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Starting a Business as a Minor
 
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    Starting a Business as a Minor
    I currently am 17 years old and I am quite confused as to how I would be able to set up a business I have been planning for quite some time now. The reason I need to register the business is so I would be able to partner with distributors for my product.

    Here are my questions:

    As a minor who is interested in starting a business, what must I do in order to register the business legally, if I have to register at all?

    I understand that I could have a parent/legal guardian register the business under them and I could set up a contract stating that I would buy the business from them when I become 18 years of age, is this the only way?

    What would be the best way to get this business up and running?

    Thanks guys, hopefully I can get some good advice.


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    I have done some researching using the SBA website for the laws and regulations of California and no where did I find a requirment stating that one must be at least 18. As a minor how will the tax process occur?


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    Depending on the size and type of your business, you may not even have to register right away. Contact your local business department (not sure where you're located) and explain your situation to them. Although I wouldn't worry about distributors just yet, it will be hard getting into contact with other business when you're just starting out and many business owners will probably assume you don't know what you're doing. I'm 17 myself and talking from experience.

    Good luck, hope everything goes well for you!


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    I'd wait until you turn 18. I created my business at 16, with my parents info, made close to $50k/year at 16 and got in a bunch of issues. Wait until you're 18.


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    Quote Originally Posted by swagger View Post
    I'd wait until you turn 18. I created my business at 16, with my parents info, made close to $50k/year at 16 and got in a bunch of issues. Wait until you're 18.
    Sounds like an interesting story (especially the money you made)! What kind of business did you do and what kind of issues did you run into?


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    Quote Originally Posted by swagger View Post
    I'd wait until you turn 18. I created my business at 16, with my parents info, made close to $50k/year at 16 and got in a bunch of issues. Wait until you're 18.
    I'm also curious to know which kind of business you were running at 16 to make $50k per year. I could think of a lot of issues I'd get into if I made that kind of money at 16


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    While you are under 18, your income will affect your parent's taxable income. Are they on board with the business? They will need to claim your income on your taxes. You do not have to be 18 to own a business, but it also depends on what the business is. There are some things that do require being 18, especially if you need loans or credit to start your business.


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    You CAN start a business but you will need someone who is at least 18 years old to sign up for you. Keep in mind that it will cost you more money as the other person will have to pay extra taxes. But is can be done.


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    I would say even if registering your business is not required, I would still do it. Yes, you are a minor and starting with business early, but this should be all the more reason for you to start learning the right process. You would not want to get used to doing shortcuts because that will only form bad habits which you can bring to your adult life.

    Follow the right process and standard procedures so that you know as early as 17 years old how to run a real business. Do not think of yourself as a minor. Otherwise, you will not stop giving excuses for yourself. Face your business like an adult and you'll be surprised that at a young age, you've learned the ropes of business pretty well.


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    I think you will need a parent who will be signing all the required documents for you. Alternatively just wait for one year and start running your own business if you are not comfortable running your business alongside your parents. I think it is great also to make your own business decisions they way you want them to happen.


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