30 Underground Economy Businesses You Can Start Now

Underground Economy Businesses
30 Underground Economy Businesses You Can Start Now

Fly Under The Radar In The Layoff Economy With One Of These Underground Economy Operations! #undergroundeconomy #businesses #business #startup #ruralmoney #rural #money

Underground economy businesses refer to economic transactions that are deemed illegal, either because the goods, etc. traded are sketchy.

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Or because transactions fail to comply with governmental reporting requirements.

An underground economy business also refers to simple, little known extra cash gigs that people all around you are doing.

These businesses, if they aren’t reported to the government, may escape rules and regulations, taxation and enforcement penalties.

For example, California is changing laws to regulate and tax Uber and Lyft drivers because they are independent contractors, thus may be escaping regulations and taxation.

Governments and some honest, law-abiding citizens do not like these business operations.


Like it or not, with over 16 million people unemployed, people will get more creative in finding ways to “pay the bills”.

In many cases, underground economy business activities will expand as unemployment increase.

For example, as the costs of maintaining normal food and household expenses increase due to the coronavirus and layoffs, some people are looking for ways to skirt the law, to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.

A Regular Job Now Is As Scarce As Hen’s Teeth

A few businesses such as grocery stores and Amazon are hiring more workers and independent contractors due to the pandemic.

Beyond that, there are no employers hiring some workers “under the table” because of shuttered businesses and shelter-in-place laws.

Types of Underground Economy Businesses That Fly Under The Radar

The businesses that the tax man is looking for are usually somewhat visible, with visible tangible assets or inventory movements that can be evaluated with a dollar amount.

For example, If a liquor store has $100,000 in inventory on the shelves and a liquor license that cost $100,000, an owner who reports a profit of $22,000 will probably be audited.

A self-employed hair stylist who reports an income of $16,000, but drives a $70,000 BMW and lives in a $2500 a month apartment is asking for trouble.


Especially if her appointment book, full of appointments, is in plain view for a tax man to see.

How Big Is The Underground Economy?

The list that follows is not by any means complete.

That’s because there are thousands of little businesses that people start every day.

People just like you, from their home.

In fact, most of these underground economy taskers have many of these businesses going at any one time because they’re hustlers.

It’s harder for a tax man to keep up with someone with 10 little “tasks” going on and who doesn’t attract attention with a showy or loud lifestyle.

Here are 30 examples of underground economy businesses, or extra cash activities that can be run out of your home, or even from your cell phone.

Each of these can be modified into several more examples:

  1. Unlicensed taxi or car service
  2. Trash removal service
  3. Home landscaping business – lawn mowing, shrubs, gardening, etc.
  4. Delivery service
  5. Shopping service
  6. Panhandler
  7. Burrito vendor (hot dogs, popcorn, corn on the cob…)
  8. Home cleaning services
  9. House painter
  10. Home handyman
  11. Photographer – home inventory
  12. In-home massage therapist
  13. Cupcakes for cash
  14. Private chef service
  15. Personal trainer
  16. Chair massage in select locations
  17. Web design
  18. Computer training
  19. Tutoring
  20. Resume writing
  21. Babysitting/childcare
  22. Meal preparation and delivery
  23. Auto detailing – pick-up and delivery
  24. Hair care (mobile nail care, etc.)
  25. Catering
  26. Party planning
  27. YouTube channel design
  28. Personal organizer
  29. Home cooking instructor
  30. Pet grooming

These should get your creative entrepreneur juices flowing.

You should be able to look at that list and come up with at least 50 or 60 more.

I didn’t even mention crafts and craft fairs or a bunch of car or pet ideas.

Plus, there are more ideas scattered around this web site.

What you are really looking for are a few businesses that you can start, with your own knowledge, skills, abilities and talents.

Many well-known entrepreneurs got started by using underground economy methods.

They raised enough money to start their business, which turned them into wealthy business owners.

The real secret to success is this:  Get started today, doing something.


Today’s job loss will lead to tomorrow’s success.

Now, there is no reason you couldn’t turn any of these into legitimate, tax paying businesses.

Then you can stop running from the tax man.

In order to make it easier for you to get started quickly, I’ve listed bonus ideas below for 4 easy-to-start but profitable businesses or extra cash activities.

One of them could work for you because  they are already working for thousands of people just like you.

Choose one now and get your creativity working for you, so you can finally start making money from your own home based business.

Here are simple and cheap ideas for 4 easy-to-start and profitable underground economy business opportunities for extra cash:

  1. Catering Business: If you are interested in cooking up something tasty for the affluent’s Sunday Dinner, start a catering business, or just do a bit of catering on the side.
  2. Photography Business:  You don’t have to purchase expensive equipment, lease a studio or get a loan. If you already know how to take good pictures, a profitable photography business can be achieved on a very, very low budget and in some cases, in as little as two weeks with a cellphone.
  3. Gourmet Dog Treat Bakery:  The gourmet dog treats business is fun and profitable, which is why many people are doing it. However, it’s not right for people who don’t like dogs.
  4. Cupcakes Cash:  Start a cupcake business from home. This is another extra cash opportunity that people just like you are doing.

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