How to Start a Business as a Kid

Michele Meleen
Girl selling cakes

In today's fast-paced world, kids can be anything they want without waiting until adulthood. From YouTube stars budding into brands to entrepreneurial boys and girls, child-run businesses are a trend that's not stopping. If you're a kid who's ready to take on the role of CEO, you'll need a few tips on getting started.

Brainstorm a Winning Idea

Passion for the business is one of the most important steps for kids creating their own business says CEO of, Nellie Akalp. When children engage in a company they love, their interest and effort will remain higher than with something they're not crazy about.

If you don't have a business idea already, try these tasks to discover your passions:

Do Your Research

Before you sell a single thing, make sure you're prepared legally and financially for running a business, chances are you'll need some help from an adult.

Check With Banks

Bankrate suggests many kids can open checking accounts with their parent as an account co-owner around age thirteen. While younger kids can often open savings accounts with an adult, a checking account will be more beneficial when doing business because of the frequent deposits and withdrawals.

If you're a kid who can't get a checking account even with a parent because of your age, consider having an adult open a checking account for your business and transferring profits to a savings account in your name. Keep tax estimations and some money for business expenses in the checking account from month to month, but use your personal savings account to hold your earnings.

Prepare Taxes

CEO Nellie Akalp shares that kids who make over 400 dollars in a given year need to file an individual tax return. Independent business owners are required to pay self-employment taxes which equal about fifteen percent of their earnings. If you set aside 15 percent of the money you make on a regular basis, like each month, you'll have those taxes ready to go when you file. Parents can still claim children as dependents. If you need help figuring out how to file taxes, check with a local tax preparation agent or your area's Small Business Development Center.

Learn the Business

Each type of business, such as food or jewelry, requires a different approach to marketing and may require special permits or the creation of a company. Home-based business laws were created for adults but in some areas are being enforced on kid businesses as small as lemonade stands. Mother Nature Network suggests kids and their parents speak with the city or town clerk to find out what permits or licenses they may need before selling any goods or services. If a permit or license is required, an adult over age 18 will likely have to file for it.

Find Resources

As a kidpreneur, you'll encounter challenges most other kids or adults are unfamiliar with. Make the most of your time by learning from those who came before you.

  • Biz Kids is an educational show that teaches young people entrepreneurial and money management skills. The show's website features resources for young business owners.
  • Use lesson plans related to starting a business to work through at home or ask your teacher to incorporate them at school.
  • Parents or caregivers helping with the process can start researching more of the legal concerns to make sure your business follows state and federal regulations.
  • Look at sample business plans and business cards as inspiration to create your own.

Balance Your Duties

child at business meeting

Lots of kids get summer or evening jobs in middle or high school, but younger kids don't have as many job opportunities. As a kid, your primary responsibility is to be a good student and have fun. Starting your own business takes a lot more work than most child jobs because you have to cover everything from product creation and distribution to marketing. Twelve-year-old clothing company owner, Grace Rose shares a few tips on how to be a kid, do well in school, and grow a successful business.

  • Schedule meetings and other important business events in evenings and on weekends or days off from school.
  • Get help from a parent, family member, or friend.
  • Make schoolwork a priority and schedule the business around school.

Sell Your Ideas

Kids make great entrepreneurs because they have active imaginations and are constantly involved in problem-solving. Turn your great idea into hard-earned cash when you start your own business.

How to Start a Business as a Kid