What If I'm A Minor?

Business By keflyn Updated 21 Oct 2009 , 10:53am by minicuppie

keflyn Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 3:56pm
post #1 of 18

this is just a thought, because at this point I don't know if I'll go through with this, or even if my church will let me, but what if I used my church's kitchen so that way it's a legal kitchen, and sold my cakes, would I still need a small business license? how does that work out? (it's easier to be a graphic designer than to start a business, I just learned)
sorry, I misread and mistyped my post, and if I can't even understand what I mean, then I doubt you all can either.....so, I know I have to get a small business license, but do I have to have someone come and inspect the kitchen? I guess I meant do I have to have the kitchen relicensed or something like that? I'm not doing this for a big profit, I just want to bake and decorate cakes, and since I can't fund (or eat) all of my ambitions the only option is this.

17 replies
indydebi Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:01pm
post #2 of 18

Yes, you would. But you need to check into a few other things, too. Minors cannot enter into contracts, and an agreement of "I'll give you money if you make me a cake" is a contract.

There was a 10 year old girl in Indiana who was running a cake business out of her home, complete with a printed price list, until her local paper did a story on her. HEalth Dept came in and shut her down.

keflyn Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:08pm
post #3 of 18

I believe i am old enough to make contracts, i'm not that young, I have worked with clients before on graphic design things, I've made contractual agreements before, and I even did one with our police department. I am old enough to get a job and business, I simply can't vote yet, but thanks for the heads up, i'll look into it, these things are very good to know.

all4cake Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:11pm
post #4 of 18

I thought 18 was legal age to enter into binding contracts. you can do anything at whatever age...it doesn't mean it's binding. just cause you had a contract with someone doesn't mean it will hold water...

all4cake Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:12pm
post #5 of 18

You can make it work and work well as long as you have an adult back it up. I would definitely get more information from a legal source as far as the contracts are concerned. The health issue would be required by anyone regardless of age....

indydebi Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:14pm
post #6 of 18

When you say you're a minor, then to me that means you're under 18, which means you are legally not able to contractually enter into agreements.

Acting contracts are the only exception to this law that I know of.

My under-18-years-old daughter can get a job, she can drive a car .... she just can't sign a contract to BUY a car or to BUY insurance because those fall under contract law.

Sounds like you're a very entrepreneur-type of person with a lot on the ball! Just check it out to be sure you do everything that is needed to start a legal business. thumbs_up.gif

keflyn Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:15pm
post #7 of 18

I understand the health issue completely (especially since i'm a germaphobic person). I understand that part of things and know how I can make it safe and legal there, the issue was the actual kitchen, thank you. (if I sound rude or anything I don't mean it that way, I'm very blunt)

indydebi Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:19pm
post #8 of 18

keflyn, I luv blunt people! We just want to help you get started on the right foot! thumbs_up.gif

all4cake Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:30pm
post #9 of 18

Seriously, I see no reason why you can't have a licensed (everybody wants their part...licensing makes sure city/county gets part of theirs...there's so much more of that "pie" that will be taken away)kitchen/business. You'd still be responsible for paying sales and use tax on products sold...taxes paid on equipment(possibly) and stock (check your state and local requirements for that). Ol' Guy F....(I'd mess it up if I tried to spell it), from Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives started his first legit business when he was like 12 or 13 (I don't recall the exact age but he was YOUNG)....

I think being a minor, you may get to squeeze out of the income tax for yourself (up to a certain amount...again, verify this with legal council...may be able to get that free with a little research)

all4cake Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:34pm
post #10 of 18

haha...like they were reading what I wrote...I just got this in my inbox!!!


all4cake Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:44pm
post #11 of 18

I've read and reread your initial post...I apologize for not getting it to begin with....

Are you asking, If you use a licensed kitchen for your business, would you have to get a separate license for your business?

I could be wrong(it's happened before...), but regardless of the number of businesses using the same location, each would have to be licensed separately.

Like, if I were to use Debi's kitchen for my cake business, I would have to get my own business license to conduct business...

ziggytarheel Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 4:52pm
post #12 of 18

Sometimes folks let things slide, but it is true that if you are not 18 years old, you can not legally be held to any contract you enter into. So, maybe you'll find people who will do business with you, but eventually you could run into a problem, or people who don't want to do business with you, because they can't hold you to your contract.

