor the capacity to run a business, you could look for a promising business that requires little startup capital which you can fund while the owner runs it full time. You get to make good passive income from this source.

11. Try index funds

This is another way to earn money from the stock market. You can invest money on any index of your choice, be it banking, energy, solid minerals, etc. and then sit back and earn. Your stock portfolio can run on autopilot with the fund managers handling all the heavy lifting.

12. Turn your active business passive

This is very achievable. If your business takes too much of your time because you run it alone, you can choose to outsource most of the tasks to free up your time. I know of someone who did it and he currently has time to invest in other businesses.

If you don’t want to hire full time employees, you can hire freelancers to take care of mundane, time consuming tasks like; writing, book keeping, editing, social media marketing etc. Once you outsource all the time consuming aspects of your business, the business automatically becomes less active and more passive, and you still get to earn your profits.

13. Sell your own products online

You can create just about anything and sell it online. You can set up a dedicated website for this, or you can sell it on an affiliate basis, or through platforms such as ClickBank.

14. Buy a blog

This is an alternative to opening a blog. If you do not have time to open and build up your blog till it starts getting a substantial amount of followership, you can buy an already established blog and take advantage of its membership to earn your passive income. But note that you still have to put in a few hours to get it fully on the road.

15. Launch a dating website

You can launch a dating website and charge membership fees. It has been discovered that people prefer niche dating websites than general websites, so do yourself a favour and get a niche when you want to start this business. This is a great passive income idea if you can run it adequately. But you would need some money to float the website and optimize it.

16. Get an automated car wash

You can buy an automated car wash that can run on its own thus requiring little assistance on your part, but you can employ someone to see to the daily basics. The only drawback here is the cost which can be a little high, but you can easily recoup your investments.

17. Start options trading

An option is a type of security that can be bought or sold at a specific price, within a specific period of time. Trading in options has lesser risks and it is equally traded through the stock exchange. Many investors have testified to the viability of options as a way of earning passive income.

18. Build a dropshipping store

You can start a dropshipping store online. It is quite easy nowadays to set up and run an eCommerce site. Sites like Shopify have made this possible. The good thing with this is that you can sell just about anything you want.

Passive Income ideas That Do Not Require Finance

19. Storage Rental

Do you own an open space or a warehouse? You could rent it out to people to store their stuff for an agreed period of time. You can make money from the open land instead of allowing it lie fallow.

20. Join a referral program

Sometimes, startup companies offer a bonus to people who refer clients to them. Are there any businesses you use their services on a regular basis?

You could contact them and find out if they give such bonuses for referral. If they do, then refer your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours etc and earn a few dollars or free services for just doing passive marketing. If the company that you are currently working with offers such service, then take advantage of it.

21. Volunteer for Uber or similar e-hailing taxi service

If you are already a driver, you can make money with no additional cost by registering your vehicle with an e-hailing taxi service. The good thing about the e-hailing taxi service is that you get to set your own schedule as it would please you.

22. Carry a car advert

Do you already have a car and you drive around town a lot? You could use your car as a mobile billboard and get paid for it. This is a great passive income earner and you get to operate it at no additional cost to you. You can earn up to $100 in a month on a platform like Carvertise. If you are a taxi driver or you run Uber rides, this method would be great for you.

23. Trade your photographs

You can sell your photographs to make money. How it works; just take a photograph of a scenic and beautiful spot or event and upload them to sites that put the photographs up for sale. Sites like foap pay about $5 per purchase. Think of the outcome if you have lot of photographs with many people buying them. The best is that you get to earn without spending a dime.

24. Craft greeting cards

A lot of people love unique cards, and as such would pay you to design it for them. Companies that need large quantities can pay you a tidy sum for them. The only drawback to this method is that you have to do the leg work in order to advertise your art. Alternatively, you can sell them online. You can upload your cards to a platform that would help you sell the cards, and depending on the arrangement, you can get 5percent or more once somebody buys the card.

25. Leverage on everyday tasks

We search the web almost every day. In the same way, we shop online, play games and do other things online during our free time. Why not subscribe to an online service that would allow you to earn money while performing these random everyday tasks? Sites like InboxDollars and Swagbucks are perfect for these kinds of earnings.

26. Create an online course

If you are very versatile in a particular field, you can create a course in that field and sell it online. If you are capable, you can create loads of courses and put them up for sale.

These courses can earn you a very tidy sum. You can sell them for between $20 and $100 depending on the course in question. Additionally, you can host your course in your website or take advantage of sites like Udemy that can help you out. Udemy is one of the world’s biggest learning marketplaces.

27. Open a membership site

Membership sites are places where you charge people some money before they can have access to your exclusive contents. Your income increases when you have more members because you get to charge them monthly fees. You can offer instruction and training manuals or even tour guides.

