Adults are not the only age group forming and managing successful businesses. There are plenty of businesses that have been started by successful teenage entrepreneurs. Passion, but also sometimes necessity, can be a great motivator for teens and kids to start a business.
What many people do not consider, however, is how teenagers come into play in the workforce. According to Money Crashers, “Today’s teens now have to compete for entry-level jobs with out-of-work adults, many of whom will take anything in order to keep the bills paid until something better comes along. Teen unemployment is steadily rising: NPR reports it sits at 25%.”
A solution to this issue is entrepreneurship. Kids and teens are starting their own businesses as a means to make money. Let's look closer at the laws around kids and teens running their own business, along with three examples of kids doing it right.
Can Kids And Teens Get an LLC?
According to Incfile: “Unfortunately, no matter how awesome a business idea may be, the chance that a minor will be legally able to organize their own company is pretty slim. Minors (or individuals under the age of 18) in most states are not legally allowed to form an LLC. Some specific states, like Illinois and Texas, even mandate that LLC organizers must be 18 or older.”
Since laws may vary from state to state, you should check with your Secretary of State’s office and review the specific rules to find out the requirements. You can also learn more about your specific state rules and regulations here. Or, you can verify with the IRS to see if the minor’s age satisfies your state’s requirements by calling the IRS toll-free business hotline at (800) 829-4933.
Although minors are likely unable to form their own LLC, there are no laws that pertain to minors and partnerships, therefore allowing minors to be partners in an LLC.
Three Successful Businesses Started by Kids And Teens
With that being said, there are plenty of successful businesses that have been dreamed up by kids and teens. Here are three famous kid entrepreneurs:
After entering a children's business competition at the age of 4, Mikaila Ulmer needed an idea. Her inspiration came from two serendipitous events: She was stung by a bee and, around the same time, a family member sent Mikaila her great-grandmother's recipe for flaxseed lemonade.
Mikaila decided that she wanted to create a product that would help the honey bees and that utilized her Granny Helen's lemonade recipe. Me & the Bees Lemonade was born. The now-14-year-old's products can be found at Whole Foods, Wegmans, World Market and HEB, among other retailers.
The best advice that she’s ever received? “From my parents: they always tell me to dream big and that I can do anything I want, so I translated that into ‘Beelieve.’”
Logan Guleff - Food Entrepreneur and Winner of "MasterChef Junior"
Logan Guleff, winner of the national television show "MasterChef Junior" (season 2) on FOX is the youngest kid to win the coveted title. Guleff has a line of spice blends called “Logan’s Rub,” which has expanded to include steak and egg seasonings.
He also runs an underground supper club, where he cooks for small parties. He also wrote his own cookbook, “Logan's Chef Notes and Half Baked Tales — Cooking Dreams Cookbook.”
Chef Gordon Ramsay gave him one of his favorite pieces of advice: “Find my own standard of excellence and stick to it!”
Maya Penn is the 18-year-old founder and CEO of sustainable fashion brand Maya’s Ideas. She's also an eco-designer, three-time TED Talk speaker, global activist, social entrepreneur, filmmaker, philanthropist and Simon & Schuster author.
She has been hand-chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her youngest SuperSoul 100 entrepreneur, change-maker, and thought leader. She also does consultation for major fashion brands on how to shift into/incorporate eco-friendly fashion and sustainable company practices.
Maya was featured in "Forbes" magazine at 10 years old. She is the winner of the 2013 Black Enterprise Teenpreneur of the Year award. Maya has also received a commendation from President Barack Obama for outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship.
Great Business Ideas for Kids and Teens
Kids and teens may not have tons of experience in certain areas; however, there are a number of good business ideas that teenagers can start, including:
Social Media Consultant
Generation Z Marketing
Babysitting or Pet Sitter
Blogger or Vlogger
Lawn Care or Gardening
Senior Home Companion
Know a kid or teen who has a great business idea? Incfile can assist them with some of the nuances that come along with minors forming businesses. Get started today!
Lisa Crocco is a marketer for an international food manufacturer by day and a freelance writer/marketer for startups and small businesses by night. She's written for outlets like USA Today College, Career Contessa, CloudPeeps and Fairygodboss.