We got a big surprise when our 16 year old daughter wanted to open a checking account. My husband and I both had checking accounts of our own at that age. The bank ever so kindly but firmly told us that while you still might find some small town bank that would do that, a check IS a legal contract and therefore a minor cannot be responsible and therefore they would not offer a checking account.

all4cake Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 5:26pm
post #13 of 18
minicuppie Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 11:00am
post #14 of 18

Why not check with your church first and ask if they are zoned and willing. Stop putting the cart before the horse young one. I personally think it is a great idea...why not ask your mom to be at the masthead of your fledgling company (you can be her employee until you are old enough to mutiny...er, I mean assume the reigns.)

Texas_Rose Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:17pm
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by all4cake

I think being a minor, you may get to squeeze out of the income tax for yourself (up to a certain amount...again, verify this with legal council...may be able to get that free with a little research)

You don't have to report the first $500 you make but that's the same regardless of age. I remember filing a tax return when I had my first job ($4.25 an hour at Kmart icon_razz.gif) and it felt like they took a very big bite out of my little income.

CoutureCake Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 4:21pm
post #16 of 18

I was in the food industry as a kid... The thing is, like others have said you need to basically have an adult as your "underwriter" and "cosigner" because of the fact that you're under 18. Whether you think you're mature or not, in the eyes of legally binding contracts, rentals, and alcohol consumption, you're not where you need to be yet.

The other thing is you need to factor in that starting a business is not glamerous as you might think it is. How are you going to manage getting cake orders done when you have papers/exams for school or your parents want you to go away with them for the weekend (or the church won't let you use the kitchen on Saturdays because that's when they have weddings - - which btw, remember that all of the work will need to be done there and there is always finishing work that needs to be done). Or after you graduate, you may want to go onto college or cullinary school. Heck, you might decide that you want NOTHING to do with running a business. Running a business involves a lot of work and a lot of financial risk. There's a saying "Owning a business means you get to pick which 90 hours you want to work this week"...

You also need to figure out before going into business if you want to be successful is that selling $20 cakes isn't going to make a business. You're going to have this thing called "overhead".. It's the cost of doing business before YOU get paid. As my business trainer used to say "the only reason to get into BUSINESS is MAKE MONEY regardless of the product or service you're offering."

Your best bet for now is to start taking some business/accounting classes. If you can take them at a community college at night you'll be time ahead instead of jumping into the business world without knowing what you're jumping into. You're also going to need to take sanitation classes (ServSafe) because most states require a certified food manager on-site. The sanitation class will also teach you why certain things are important (why you can't have painted nails/acrylics, that the lunch lady isn't wearing the hairnet for fashion or by choice, hand washing, when you aren't legally healthy enough to BE in the kitchen, fridge temps, TDZ, food borne illnesses, etc.)

Right now you could also get a production bakery job to get your feet wet and learn more about the realities of the industry. For example, if your grocery store or Super Walmart has a bakery, then go to work there, enjoy your schedule flexibility (btw, in many states you're restricted on the hours you can even work), learn the industry, make your mistakes (which usually are the greatest teachers), and most of all production speed while making money and putting it away.

It's not to be a "Debbie Downer", it's just that you're going to have more obsticles jumping straight into business ownership and whether you like it or not, your age is going to work against you right now until you do have the operating capital built up for the risk involved in business ownership.

all4cake Posted 20 Oct 2009 , 10:21pm
post #17 of 18

If he/she is a minor and/or a full time student, he/she can claim exempt from witholding (I just thought that that meant that no taxes would be paid by the minor/full-time student on their taxes) but if they make more than a certain amount, the parent couldn't claim them as a dependent...it's been a while since I've had to deal with that scenario....

then, there's the s/e tax, and other taxes like ssi and fica that he/she may be liable to pay when filing at the end of the year.

minicuppie Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 10:53am
post #18 of 18

In other words...see what's what...go into it wide eyed and understand that in order for you to be successful you will probably miss some "teenager" stuff. Keep your grades up and learn to say no if you get in over your head.

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