141 Profitable Rental Business Ideas (2024)

by Brandon Boushy
141 Profitable Rental Business Ideas (2024)

Do you have items you don’t use often?

We all buy items we need and then stop using them. Depending on what they are, you might be able to make great money by renting them out.

We’ve compiled 141 of the best profitable rental business ideas to help you find an idea that works for you. We’ve broken rental businesses into 10 categories so you can pick a rental business idea that’s perfect for your lifestyle and business dreams.

Author’s Note

Due to the sheer number of rental business options available, we did not review them all. We list dozens of niche rental markets in 10 categories then share specifics of some of the best rental business ideas below them. We hope you enjoy the way this piece is written; it allows us to provide you with lots of ideas and inspiration without getting too long.

Let’s start by discussing whether it makes sense to start a rental business.

Should I Start a Rental Business?

Hand holding keys over a desk with a stack of notepads and a miniature house

A rental business can be a good side hustle or a small business if you have time and in-demand assets. Rental businesses have high profit margins and are sustainable because they don’t need to replenish their inventory constantly.

Some reasons to start a rental business include:

  • Profit margins: Rental businesses can have higher profit margins than traditional retail businesses. For example, bike rentals can have 60-70% margins, while party rentals might have 40-50% margins.
  • Sustainable business model: Rental businesses don’t need to replenish their inventory constantly.
  • Asset ownership: Rental businesses own an asset or inventory, giving them control over their primary source of revenue.

You can also automate or provide value-added services to increase the profits of rental business ideas.

Keep reading to learn how to choose a great rental business idea for you.

How to Choose a Rental Business Idea

When choosing a rental business idea, you can consider things like:

  • Demand
  • Competition
  • Products

Let’s look at how each of these will impact whether a rental business idea makes sense in your area.


Research your local market to determine your area’s demand for rental services. For instance, running a beach rental company in a desert doesn’t make sense. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense if you live near the beach.


Consider the competition in your area. You’ll want to compare how many competitors are in your area to the average for the U.S. population.

For example, the U.S. has 10,360 equipment and tool rental companies, meaning there is one tool and rental business per 32,000 people.

If your town has ten companies and 20K people, it’s probably not a great rental business idea. Meanwhile, you should start one ASAP if your location has a million people and no equipment rental businesses.


You can broaden the scope of your rental products to improve your rental business offerings and create more demand. Just make sure that the products make sense with each other.

For instance, it wouldn’t make sense for a party rental company to start offering construction equipment rentals.

Next, let’s look at how some of the best rental business ideas are performing in today’s economic environment.

Rental Business Industry Overview

Businessman in a sports coat and jeans smiling in front of a rental car with a cityscape and a jet plane in the sky in the background

The rental industry has grown over the past decade, but its growth has been heavily weighted toward areas like weddings, car rentals, party supplies, and real estate rental businesses.

Each rental industry has different growth rates and revenue. The table below shows some of the main sectors of the rental industry.

Industry Revenue Companies Compound Annual Growth Rates
 Real Estate Rentals  $1,200,000,000,000.00  4,000,000  0.20%
 Weddings  $60,000,000,000.00  336,725  2.10%
 Car Rentals  $58,000,000,000.00  11,135  7.50%
 Party Supplies  $7,900,000,000.00  10,118  3.40%
 Tool & Equipment Rental  $4,600,000,000.00  10,360  -1.40%
 Furniture Rental  $607,300,000.00  371  -3.60%
 Total  $1,331,107,300,000.00  4,368,709  0.62%

It should be noted that the size of real estate rentals is so large that it makes up nearly 90% of the revenue for rental business ideas. Don’t expect rentals to stop any time soon.

Note that we use IBIS World and NYU Stern throughout this blog as references. Both are useful resources for understanding all kinds of industries.

Next, we’ll look at some of the best rental businesses for real estate agents and others who love buying property.

12 Real Estate Rental Businesses

Realtor holding keys in front of a beautiful modern house with a for rent sign in the yard

Property rentals are the most profitable rental business on the planet. They account for 90% of the rental services revenue and 5.15% of U.S. GDP. They include:

1. Long-term house rentals
2. Shop spaces for rent
3. Vacation rentals and Airbnbs
4. Commercial spaces for rent
5. Conference room rentals
6. Garage rentals

7. Storage rentals
8. Office space rentals
9. Rent rooms in a house
10. Venue rentals
11. Campsite rentals
12. Land activities

These are by far the most profitable rental business ideas. Below, we share info and inspiration for getting started in a few of the most lucrative real estate rental niches.

