hire your kid

Small Business Owner? 6 Reasons Why You Should Hire Your Child

Gene Marks

Are you paying your kid (or grandkid) to work for your business? You’re not? You should.

No, I’m not saying you should put your four-year-old behind the receptionist desk to take calls. Or ask your middle-schooler to assist you in business deals. But if you have a teenager, you should strongly consider putting him or her to work. The benefits are enormous – especially during these difficult times. The next generation needs our help entering the workforce.

1. Your child can develop a work ethic. 

You can teach your child, from a relatively young age, the importance of having a job, having a boss and having responsibilities. They can learn the value of showing up somewhere on time, doing what is expected and performing tasks under the supervision of someone else.

2. Your child can earn up to $12,000 per year without paying any taxes.

This is assuming that they’re not doing any other work or earning other income. In case you didn’t realize, $12,000 is the standard deduction on any tax return, so if they’re not earning more than that…they’ve got no tax liability. It’s quite possible that you won’t even have to file a tax return either.

3. You may not have to pay taxes.

As long as your child is under 18 (and you’re a sole proprietor or LLC) you won’t have to pay any social security or Medicare taxes. However, if you’re an S-Corp or C-corporation, you will have to withhold these taxes, but your child will likely receive them back as a refund. Your state’s rules may vary, so talk to your accountant. Regardless, make sure you’re keeping good documentation of their work hours and the work performed just in case the IRS raises a red flag.

4. You can take a deduction.

It’s a legitimate business expense as long as your child is at a reasonable age and performing reasonable work that someone else would be paid to do.

  • Filing
  • Database work
  • Typing
  • Cleaning
  • Maintenance
  • Warehousing, etc.

Not only that but you can still claim your child as a dependent or receive the child tax credit if you qualify.

5. You get to spend more time with your kid.

It’s kind of nice having them around this summer, isn’t it? Time flies so every minute counts. And they can see you too – in action, with other people, being the boss. You’re not just that lump that sits in front of the TV watching sports. You’re a real person, a leader, the head honcho. At least during the day.

6. Finally, you get to take the check out of their hands. 

Yes, that’s right – out of their hands. As soon as you give them the paycheck, you grab it and immediately stick it in a savings account. Because you know they’ll spend that money as soon as they can, right? Put the money in a 529 College Savings Fund so that it can grow tax-free and be used for higher education expenses some day in the future. College is kind of expensive, did you hear?

Kids today. They’re lazy and don’t respect their elders, right? OK, that’s what my parents said. And what their parents said about my parents. And on and on. Your kids, and their generation, are no better or worse than any generation before. They want to work. They want to earn. And you can give them this opportunity – and use it to save a few bucks for yourself too!

Need general hiring tips? Hiring New Employees for Your Small Business: The Ultimate Guide

Next Steps:  Are you looking to keep up with the latest research and trends? We’ve got you covered with the weekly Small Biz Ahead Newsletter. Sign up today and start receiving the weekly newsletter chock full of the latest tools and resources to help you run a successful business.

134 Responses to "Small Business Owner? 6 Reasons Why You Should Hire Your Child"
    • Juliana Ramirez | June 11, 2022 at 12:38 pm

      I love this article!

      • Small Biz Ahead | June 13, 2022 at 8:49 am

        We’re so glad to hear that, Juliana! Thanks for commenting!

    • Kent Harris | June 2, 2022 at 1:12 pm

      Number 6 is a terrible way of stating that advice.

      I would have said, 6. Talk with your teenager about budgeting, saving, and investing. Ask them what they want out of life, show them how to make a plan to get it, and consider what sacrifices might be required to achieve the planned outcome.

      Show them that if they spend the money now, they are giving up the earnings potential of that money in an investment account. Ultimately, teens need to learn financial responsibility, and those lessons are best learned as soon as possible.

      The worst thing you can do with a teenager is to try to continue to “control” them like when they were a child. That just leads to rebellion and a closed mind unwilling to communicate at a time when they need your experience and advice the most.

