In a time where almost everything is being done online, it’s no wonder why so many people are considering online businesses to make money. Even youngsters are trying to make their way into the game. After all, the bulk of their day is stuck at home anyway. What better time to get a head start on entrepreneurship? The main question is how old you have to be to get started.
People of all ages can start an online business. However, people under 18 will need a parent or legal guardian’s help to start. Anyone under 18 will not be able to apply for the proper permits and licenses to do their online business legally and safely. Plus, it will be challenging to get paid without an adult.
There is nothing wrong with getting started at a young age. Suppose you have an idea for an online business and want to get the ball rolling; more power to you. However, you need to do it the legal way. It’s not as easy as one might think. This blog will share imperative details about how old you have to start an online business and why.
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How Old Do You Have to Be to Start an Online Business?
Creative juveniles have been springing up left, and right it would seem. Whether they’re becoming YouTube sensations or designing jewelry or decorated t-shirts, youngsters are making a name for themselves. More importantly, they’re making money.
Seeing the success of their peers positively encourages a young person to start a business of their own. Plus, there are plenty of options, so being a success in any capacity is almost guaranteed.
However, the big question remains. How old do you really need to be to start an online business? That answer is a bit tricky. On the one hand, anyone can create an online business. On the other hand, not everyone is eligible to apply for necessary permits and licenses to run their business.
People under 18 can’t apply for the necessary permits and licenses to run a small business. Therefore, while someone under the age of 18 can have a business, they will need the help of a parent or a legal guardian to run the business safely and legally.
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Why A Parent or Legal Guardian is Necessary for Starting an Online Business
If you’re under the age of 18, this might seem like devastating news. But you’re not entirely out of luck. Remember – juveniles can start their own online business. The trick is having a parent or legal guardian over the age of 18 to help you out. Here’s why.
Online Businesses Require Certain Permits and Licenses to Operate
Although it may seem harmless to create keychains and sell them on Facebook, it’s still considered a business in the eyes of most states. Companies big and small need licenses and permits to operate. Some of the most prominent licenses and permits one might need include:
- A business license. Almost all counties require business licenses for online venues. You can find more information on your county’s official website.
- Sales tax permit. If you’re selling goods, you will need to collect and pay your sold items’ sales tax.
- Fictitious name statement. If your business has a name other than your birth name, your county might require you to apply for a fictitious name statement.
- General license. A general permit is a standard license that most counties will require. This is precisely how it sounds – a general permit for general businesses. It identifies your business and allows it to operate.
- Home occupation permit. This is another standard permit, especially for selling items and shipping them from home.
- Seller’s permit. Additionally, someone who sells items may need a seller’s permit. However, this varies by state, and not all require a seller’s permit on top of the other necessary permits.
All of these documents require someone over the age of 18 to apply. So, while the person running the business cannot sign for these documents, they will still be able to successfully and legally run their online business.
Always Double-Check with Your Local Government
The biggest tip in regard to permits and licenses is to double-check with your local government agency. Each state, county, and even city will require different documents. This depends on where you are located as well as what type of online business is being conducted.
Contact an Attorney
The drawback to this is that the parent or legal guarding will be responsible for the minor’s action. Liabilities apply. If the minor is negligent while operating their business, then the adult will be held accountable. That is why it is suggested to speak with an attorney to decide the best route in bringing the online business to fruition.
Understand the Child’s Business Before Moving Forward
Signing for a juvenile to start their online business comes with some concerns. The best way to move forward is to understand the child’s business in its entirety. Although it is a great idea to encourage independence and making their own money, you have to keep in mind that there are many drawbacks and liabilities associated with an online business.
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Juveniles May Need the Help of an Adult When it Comes to Payments and Taxes
While obtaining necessary permits and licenses is the biggest hurdle for a juvenile starting an online business, it’s not the only thing to concern yourself with. There are a few circumstances money-wise where an adult is also necessary for someone younger than 18, starting an online business.
One central area where a youngster may need an adult’s help is when it comes time to file self-employment taxes at the beginning of the year. Filing under self-employment can be incredibly difficult as there are many items to take into consideration.
It is important to note that the rules differ between adults and children when it comes to self-employment. Children that have an online business of their own likely won’t need to file for self-employment taxes. Filing is only necessary when the juvenile earns an income that exceeds 50% of his total support, such as rent, food, and clothing.
A key area of being successful with an online business is keeping track of your numbers. For example, if you’re selling an item online, you will need to stay current with your expenses and revenue. Money management can be conducted on an electronic device or by hand. Either way, a child may need some assistance keeping track of their numbers to ensure their success.
Another issue is how the child is paid. If they are using a platform such as PayPal, they will require the assistance of an adult. In fact, most media where the money is spent and received needs someone over 18 for signup.
Setting Up a Bank Account
The good news is, most banks will allow a child at least 13 years of age to open up their bank account. However, again, an adult is needed to qualify the teenager for an account. You will need to sign with them. From there, you can have the funds directly deposited into their bank account. This gives the child confidence and independence in regards to their business.
Also see: Can you Make Money Online Without a Bank Account?
Young entrepreneurs can revel in the fact that they can create an online business of their own. However, the biggest hurdle to overcome is obtaining the proper permits and licenses to legally run the business. That is why it is important to note that while a juvenile can run an online business, they will almost always require an adult’s assistance.