Long-Term Home Rental Business

45.2 million people rent their homes and spend an average of $1,300 each month. That means the long-term rental business industry makes over $700 billion each year, making it the best rental business idea on the list.

The way this rental business works is a little different than many others. You will commonly see a small paper loss (-.76%) until market conditions change. Conditions that improve profits include:

  • Rent increases: The average rental increases 5.77% per year, but in any given year, locations can range from -16.1% to 33.89%.
  • Refinance for lower interest rates and payments: A 1% reduction in interest rates saves approximately $20K per $100K financed over the life of the loan, while refinancing without taking out some of the equity saves approximately $45 per $10K additional equity.
  • Pay off the property: Yields nearly 90% monthly profits.
  • Sell the property: When you sell a property, you can make profits from the difference between the price you sell it for and the sum of the pay-off amount and selling costs.

After making any of these moves, your profits increase substantially. In the meantime, your cash flow and net worth are steadily increasing. Once you reach 10 houses with 20% equity, you’re a millionaire.

This is an ideal rental business idea for real estate agents. Thach Nguyen built his real estate business investing in single-family rental properties. He’s since expanded into multi-family units and apartments and makes around $800,000 in monthly revenue using this business model. Hear his insights in this interview:

YouTube player

Shop Space for Rent

When you own a commercial building and rent a shop to a local business, you benefit from the asset appreciation of the building and the cash flow from the shop owners. The margins will be similar to how long-term home rentals work, but you’ll have other factors that impact the rental.

A rental business focused on shop spaces starts with having a commercial space for rent. This can mean a fairly large initial investment compared to other options on this list.

The plus side is that they have a higher profit margin than residential renting—around 30-50% on average, compared to a 10-15% average across the rental market for residential or vacation rental properties.

Bear in mind that renting out shop space doesn’t need to mean someone occupies an entire storefront. Some brick-and-mortar businesses add revenue streams by renting spaces within their store to other small businesses.

For example, a grocery business could offer pop-up booth space to local farmers, or a retail store could rent display space to local artisans. You could also offer short-term shop rentals for a seasonal business that only needs the space for a few months a year. There are various ways to start a successful rental business by offering shop space to another entrepreneur with their own business.

Airbnb Rentals

Average Annual Revenue: $201K
• Average Profit Margins: 8.10%
• Startup Cost: $100K-$3.5M
• Time to Revenue: 6-18 months
• Annual Market Growth Rate: 2.20%
• Best For:
Homeowners, frequent travelers, people with hospitality experience

Airbnb commanded 20% of the vacation rental market in 2023, with a global user base of over 150 million people. It’s also one of the fastest and most affordable ways to start your own rental business and among the top rental business ideas for homeowners.

The variety of business models based on Airbnb is one advantage of this business idea. You can start small and rent out a room in a house, or invest in multiple vacation rentals to manage for higher rental business revenues.

NICASA was started with a single property in 2009 and has grown to 22 properties, generating up to $400,000 a month in revenue. Hear founders Sid and Eva’s advice for those starting Airbnb rental companies in this interview:

YouTube player

Commercial Spaces for Rent

Average Annual Revenue: $298K+
• Average Profit Margins: 44.6%
• Startup Costs: $500-$5K
• Time to Revenue: 1-3 months
• Annual Market Growth Rate: -0.3%
• Best For: Strong salespeople and negotiators, entrepreneurs who want a passive income

Shopfronts aren’t the only type of commercial business renting. Other business rental space that you could offer includes:

  • A small warehouse for rent by owner
  • Office space rental
  • Conference room rental
  • Commercial kitchen rental for pop-up or mobile food businesses
  • Storage rental business for mobile construction industry businesses

There are certainly other rental business ideas in the commercial space niche, too. Renting commercial space has the potential to be a very profitable rental business idea.

The initial investment is also typically high, as with any rental business idea today that’s based on owning property or land. That said, the cost per square foot is usually much lower than for residential property, particularly for spaces like warehouses, which can translate to higher profit margins.