28. surveys

Some companies would pay you to complete surveys for them. You only need to sign up to sites that coordinate the surveys and complete them. Most surveys are quite small and would only require minutes to complete. You get to earn some money depending on the number of surveys you are able to complete.

29. Cash back credit cards

Some banks give you some percentage for every purchase you make with your credit card. In this way, you get rewarded for using your credit/debit card. Some people have been able to rack-up up to $1000 a year with this method.

30. Build an app

If you are a programmer, you can create and app and sell it on the app store in order to create residual income for yourself. Since you can create the app yourself, you do not need to spend any money before you can start earning from it. You would get paid once someone downloads the app.

31. Make YouTube videos

You can make videos in just about any area of life and upload them on YouTube. After you upload them, you need to attach Google AdSense to them so that anytime a viewer gets to click the adverts attached to the videos; you get paid by Google AdSense. You need not have the whole shebang needed to make a video like camera, stand, lighting etc. a good phone with great specs would serve you just fine.

32. Write and eBook

If you are a prolific writer, you can write an eBook on any subject of your choice and sell the eBook on your website. If you don’t have the required followership, you could offer to schedule an affiliate arrangement with other websites that offer content similar to yours. Writing and selling your eBook can provide you with passive income for years.

33. Open a blog

It costs nothing to open a blog. You can open a blog dedicated to a certain niche, and go ahead to post very interesting and compelling write ups that would attract readership to it. If your blog is optimized with Google AdSense, you get to make money when your readers click the adverts.

The key here is to publicize your blog through your social media platforms because the more readers you have, the more your chances of earning. Your blog can be a source of passive income that can yield for years, though this would require a lot of your time because you need to always work on your blog.

34. Sell products through your website

You can set up a website where you get to sell other peoples products and earn a commission. Sites like BigCommerce can make this quite easy for you.

35. Leverage on Amazon

This is just like affiliate marketing, but you get to leverage to get it done. The trick here is to create links in your website to direct visitors to Amazon website to buy products. You can write reviews for the products while providing a lot of clickable links that direct the readers to Amazon. You tend to get a neat payout from Amazon depending on how many people who click the links.

34. Affiliate marketing

This is one of the ways to make passive income using your website. You get to set up links to products and services, and when people click on those links, you would get paid.

35. House sitting

This method is almost like relaxing while you earn. In house sitting, you get to take care of the house for people who have gone on vacation. You can still run your normal daily activities while you house sit.

36. Get out of debt

This idea may sound funny to some people but it does make a lot of sense. Being in debt means you have to pay off both interest and capital, and truth be told, interest on debt/loan can be quite high. The less money you are paying to creditors, the more money you have in your bank account. You need to get out of debt quickly in order to have more cash at hand.

37. Design T shirts

You could design T shirts and sell your designs online. Websites like CafePress can enable you sell your original, wacky, if not crazy T shirt designs. You get to earn a commission if someone buys them.

38. Make an online guide

If writing books and blogs are not your thing, you could try creating an online guide in any area of life. Creating an online guide can tearn you money through the usual means – Google AdSense, affiliate links or via membership.

39. Write online reviews

You can write online reviews for products and get paid, but you have to put in a lot of work up front before you can start earning. I say this because penning down reviews is no easy task.

40. Create website themes and templates

If you are already a graphics designer, you could create themes and templates for websites and put them up for sale. People are always looking for unique templates for their websites, so you are guaranteed to make a tidy sum from there.

41. Sell online magazines

You can put together a magazine catering to a particular niche you are conversant with and then market it online for a profit.

42. Go the consultancy line

This idea might not be totally passive but consulting for people online would not take much of your time, and you can do it from anywhere. You can try Linkedin or other similar sites to advertise your consultancy business online.

43. Sign up for freelancing

You can sign up to freelancing sites like Upwork, Guru, Elence and Freelancer as a freelancer. To make this line of income completely passive, you can decide to outsource the jobs you get to other freelancers and share the proceeds with them.

44. Flip websites

You can decide to completely overhaul websites and sell them on places like com.

45. Start a Deals newsletter

If you are a person that spends hours surfing the web just to find businesses that offer better deals on just about anything, then maybe you should make money from it. You can put these deals together in form of a newsletter and offer them for sale on your website.

46. License an idea

You can create an idea and license it to companies. The process involved in this can be quite long but it is guaranteed to pay off big time once your idea has been adopted by a company. You can also be creative and sell your ideas to reality TV networks. Sites like Virtual Pitchfest can help pitch your ideas to decision makers who get to decide whether to adopt it or not.

47. Audio files

You can record your music or make audio files of instructional materials and other stuff and sell them online. You can monetize your music on iTunes.

48. Pet sitting

Pets are living things that need care when their owners are out of town. You can offer your services as a pet sitter and earn passive income on the side. Since pets just do their things and don’t require much care from you apart from feeding, bathing and walking, so you would have the time to still run your normal businesses.