    • Anne Elise Napier | May 30, 2022 at 5:59 pm

      Dear Gene,
      I love your article with the exception of #6. I employed all 3 of my kids through high school. If you let them keep it, determine how they will spend it, DON’T give them any other spending money or gas money, but let them choose how they will spend what they make, then they will learn to save for their own expenses and make wise choices. Taking it away will require you to feed the open palm when they do ask for gas (or prom dress money) and will feed resentment. One of the big rewards of work is benefiting from your labor in the short term as well as the long! Foster a culture of respect with your kids!!

      • Gene Marks | May 31, 2022 at 2:30 pm

        That’s a very VERY good point. I was just talking to a friend of mine yesterday who has the same point of view as yours. Maybe teaching them to save a little bit though wouldn’t hurt though!

        • Cathy | June 3, 2022 at 7:01 am

          Yes I believe we as adults should save 10 to 20% of our salary. It would be good for them to learn that as well.

    • Oluwaseyi O Sobowale | May 24, 2022 at 8:30 am

      Great advice

      • Small Biz Ahead | May 24, 2022 at 8:43 am

        We’re glad you thought so! Thanks for reading SBA!

    • T. Young, Principle | May 23, 2022 at 1:00 pm

      This was a great article and very timely! I am about to hire my son in college for the summer as a paid intern. I was a little nervous of doing so but I see the definite benefits now. Thank you!

      • Small Biz Ahead | May 24, 2022 at 8:54 am

        You’re welcome! We’re happy we could help out.

    • Joel Howard | May 23, 2022 at 12:06 pm

      It seems a little time consuming and like a red flag, red flag, red flag for an audit on your entire business, and the IRS is finding lots of stuff wrong – All bc you hired your kid.

    • Joan Hunter Mayer | May 23, 2022 at 10:06 am

      I started working for my mom in her office when I was 10. It was the best experience I could have ever received and I’m still thankful to this day, decades later. Job skills, confidence, work ethic, spending time with my mom, and more!

      • Small Biz Ahead | May 24, 2022 at 8:59 am

        Thank you for sharing your experiences, Joan! We appreciate the comment.

    • James Baker | May 26, 2021 at 10:56 pm

      Great information, I’ll be hiring my 11 1/2 year old daughter this summer to work at our thriving drive through coffee shop to take customer orders and interact with the customer base. Looking forward to having an employee that’s 100% invested in the operation of our shop.

    • Kevin A Coleman | May 26, 2021 at 5:39 pm

      My Grand daughter is 9 years old. Is she too young to be on my payroll?

      • Gene Marks | June 1, 2021 at 8:51 am

        If she’s doing work that a 9 year old can do then you’ll be fine. It has to be reasonable.

    • Cathi Smith | May 26, 2021 at 10:11 am

      This is great information and I so appreciate your sharing it with your clients. I had no idea about this and it is a great way to put money into our grandchildren’s accounts while spending time with them and teaching them values of work, finances but more importantly (to me) how to interact with others with respect and integrity. Thank you so much! Cathi

      • Small Biz Ahead | May 26, 2021 at 11:32 am

        You’re welcome, Cathi! It’s great to hear you liked our article.

    • Mike | May 26, 2021 at 8:39 am

      I left the corporate world to purchase a family business when my children were 7 and 8. I have employed my two daughters since they were 12. The older one is now a business major and the younger one will enter college this fall as a business major. I was able to benefit from using their time and talents to create marketing materials, PowerPoint presentations to support lectures that I do, quick books updates to close out the year end, packaging, labeling, sales, helping in the kitchen, etc. they have benefited by getting paid, building confidence, creating a resume which opened many doors to other opportunities, having experiences to draw from when submitting essays to potential colleges and a host of other benefits. It has been invaluable.

      • Small Biz Ahead | May 26, 2021 at 11:30 am

        Thank you for sharing your experiences, Mike!