6 Wedding Rental Business Ideas

Outdoor wedding ceremony setup with a sign that reads "Wedding rentals" on an easel halfway down the aisle

The wedding industry is full of business ideas that are profitable if you provide quality rental services. Some of the most profitable businesses in the wedding industry are:

1. Wedding dress rentals
2. Wedding suit rentals
3. Wedding decoration rentals

4. Photo booth rentals
5. Tux rentals
6. Venue rentals

Want to learn more about wedding business ideas? Consider the following insights on why photo booth rentals make a great wedding rental business…

Photo Booth Rentals

Average Annual Revenue: $50K
• Average Profit Margins:
• Startup Costs:
• Time to Revenue:
1-6 months
• Annual Market Growth Rate:
• Best For: Photographers and visual artists with strong customer service, communication, and organization skills

If you’re looking for unique rental business ideas, a photo booth rental service could be an excellent option. Photo booths are popular event rentals for school dances, birthday parties, and other types of celebrations, too, expanding your potential sources of revenue.

Since the majority of these events happen on weekends or in the evenings, this is one of those small rental business ideas you can easily run as a side hustle.

That’s how Josh Pather started. Within three years, he was doing over 800 events a year and turned it into his full-time job. Today, he averages $500,000 a month in revenue. Hear how he got started in this podcast interview:

Pro Tip: Check out our interview with a wedding photographer to learn more about the wedding industry.

Next, let’s discuss car rental businesses.

34 Vehicle Rental Business Ideas

Crossover vehicle in front of a screenshot of a Zippia car rental statistics article

Vehicles are among the most commonly rented items. It is estimated that 46.8 million cars will be rented in 2024, and the car and truck rental market is expected to grow by 11% per year through 2025.

These are just the tip of the iceberg for a rental business idea related to vehicles. From a bike rental business to hourly truck rental, construction equipment, or boat rental businesses like canoe and kayak rentals, there are a lot of options in this category. Let’s take a closer look at some options.

1. Race car trailers
2. Antique car rentals
3. Electric car rentals
4. Exotic car rentals
5. Golf cart rentals
6. Horse carriage rentals
7. Racecar rentals
8. RV rental business
9. Boat rentals
10. Trailer rental business
11. Truck rentals
12. Trolley car rentals
13. Racecar trailer rentals
14. Food truck rental
15. Bike rental business
16. E-bike rentals
17. Mobile bar rentals

18. Mobile solon rentals
19. Snowmobile rentals
20. Moped scooter rentals
21. Motorcycle rental business
22. Limousine rentals
23. ATV rental business
24. Kayak rentals
25. Canoe rentals
26. Electric scooter rental
27. Fishing Boat Rentals
28. Horse trailers
29. Jet ski Rental
30. Pontoon Boat Rentals
31. Sailboat rentals
32. Scooter rentals
33. Segway Rentals
34. Yacht rentals

Car Rental

Average Annual Revenue: $5M+
• Average Profit Margins:
• Startup Costs:
• Time to Revenue:
6-18 months
• Annual Market Growth Rate:
• Best For: Mechanics, car experts, and collectors

Car and truck rentals have seen steady growth in the past few years as business travel rebounds and vacationers cooped up during pandemic lockdowns get back on the road. This makes 2024 a great time to start car rental businesses.

The main downside of a car rental business is that it has a relatively high initial investment. Car rental companies also often have fairly high ongoing costs for things like insurance and storage of the rental fleet when it isn’t in use.

The flip side of this is that car rental can be very profitable—one of the reasons it’s among the most popular rental business ideas. Ronnie Danelian started Legends Car Rentals in 2015, and today their fleet of exotic cars brings in around $175,000 a month in revenue. Hear how he built his business in this YouTube interview:

YouTube player

Bear in mind, too, that you don’t need a whole fleet to get started. Car collectors and car owners who only use their vehicles occasionally can rent out the vehicles they already own. You can find more tips in this blog post on how to start a car rental business.

Boat or Bike Rentals

Average Annual Revenue: $285K+
• Average Profit Margins:
• Startup Costs:
• Time to Revenue:
6-18 months
• Annual Market Growth Rate:
• Best For:
Mechanics and vehicle repair pros with excellent sales, marketing, and customer service skills

If you’re looking for a vehicle rental service that has a lower initial investment, boats and bikes are an excellent way to go. This is the best rental business to start for individuals who are mechanically inclined and can handle the maintenance and repair of their fleet themselves, reducing the potential expense of running this type of business.

