Friday, February 1, 2019

Starting a Home Business for Teenagers: What You Need To Know

Can teenagers start a business? The answer is yes, it is will within the realm of possibility. The world is changing and opportunities for income are virtually endless for people of all ages. Teens all over the world are learning how to become influencers, how to start home businesses, and how to earn money from home.

From influencers to product developers, teens now have a whole new world of possibility at their fingertips, thanks to modern technology. Starting a business as a teen is now a reality and anyone can get in on the opportunity. There are, however, some factors to be considered before jumping into home business ideas for teenagers.

Legalities For Teens Starting a Business

Minors cannot form legal business entities on their own. It's a harsh statement for a teen wanting to start their own business but it's law. If you are under 18-years-old in the United States and not legally recognized as an adult, then you cannot start a business in your name.

Don't let that crush your dreams to start a home business. While a teen cannot legally form a business entity, their parent or guardian can. A teen entrepreneur who is determined to start a business can have their parent or guardian form the business in their name. When the teen becomes an adult, the business can then be signed over.

In some states, teens may legally serve as a board director or shareholder — so even if you're unable to form a business in your name, you can still hold shares and act as a director for the company. Consult with an attorney to learn more about your state's laws in regards to running a business as a minor.

Depending on your state, if you've been legally emancipated (no longer legally supported or dependent upon your family as recognized by the courts), you may be able to work separately from your parents in regards to business matters.

Your parent/guardian is responsible for you. According to "vicarious liability," until the day someone is legally recognized as an adult, their parent or legal guardian is responsible for them (assuming the minor has not been emancipated). Minors are not legally allowed to sign contracts, as the other part cannot legally enforce a contract signed by a minor. A minor's parent or guardian must sign all contracts and paperwork, and as a result, if the contract is breached, the parents are responsible. Also, if a minor is negligent in any way, the parent or guardian will pay the price.

Familiarize yourself with your state's laws. Before writing up a business plan, check the zoning laws within your state and city to determine whether or not you're legally allowed to operate a business from your home. These regulations typically depend on the type of business you're running, if customers will be visiting your home, and whether or not the business will negatively impact the residential area in terms of noise, traffic, and other factors. Running a business from your home also requires you to have a local business license. Consult with an attorney to learn more.

Preparing Your Home Business

Create a business plan. Once you've become comfortable and familiar with your city and state's laws, you may start creating your business plan. For starters, you should think about your business and personal goals. This will help you create a well thought out business plan that will outline exactly how you intend to reach those goals. It is very important that you are meticulous when forming your business plan. Business plan examples might help you get started.

You must include, in great detail, how the business will be operated, managed, and financed. This includes the products and/or services you will sell, the equipment and supplies you require, financing, resources, and how you will compensate yourself and your employees (if applicable).

Apply for a business license. If you're going to need extra funding, create a speech, and dress as a responsible, mature business owner, and take a copy of your detailed business plan to your friends, family, and local business owners who may be interested in helping you get started. Make a few copies so that you can hand them out, and allow individuals to look over them later if they happen to be busy when you stop by. Remember, you will need an parent or guardian to apply for the business license if you are under the age of 18. Presenting the business plan to your parents is a great way to show them that you're serious and responsible about the prospect of starting your own business.

Prepare your home office. It is critical to have your own workspace for your business. The ideal workspace is convenient, quiet, and organized. It should include special organizing bins or filing cabinets for record keeping, including billing, accounting, order forms, marketing materials, complaints, inventories, and so forth. While it's great to have your information entered into a computer, it's always wise to keep hard copies in case something goes wrong. And always back up your computer. An external hard drive for all of your important business records is highly recommended.

Prepare any products/services before the official launch. Your products should be ready before the official launch of your business, unless you create the items based on custom orders. Even if you do create custom orders, it's still nice to have a few examples set aside so that you may take photographs for your website, or allow customers to see, first-hand, what they should expect when ordering their own product. Be sure that you have enough equipment and supplies in stock so that you do not run out and end up having to backlog orders.

Market your products or services. There are numerous options for marketing your products or services. If your business is strictly from home and customers will NOT visit you there, your best bet would be to create a website to sell your products (or do so on eBay, Etsy, or Amazon). Your marketing options could include social networking like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Alternatively, you could reach out through discussion boards and newsletters. If you're using the internet, SEO is very important, so become familiar.

Word-of-mouth advertising, such as fliers distributed in parking lots and at social events within your community are good marketing tools. You could also hand out business cards, or ask that they be placed in local stores or businesses. Setting up booths at fairs or local farmers markets are other ways to earn income and market your business.

Other things you could do to bring customers in is to create a professional image for your business by hooking up with other reputable businesses, or creating eye-popping logos and graphics for your marketing materials. 

Use Your Resources

The Small Business Administration (SBA), The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and Junior Achievement are all wonderful resources that will provide you with plenty of information in regards to business matters.

Home Business Ideas for Teenagers

Coming up with a home business idea for a teen sounds easy, but there are many factors to consider.
How do you come up with ideas that you're passionate about? First of all, look at your past experiences that you've enjoyed. Consider your hobbies and interests. Think about what you like to do with your time, what skills you have, and whether any of your hobbies are marketable.

To get you started, check out this list of home business ideas for teens.

Pet-Related Business Ideas
- Pet Sitting
- Dog Walking
- Dog Grooming
- Obedience Training
- Pet Clothing and Accessories
- Homemade Pet-Safe Treats (i.e., cookies, cakes, "candies," etc.)

Home/Garden-Related Business Ideas
- Closet Organizing
- Room Painting
- Pressure Washing
- Window Cleaning
- Gardening/Landscaping
- Lawn Care

Photography Business Ideas
- Wedding Photography
- Senior Photographs
- Homecoming/Prom
- Community Events
- Children/Family

Sewing/Needlework-Related Business Ideas
- Handmade Clothing
- Home Decor (i.e., curtains, drapery, table cloths, sofa covers, etc.)
- Corsets
- Accessories (i.e., headbands, scarves, hats, handbags, etc.)

All-Natural Products
- Makeup (i.e., lipstick, lip gloss, foundation, etc.)
- Hair Products
- Skin Products
- Candle Making
- Soap Making
- Fragrances

- Layered Cookie Ingredient Jars
- Hand-Painted Storage Tins
- Homemade Candies
- Gift Candles
- Homemade Greeting Cards

Bottom Line

If you're serious about starting a home business, you should be motivated and determined. Your desire and your passion for your business should outweigh the desire to start earning money from it. Small business success starts with passion and decisiveness. You must be meticulous and make the correct moves. Mistakes are okay, but you must be willing to learn from them, as it takes discipline hard work to regain the upper hand when it comes to a business.


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