    • Keith K | May 26, 2021 at 7:37 am

      Exactly how are the children paid? Is this like a 1099? Does it need to be reported on a 1099?

      • Gene Marks | May 26, 2021 at 1:30 pm

        You can pay them as a part-timer on your payroll or a 1099. Most of my clients add them to the payroll for ease of admin. If you treat as a 1099 then you’ll have to send a 1099 if you pay more than $600. If you treat as employee you’ll have to send a W-2.

    • Teresa | May 26, 2021 at 7:29 am

      Totally disagree with #6… the last thing you want to do is is model to your children they have no control over the money they rightfully earned! Set the standard for saving and spending BEFORE starting work, i.e. 50% savings, 50% spending.

    • Lee jacobus | May 26, 2021 at 12:34 am

      What if your wife or child’s mother is dead set against the child working for you. Or what you do. I’m an HVAC contractor.

    • Sue S | January 8, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      At what age can I employ my child?

    • Arla Ford | December 30, 2020 at 12:44 am

      We employed our teen daughter and found it to be wonderful opportunity for her to learn money management and time management as well. Since we paid her well, we told her that all of her expenses were now hers. She bought her own deodorant, makeup, haircuts, prom dresses, Christmas gifts for us and siblings, coffees, gas for the car she bought, and tithed. She understood the value of money at early age and has expressed gratitude for those life lessons. She learned to be a saver and investor. She buys only things she loves that are of high quality. She just says no to eating out and luxury coffees. She works hard as a self employed business professional.

    • DG | September 7, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      My husband and I file as a qualified joint venture as owners of a gift shop. We want to officially hire our 16 year old. After applying for an EIN, (one of us), do we still split the expense of our child’s wages on our year end Schedule Cs?

      Also, what is a Roth IRA and how do we open one for her?

      • Hannah Stacy | November 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm

        Response from Gene Marks: You can hire your child and pay wages out of your business, assuming that wages are reasonable and market competitive. The expense would be treated like any other expense of your gift shop and would be included on either your individual or joint Schedule C, depending on how you file.

        A Roth IRA is a special retirement account where you pay taxes on money going into your account, and then all future withdrawals are tax-free. That’s because the money you’re contributing is after-tax money, which is different from a traditional IRA or 401K. You can open up a Roth IRA with any financial services firm – many banks also provide these too. Here’s a helpful listing from NerdWallet:

    • JIna Cha | July 1, 2020 at 11:05 pm

      please send new posts by e mail

      • Chloe Silverman | July 2, 2020 at 9:54 am

        Hello – You can subscribe to our newsletter by going to the homepage and looking for the “Subscribe” button on the right hand side of the web page. Thank you for reading Small Biz Ahead!

      • Sade | May 23, 2022 at 11:30 am

        Are you required to have a payroll company in order to have your teen work for you or? My teen works for me frequently at events and I pay him, but I do not have a payroll company or report that I do pay him.

        • Gene Marks | May 24, 2022 at 9:44 am

          You do not need to have a payroll company to do this. But you do need to properly record your teen’s wages and report them on a W-2.

    • Sonny Cassady | June 22, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      Great article!!!

    • Ben Chasin | June 17, 2020 at 8:38 pm

      Sending compliments for this fabulous, your current SBA news letter.
      Great information presented with a creative and contemporary flavor!

      On point!


      Ben Chasin
      Founder & President;
      Couture Interior Design International, Inc.

      • Small Biz Ahead Staff | June 18, 2020 at 8:04 am

        We’re so pleased to hear that you’re enjoying our SBA newsletter and content! Thank you for reading!

    • Marcella A | June 12, 2020 at 10:24 am

      My son is 10 and already on the clock .
      He has earned a nice sum during COVID whisky week benefit from extra hands on with cleaning and mopping and trash removal between my veterinary patients . Even comforting animals post op and holding puppies for examinations. He was doing it anyway as he was so bored during lock down . They don’t have to be teenagers as long as you restrict their hours and document their hours. He clocks in and out every time we put him to work for 2 hours a day at CA minimum wage.