The cost to start rental business ventures involving boats or bikes varies largely depending on the type of equipment you plan to rent out. For instance, a kayak rental business at a resort or campsite requires lower startup funds than a luxury yacht charter company.

If you live in a large urban area, a bike or scooter rental business can be a profitable idea. Last-mile public transportation is often lacking in these markets, and your company can be very successful if you can fill that need.

You can also combine these vehicle rentals with related services to add revenue streams. For instance, you can offer a fishing rental service as an add-on to boat rentals, or provide guided tours as an extra service for visitors renting bikes or scooters.

10 Party Rental Business Ideas

Woman in a sequined dress holding a glass of champagne in front of a party bus

A lot of the things people need to throw a great party aren’t items they’ll just find around their homes—and aren’t things they’ll use very often (if ever again). This is what makes a party rental business a smart investment: you’re providing equipment that many people won’t have reasonable access to otherwise.

Just like there are a lot of different types of parties, there are many ways you can make money with rental equipment or a party supply rental business. This includes things like furniture rental of chairs and tables for dinner parties, fun items like karaoke machines or bounce houses, or the space where people host gatherings as an event rental business. Here are our top party rental business categories:

1. Bounce houses
2. Party bus rental
3. Party tent rental
4. Costume rentals
5. Margarita machine rentals

6. Holiday decor rental
7. Masquerade costume rentals
8. Popcorn machine rental
9. Prop rentals
10. Inflatable rentals

Party Bus Rental

Average Annual Revenue: $689,656
• Average Profit Margins:
• Startup Costs:
• Time to Revenue:
3+ months
• Annual Market Growth Rate:
Best For: Outgoing and social entrepreneurs, people with event planning and party planning experience

For those who want a unique and profitable party rental business, a party bus fleet is a strong contender. For one thing, there are multiple revenue streams built right in. You can rent out just the bus, or provide full service with snacks and drinks for an extra fee.

Along with this, it offers a lot of flexibility. There’s the potential for passive or side income if you put effective processes in place. More hands-on and extroverted entrepreneurs can put their people skills to work, hosting party games or other activities while the group is on the go.

The initial investment to start a party bus rental business is also lower than you might expect. If you don’t have a ton of startup cash and are mechanically inclined, you can repurpose used school buses or similar vehicles and save on that initial expense. 

23 Equipment and Tool Rental Business Ideas

Construction worker in a hard hat and orange vest pointing to construction rigs in the background

Construction equipment is expensive, and the average person only needs it occasionally. This is what makes it ideal as rental equipment, particularly for avid DIY-ers or construction pros who already have the tools and want to make a bit of extra profit from them.

Compared to something like a home or car rental business, an equipment rental business has a lower initial investment, even if you’re starting from scratch.

While construction equipment offerings like crane, dump truck, or mini-dumpster rental involve more sizeable initial investments (and require more storage space), renting out smaller gear as a power tool rental business or camping equipment supplier can make for excellent equipment rental business ideas.

As camping rental businesses prove, a tool rental business doesn’t need to be focused on construction projects. There are lots of other categories that can be very profitable. Depending on where you live, a business in ski and snowboard rentals, fishing equipment rentals, or similar outdoor adventure gear can be very profitable.

Another growing category is a medical supply rental business, which can help older adults stay independent longer or be a godsend for people in recovery from illnesses or injuries.

The bottom line is, the equipment rental industry is broad. Here are some ideas within the niche to get you started:

1. Power tool rentals
2. Crane rental business
3. Dump truck rentals
4. Dumpster rental business
5. Fishing equipment rental
6. Forklift rentals
7. Generator rental
8. Heavy equipment rental business
9. Hunting gear rental
10. HVAC rental
11. Landscaping supply rental
12. Lighting rental

13. Medical supply rental
14. Moving equipment
15. Music instrument rental
16. Construction equipment rentals
17. Porta Potty rental
18. Portable sink rentals
19. Scaffolding and ladders
20. Small equipment rental business
21. Camping equipment
22. Beach gear rental
23. Catering equipment

4 Furniture Rental Business Ideas

A furniture rental business is among the top businesses you can start with what you already own.

