Running a financially successful life after a felony is more challenging than people realize. It is a permanent blotch on your resume that will haunt you to the end of time. Hence, career options for ex-felons drop significantly. Several companies do not work with ex-offenders. Moreover, the ones that do not look at criminal records have huge competition. So, overall starting a career can become exhausting after some time of job hunting.

But, financial stability is mandatory for all individuals, including ex-felons. Hence, a viable option is a startup.

Career Options for Ex-Felons – What Skills Do Ex-Felons Need To Build Business?

Building any business from the base requires financial resources and several skills.

Management Skills

For one, building any business requires management skills. Time management, understanding of the finances, and much more are only the basics of running a company.

But, for most people, it is possible to learn everything over time. If you have partners in the business, dividing responsibilities can work well.


Every business starts with a vision. First, set your goals and then work towards them. It is the only way to achieve success.

Also, set your goals high but still attainable. Finding the sweet spot that is achievable yet challenging is the correct way to go.

Ability to Manage Employees

For medium to large corporations, leaders need to build relations. Hence, hone communication and other soft skills for the job.

Financial Strength or Game Plan

Felons generally do not come from families with a lot of money. For the lucky few who have financial reserves, using a portion to start a business can work.

For less fortunate ex-offenders, there are loans or grants in place to help start the business.

Moreover, if you have friends or colleagues willing to work in a partnership, reducing the financial burden is possible.

Depending on the business’s niche, technical skills might also be necessary for the job. But, that will change as per the choice of industry.

Career Options for Ex-felons – 5 Business Ideas

Keep your business idea relevant to your education, experience, or passion. Here are some suggestions of business that ex-felons can start at home.

Career Options for Ex-felons – Event Planning

A business that will never go out of style is event planning. Learning the basics of event planning and collaborating with others is the way to go.

An eye for décor is what you will need for the job. Learn skills or hire professionals for décor work and other services during the event. Create connections with venue owners for reservations. Include audio and video props along with other things.

Starting small is possible with event planning. So, it can become profitable quickly.

Career Options for Ex-felons – Traveling Agency

Traveling is a passion that several people have. Turn it into a business with a traveling agency. It is another work that requires a lot more connections with good marketing.

However, the vast market and little initial cost mean that you can start the work today.

Career Options for Ex-felons – Food Truck

If food is your love, then a food truck can become an excellent source of income. For one, it is a low investment setup that yields results over time.

It is another business that does not require a considerable investment upfront but still will result in good money.

Career Options for Ex-felons – Fitness Coach

People who love the gym can opt to become fitness coaches. Work as a freelancer with an organization to earn money while investing little money from your end.

It will give you a chance to follow your passion while ensuring good income.

Working with a brand as a freelancer will add significant money to the bank account. 

Lastly, with enough cash in hand, starting a fitness center with various services is an excellent choice.

Career Options for Ex-felons – Freelance Writing

Writers with prison time have a unique perspective on life. Use it to create awareness about the cause and needs of ramifications. Moreover, blogging is another option.

It is possible to work with several people in such jobs without going through a criminal background check.


Working for someone is far different from being your own boss. Running a successful company isn’t easy, but it is among the more rewarding jobs that people can take.

So, starting a business is among the viable career options for ex-felons who want to live a financially sound life.

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