    • Ang | June 1, 2020 at 2:26 am

      Don’t do it. I had to work in my Dad’s business & hated every minute of it. Every day after school, band practice, & honor society meetings, I then had to get on the work crew.

    • Kevin Foti | May 29, 2020 at 10:02 pm

      Great article, but I am curious if anyone knows how would you get the FICA and MCARE refunded. I would think that would be money lost if you paid your children. Without a filing requirement how would the IRS ever consider returning that to them?

      • Patsy Boggs | May 31, 2022 at 2:27 pm

        Not sure they thought that through, I don’t know of a way the IRS would refund Soc Sec tax or Medicare tax, but I’m not a CPA, just a bookkeeper.

    • Ed Mann | May 29, 2020 at 7:21 pm

      Item 3 which indicates that withheld social security taxes for a child working for their parents S or C corp is incorrect. FICA taxes will not be refunded, income taxes may depending upon the child’s total income

    • Roger Wick | May 29, 2020 at 8:19 am

      This is the old school method, which in Illinois, has a Democratic Union restriction. Child Labor Laws. We as Parents can be fined for employing anyone under 18 years old. Also , your Workmans’ Comp. Dept. at Hartford does not allow anyone under 18 in a factory setting. Better re-read your own insurance rules. If I am wrong, please let me know, I would love to start a work program with the high schools.

    • Julie Roy | May 28, 2020 at 10:04 pm

      All 3 of my kids credit working at our restaurant for developing outgoing personalities. If they can get as far as a job interview they always land the job, partly because they helped me pick new hires since middle school! I was impressed by the efficiency and customer service they learned not from me but from coworkers.

    • Deborah Thomas | May 28, 2020 at 1:27 pm

      Finally, a rainbow through this storm. My business has been shut down since March 13th and 8 employees laid off. Sales down 70% and trying to stay above water. Got the PPP knowing it would help and the pressure has made it definitely not worth it. My employees were doing great drawing $1,000 week. Hired my 10 year old, 13 year old grandchildren to work in my office AND THEY LOVE IT. Win, win for all the obvious tax reasons and THEY WORK HARDER & SMARTER than people three and four times their age. Have paid the first paycheck to them and my General Manager tells me this morning that because we live in Delaware, the federal law allowing them to be employed from age 5 on with limited duties by a family member is trumped by Delaware’s minimum age requirement of 14 :(:(:(.

      Are you aware of any exceptions. Sad that these children are respectful, hard working, helping their grandmother, feeling important AND AREN’T IN A CAGE are not going to be allowed to work for me. HELP, ANY knowledge of EXCEPTIONS or advice would be appreciated.

      Thank you and God bless,
      Debbie Thomas

    • Jeff | May 28, 2020 at 7:27 am

      I have two teens, 15 and 16. Now that Corona has stopped most summer jobs I have started a lawn care business for them. We only cut large commercial properties (approx 10 acre) so it wont be too easy for them but they will be making substantial money even after liability insurance ($44/month) and equipment. I cut grass when I was a kid, I wanted them to have the same opportunity as a small business.

    • Frederick | May 28, 2020 at 4:41 am

      Do your kids have to be covered by workers comp, disability or family leave insurance?

    • Frederick | May 28, 2020 at 4:37 am

      Exactly what age can a kid start working for me?Or any kid? Do the need working papers?

    • CE | May 27, 2020 at 10:21 pm

      I have a 13 year old son and would love to legal hire him considering that he does work in my store. What are the requirements? Does my child need working papers? Is there a certain age?

    • Gene Marks | May 30, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      James | May 30, 2019 at 6:36 am
      I’m a 1-man shop (LLC, treated as S-Corp for taxes) with a Solo 401K plan. Can I hire my child without ruining my 401K?

      James – not sure what you mean by “solo 401k” – do you mean a SEP – Single Employer Pension?

    • James | May 30, 2019 at 6:36 am

      I’m a 1-man shop (LLC, treated as S-Corp for taxes) with a Solo 401K plan. Can I hire my child without ruining my 401K?