Short-term furniture rental includes things like tables and chairs for events. You could also rent out furnishings on a more long-term basis, for example, to furnish a short-stay apartment or during the infancy of a new child. Here are some of the most lucrative furniture rental options to consider:

  1. “Furniture rental near me” businesses
  2. Animal crates and haulers
  3. Artificial plant rentals
  4. Baby equipment rental

Baby Equipment Rental

Average Annual Revenue: $2.1M+
• Average Profit Margins:
• Startup Costs:
• Time to Revenue:
3+ months
• Annual Market Growth Rate:
Best For: Moms, childcare professionals, organized and system-oriented entrepreneurs

Items like cribs, strollers, and playplaces are must-have equipment for parents. That said, they’re also items with a fairly short useful life, and not all new parents have the money (or the space) to buy a bunch of stuff their kids will grow out of in a few months.

A baby equipment rental business can be an especially smart move for parents looking to make some side income. As your kids outgrow their gear, you can clean it up and rent it out to other parents who need it. If you want to grow the business, you can use the profits from these early rentals to invest in new gear and grow your revenue potential.

8 Tech Rental Business Ideas

Top down shot of drones and camera equipment arranged on a table next to a chalkboard sign that reads "Tech rental"

Similar to construction equipment, high-tech gear can be costly. It also becomes obsolete fairly quickly, which makes it a poor long-term investment for individuals.

Individuals or businesses who have a short-term need for professional recording equipment, drones, or other technology often see it as more cost-effective to rent than to buy. That creates an opportunity in the rental market for people who do own this gear to make more profit from it.

Here are some tech rental business categories worth considering:

1. Online broadcasting
2. Audio rental business
3. AV equipment rental
4. Camera & lens rentals

5. Dehumidifier rental business
6. Drone photography rentals
7. Lighting rental
8. Photo booth rentals

Drone photography rentals

Average Annual Revenue: $50K
Average Profit Margins: 7.3%
• Startup Costs: $1K-$10K
• Time to Revenue: 1-6 months
• Annual Market Growth Rate: 0.3%
• Best For: Photographers and visual artists, tech-literate and creative entrepreneurs

Drone photography has a lot of applications. It’s a great way to get shots of outdoor events like festivals and concerts. Many event planners also use it to record events like weddings, while realtors can use drones to document properties for potential buyers to see online.

This variety of potential customers is what makes drone photography rentals a smart business option. You can focus exclusively on drone photography, or have this as an additional service to a broader camera rental business.

Mile High Photography has made its name working with everything from marketing and advertising professionals to party planners, and they bring in more than $35,000 a month in revenue. See how they built their business in this YouTube video:

YouTube player

9 Clothing Rental Business Ideas

People don’t like buying things they’ll only use once—and that applies to things they wear, too. From tuxes to prom dresses and Halloween costumes, here are some of the best types of clothing to start a rental business:

1. Clothing rental
2. Costume rental
3. Designer accessory rentals
4. Handbag rentals
5. Evening gown rentals

6. Fine jewelry rentals
7. Formalwear rentals
8. Fur coat or faux fur rentals
9. Prom dress rentals

23 Experience Offerings Perfect for Rental Businesses

Your business doesn’t need to stop with renting equipment out to use. Offering services and experiences related to that equipment creates new ways to earn revenue from it.

For instance, if you have experience as a construction professional, you can rent out your power tools and teach classes on how to use them. That’s twice the revenue potential from the same gear.

Guided tours are another way to leverage your knowledge and equipment in tandem. For example, offering curated fishing excursions, or renting the camping gear to participants in a wilderness retreat.