    • A | May 26, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      Please make sure you check with what your state filing requirements are because you might not have a federal tax liability but could definitely be incurring a state balance due. It would still have some tax benefit after paying all the payroll taxes, increased workers comp premium and general liability, additional state and federal unemployment taxes but its not a slam dunk

    • Ca | May 23, 2019 at 3:42 pm

      My kids also work in our business and they are under no illusion that they will be held to a higher standard than other employees- sad but true. Others will think they are ‘given’ a job because they are family, reality is they are learning the business from the bottom up. They are paid less than any starting employee as they don’t have their skills. Until they learn them they don’t get a raise. We expect them to model customer service behavior. At any time they are free to go try their hand in the outside world.

      I think what Gene is referring to is that people who receive SSDI can make up to $10,000 per year without losing their Medicare or Disability income. Check with social security office for any change in rules.

    • Gita | May 23, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      Over ten years ago we hired our youngest son right out of uni as our “one-man sales force”, and he proved to be a huge asset to our business. He had shown a strong work ethic through his school years, and his smart, upbeat, respectful personality seemed perfect for the job. It’s been a challenging yet most rewarding decade for all of us. Although he came on board soon after the economic crisis of 2008, with his help we grew from a small to respectable size business, serving a highly competitive global market. When needed, he contributes in other aspects of the business with great enthusiasm, more than earning his title of Global Sales Manager. When we retire from the business, he will have a broad range of skills and experience to continue building his career in any way he chooses. Best of all, we’ve ridden the tough roller coaster of business defeats and victories together, and our bond is stronger than ever. Not all children are suited to, or wish to join the family business, but whenever possible, we highly recommend hiring your children, and giving them a significant leg up in our complex world.

      • Hannah Sullivan | May 23, 2019 at 1:00 pm

        Gita- thank you for providing insight on your own personal experience!

    • CHARLENE MELTON | May 23, 2019 at 11:06 am

      Child ages out at age 18. Must be your child.

    • patparker@ppsu.biz | May 22, 2019 at 10:16 pm

      How about hiring your grandchildren. Does the same rule apply?

    • Mark Reynolds | May 22, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      Does this apply to our grandkids as well?

    • Grace Ekong | May 22, 2019 at 6:59 pm

      At what age can a child legally start working in a parent’s business? Thanks.

      • Hannah Sullivan | May 23, 2019 at 8:10 am

        Hi Grace, this depends on your own state laws. Thanks for reading!

    • JIll Fischer | May 22, 2019 at 4:03 pm

      I thought you said they don’t have to pay FICA and Medicare: “As long as your child is under 18 (and you’re a sole proprietor or LLC) you won’t have to pay any social security or Medicare taxes. However, if you’re an S-Corp or C-corporation, you will have to withhold these taxes–but your child will likely receive them back as a refund. “

    • Herman Tomer | May 22, 2019 at 3:52 pm

      Will this also work with a grandchild?

    • Gene Marks | May 22, 2019 at 3:26 pm

      Resonse to: Buddy Dowlen | May 21, 2019 at 9:05 pm
      I have two sons that are disabled, epilepsy, and one is 41 and the other is 32. One is on SSI, older, and the other is on SS. They can do thinks for me that is could pay them for their help but afraid to. Can I take a deduction for paying them without them having to pay taxes on it?

      Hi Buddy,

      Yes you can. This is no different than them taking a job with someone else. You can set them up on payroll and take a deduction for the expense. It needs to be arms length and the work should be reasonable. I’m not sure if you mean that one of your sons is on disability but working could have an impact on that coverage so please check that out. It’s probably that he can’t if that’s the case. More info on this is here: https://www.disabilitysecrets.com/page1-13.html


    • Gene Marks | May 22, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      RESPONSE TO: JIll Fischer | May 22, 2019 at 12:28 pm
      Does the child fill out a W-4 or a W-9? Not sure our payroll system will support an employee without deducting Fica and Medicare taxes.