Here are some ideas for rental experience businesses:

1. AR experiences
2. Dolphin experiences
3. Manatee experiences
4. VR experiences
5. Curated adventures
6. Dive tours
7. Hand gliding rentals
8. Horseback riding rentals
9. Hunting excursions
10. Kiteboarding rentals
11. Skilled trade lessons and power tool rentals
12. Paddleboard rentals and tours

13. Parasailing
14. Scuba lessons
15. Skydive excursions
16. Snorkeling excursions and rentals
17. Sunset cruises
18. Surfboard rentals
19. Tubing rentals
20. Water activities
21. Windsurfing
22. Flyboarding rentals
23. Ski and snowboard rentals

12 Random Profitable Rental Business Ideas

Camping guide wearing a day pack in front of an RV rental

Just about anything can be rented for a profit if there’s someone else who wants to use it! Here are some final random ideas you could turn into your own rental business:

1. Booth rental business ideas
2. Camping trailer rentals
3. Float rentals
4. Hobie cat rentals
5. Hunting equipment rental
6. Kiteboarding rentals

7. Kombucha stands
8. Lawn sign rentals
9. Movie projector rental
10. Sporting goods rentals
11. Toy rental
12. Tubing rentals

1 Rental Business Idea to Avoid

Do not start a movie rental business. People can watch as many movies as they want on streaming services for a small monthly fee, making a movie rental business a dead business model.

Rental Business FAQs

What are the most profitable things to rent out?

The most profitable rental business category by far is renting out property. Like we mentioned earlier, these account for 90% of rental industry income in the United States. In terms of profitability, commercial space tends to have higher margins, though home and apartment rentals are also a very profitable industry.

How profitable are rental businesses?

Rental business ideas can be extraordinarily profitable. For instance, an Airbnb can be profitable as a rental business idea with as little as 50% occupancy.

While the average Airbnb may lose money (a little bit) on paper, ultimately, it has the potential to increase in value. Profit margins can approach 50% or higher when the property is owned outright.

What profits should I expect from an equipment rental business?

An equipment rental business idea will have different profit margins depending on the economic environment and the equipment.

U-Haul has had gross profit margins of 28% to 40% and net margins of 1% to 20% since 2009. Meanwhile, United Rentals, the largest equipment rental company in the U.S., has gross profits between 25% and 43%, with net profits between -4% and 22% during the same periods.

What are the most profitable rental business ideas to make money in 2024?

While property rentals tend to make the most revenue, equipment rentals can have a higher profit margin. This is because there are fewer ongoing costs to maintain and own them. This is particularly true of durable, long-lasting equipment like power tools.

Which Rental Business Will You Choose?

There are numerous rental businesses to choose from. You just need to decide which is right for you. Consider what you already own, the network of people you know, and the value of the items before choosing which to pursue.

Then you need to create the business and start marketing your rentals. As you start making money, reinvest in other assets to rent, and you’ll build an empire in time.

So which rental business will you start?

80% of businesses fail... Learn how not to.

Learn from business failures and successes in 5 min or less. The stories, frameworks, and tactics that will make you a 10x better founder.


Brandon Boushy

Our lead writer, Brandon Boushy, has been a business consultant, business owner, and marketer since 2017. Brandon is committed to the pursuit of knowledge and continuous improvement. He measures his success based on how many business owners he helps succeed. Brandon started Raising Daisy Photography in 2017 with Stephanie MacIver. His role was focused on marketing, estimating, and managing customer interactions. He is also a freelance business researcher and has provided over 3,800 hours of business research for more than 50 clients. His blogs are read by over 2 million people every year. Brandon told us: "My motto is never quit learning. I bring this motto to everything I do, and find writing the best way to help share the data I obtain to assist business professionals pursue their dreams." He empowers companies to improve their communication and brand awareness through creative content strategies and blog writing.

Related articles

Unique business ideas across sectors and industries are waiting to be discovered. These businesses might cater to niche markets, invent and sell new products, or offer a traditional service in a new way. Finding the right unique business idea can be a balancing act. You want to be different enough to stand out from the…
Protecting your brand assets is one of the most critical aspects of creating a business that has the potential to expand nationwide or globally. The company name, logo, slogans, and intellectual property rights can eventually be worth billions if you start a company that goes global. That's why it's important to know how to trademark…
Most potential business owners actually start their businesses later in life, but for some, the entrepreneurial spirit strikes early. For those young adults who want to earn extra money and be their own boss, we’ve got you covered! We’ll help you find the best business ideas for teens. We’ve talked to a lot of small…


Digital Marketing in Mangalore@ 2024-04-08 03:23:18

Become a business owner in less than 90 days

Start your 10-day free trial of the UpFlip Academy and learn how to start your own business from scratch.

Get business advice straight to your  Inbox 

Learn from business failures and successes in 5 min or less. The stories, frameworks, and tactics that will make you a 10x better founder.