      Hi Jill,

      Yes, the child would be treated at arms length like any other employee. All payroll forms would be necessary and you would have to pay FICA and Medicare.


    • Susan Grenier | May 22, 2019 at 2:31 pm

      My son worked at our family business when he was in high school and college. He later got a graduate degree in higher education and a job at a prestigious university. When my husband died unexpectedly at 57 years old, I left my job to save the jobs of 8 other families who would have been without work. I started with little experience, but a lot of faith in my employees. My son surprised all of us when he decided to leave his career and return to the family business. We are a great team, and he had a lot of knowledge from his years working during the summer and vacations that proved invaluable. We never saw it coming but are blessed to work together and carry on a family legacy!

    • Jim Kostelic | May 22, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Great article… lots of factual information..

    • Marie | May 22, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      I agree with RebMcF. There are a lot of great points in this article, however I completely disagree with #6. While children are named as the beneficiary of a 529 account, the money is at the sole discretion of the account owner (usually the parent). If the parent decided that they wanted to use the money for themselves they have every right to do so after paying the taxes and penalties. Teach children the value of hard work and saving for themselves!

    • JIll Fischer | May 22, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      Does the child fill out a W-4 or a W-9? Not sure our payroll system will support an employee without deducting Fica and Medicare taxes.

    • Ragne Jordan | May 22, 2019 at 11:39 am

      How old do the kids have to be to be able to work and are there any limits to hours?

      • Hannah Sullivan | May 22, 2019 at 2:53 pm

        Hi Ragne, this all depends on your state laws.

    • Kellie | May 22, 2019 at 11:24 am

      I own a Cosmetology school and my 18 year old daughter loved being at work with me from a young age. What girl wouldn’t love growing up in a beauty salon! I hired her at 14 and gave her $20 a week and the rest went into her savings. As she got older the amount I gave her changed. She is a senior in high school and now gets $60 a week to spend. The rest into a Roth IRA and at the maximum allowable per year, I think it’s $5500….all Tax free!! I set it all up automatically. I get the tax break as an expense and she is set to retire at 45 if she keeps saving weekly what I have setup. She has decided she wants to run the business. At first I was disappointed because like most parents I wanted her to go to college. I have no college background but worked my butt off as a stylist and eventually opened salons and then a school. Then got my school accredited. She was involved in all of it. Hearing all of the problems and stress of running a business. She has always been very mature because of it. All her teachers just gave her feedback on what they will remember most about her and they said her maturity, her ambition and her work ethic. If you have a business I think it’s great to involve your children but have a healthy balance. She still is a kid. But she’s learned that with hard work you can achieve anything and learn how to budget your money automatically. She never missed the portion put aside in her Roth but someday I hope she can have life be a little easier than it was for us.

    • TERESA OCEGUERA | May 22, 2019 at 11:11 am

      It’s a win win situation and most importantly is the great lessons you are teaching your child in Responsibility & Character building.

    • Betty Rose | May 22, 2019 at 10:22 am

      I have advised my clients to do this for years! I also did it with my own children (who are now in their 40’s and are directors of businesses and/or own their own business). It is an excellent tool as parents for a deduction (let’s face it; we’re going to give them money anyway!!) and as a tool for money management for the children (while we’re still close enough to handle any “slips” in judgment).

      I usually don’t have clients hire the kids until they are 12…unless it is as an “actor/actress” in a commercial/or advertisement. After 12, they should be old enough to believably earn summer money by helping with mailings, office filing, etc.

    • Alan Haungs | May 22, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Do these benefits also apply to grandchildren?

    • David Stegall | May 22, 2019 at 9:17 am

      Does this include grandchildren?

      • Hannah Sullivan | May 22, 2019 at 2:53 pm

        Yes it certainly can!

    • Tammy | May 22, 2019 at 8:49 am

      The one point no one brought up, is what younger people bring to the company. My son worked for us in high school and college. First thing he did was move us to a paperless office. He had to drag me kicking into it, but after 1 week I was a total fan. No more digging through the file cabinets, and if an invoice was missing, OMG, could be a day before we find it. He also introduce us to Google Drive, where multiple people can edit the same document at the same time. He would be doing the bulk of our payroll offsite, and we were still able to do the final touches on our end. For Free! And the IT experience young people have over us old fogies can not be matched.

    • Constance Lee | May 22, 2019 at 8:46 am

      You missed one! Because your child filed a tax return, they can now invest into a Roth IRA, which will grow tax-free. In my state, my kids can’t start working until they’re 14. That means if we only put $2,000 in a Roth now and let it go until they’re 67, that $2,000 will have UNTAXED GROWTH of $310,494. If you just do this until they’re 18, they will have over a million dollars at retirement.

    • I am air mechanical | May 21, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      Totally agree I’ve done this already and don’t regret any of it. The 6 reasons listed are just 6 reasons there’s so many more reasons to hire your children. Good article thanks for posting.

      • Hannah Sullivan | May 22, 2019 at 2:52 pm

        Thank you for reading!

    • Casey | May 21, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      We already do involve our boys. We are both owners of our businesses. Floral design and Commercial Photographery. They love helping! And they get paid.

    • Buddy Dowlen | May 21, 2019 at 9:05 pm

      I have two sons that are disabled, epilepsy, and one is 41 and the other is 32. One is on SSI, older, and the other is on SS. They can do thinks for me that is could pay them for their help but afraid to. Can I take a deduction for paying them without them having to pay taxes on it?

    • Reb McF | May 21, 2019 at 11:27 am

      There are a lot of great idea here. You lost me at #6 though because I disagree with taking the check away from them out of disbelief that all kids can do is waste money. I’d edit that tip to be more positive about teaching them the value of saving money. Let’s teach them how to avoid instant gratification around spending money, so they develop healthy financial habits just like work ethic you mentioned. How about setting percentages for saving, disposable income (Xbox, mall, etc), basic living, and donation to teach them about balance?

    • JohnB in Atlanta | July 3, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Scott Huffman, you refer to Bitcoin as a multi-level pyramid marketing scheme. It is a currency, not a sales scheme.

      Try replacing {cryptocurrency of your choice} with another conventional currency: perhaps the US dollar.

      “… not multi-level pyramid scheme snake oil scams like the US Dollar.”

      Having said this, I *do* think it’s important to teach our youth that new ideas such as Bitcoin *DO* in fact attract all sorts of scammers (including pyramid schemes) and that it pays to be cautious and do one’s homework first. Perhaps that is what you were trying to say?

      I also heartily agree with your fundamental thesis that it’s more important to teach that good old fashioned [smart AND] hard work is what creates wealth and jobs — an idea that won’t go out of style.

      Real business, yes. Real technologies?

      How about technologies on the near horizon? Those are the ones that blindside many businesses both small and large.

    • Leslie Villalta | July 2, 2018 at 11:12 pm

      I’m a sole proprietor with no employees…until I employed our young daughter in our custom frame shop. She was in her teens when we hired her to work during the summer doing sales, design, and various cleaning. We paid her and filed the right paperwork. Our CPA also made sure that I was able to contribute to my SEP, which meant that our daughter could then have her own SEP funded, based on her earnings, as well. By the time she went off to college, she
      had a pretty nice nest egg.

      The experience taught her about being punctual,polite, and respectful (although she already was), as well as being efficient and productive. She learned about the power of saving her money, and she was an informed consumer with her paycheck, opting to bank much of it.

      The responsibility she exhibited while doing the work was something she could have learned elsewhere with any other employer, I suppose, if only there had been as great an opportunity elsewhere at her young age.

    • Jay Young | July 2, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      I see no downside to hiring your kids or other young family members. I also see that someone else was thinking about the Roth IRA aspect as well. Great stuff!

    • Mother of Two | May 29, 2018 at 11:56 pm

      I like this article l, although I do not agree with the last paragraph. It should be the child’s choice with what to do with their hard earned money. Some of it should go into a bank account and also some of it should be for fun

    • Thomas Longwell | May 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      If your child is over the age of 18 and you pay them $10,0000.00 for the year and pay them as a self employed contractor form 1099 misc do they need to pay taxes?

    • Charlene Phillips | May 20, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Both of our kids worked in our restaurant from the time they were 14. The people skills they learned were invaluable. They also saw first-hand the ups and downs of owning a small business. I would recommend employing your kids to anyone. It’s a win all the way around.

    • Jeff Welch | May 19, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      Great article. I started working for my father at the age of 10. Just wish he would have kept my checks…with the way kids are raised behind a screen having an opportunity to learn work ethic and face to face social skills. We are currently opening a small company for our youngest children. Yes the 8 year old will be the ceo, the 14 year old will be the CFO and mom & dad are on the board. It’s a company to promote our youngest in his skateboarding career but as parents we thought this would be a great low risk opportunity to introduce our kids into the business world. The only suggestion I have to anyone wanting to hire there kids…don’t forget to let the kids be kids.

    • NFW | May 18, 2018 at 10:34 am


      Let your kid be a kid. Let them work elsewhere for a while and gain some experience. You can always bring them in for part time work at anytime during the school year after school but let your kids enjoy being a kid during the summer!!!!

      Family business is not all it’s cut out to be. It can be very profitable and rewarding but don’t dismiss having your kid flip a burger or mow a lawn. They need these skills. Other work life experiences give children some perspective outside the family dynamics. Also, the family life is better not talking business 24/7 for the kids and the parents.

      The best summer of my life was being fired by my dad when I was 17 in early July after my 3rd summer working for him. I had only summer out of 4 doing something else other than working for him before I went off to college. That year, I went waterskiing every day, hung out with friends in town and I was afforded time to just being a kid. During that timeframe I got a job with little responsibilities and received some praise and discipline from another boss that wasn’t related. It felt good to be independent and do something other than work for mom and dad. Your kid will still be able to get additional schooling regardless of a padded resume and respectable grades in high school. I am living proof.

      As an FYI, I work in the family business currently and have been for over 20+ years. I am now the CEO.

    • Gene Marks | May 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Great comments everyone. Remember – although the article was written about your kids, it really applies to anyone. In other words, if you don’t have kids or your kid’s not available, hiring someone else’s kid could give them a tax free income, be a deduction for you and help the next generation too, right? Just please…check with your accountant!

    • CR | May 17, 2018 at 11:26 am

      We have 4 children who, (in their teenage years) have worked in our office off and on- mostly after school or during the summer. Their jobs have included answering phones, greeting clients, organizing files, researching topics, updating and maintaining our website, linking our office to social media, operating video equipment etc. Mostly our kids were able to claim EXEMPT on their w-4’s because they were students and dependents and their wages fell below the taxable limit so their Fed withholding was zero anyway. And the intangibles that everyone speaks of are true! An added benefit: carpooling and not driving 4 teenagers to 4 different summer jobs (or God forbid- giving them my car…!) And the kids got to list office experience on their resumes. That helped them all get a foothold on future job applications and taught them very valuable customer service skills.

    • Mason | May 16, 2018 at 7:06 pm

      I think this is fun and true

    • Dot | May 16, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      Well written and informative article. Certainly an idea worth considering depending on what your child may need to mature and learn responsibility.

      Adam, I can’t believe your only take away from this article was Gene’s use of the pronoun “she”. Maybe he was giving equal time to the sexes because I think the lump sitting in front of the tv watching sports might be the “he” in the article.

    • Jeffrey McLaughlin | May 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      So I hired my 16 year old. Paid him and direct deposited his net into a Roth IRA. At 21 he had a nice little nest egg made possible by dad. He now talks to his peers about “planning for the future”.

    • Harri Eloranta | May 16, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Nice article,

      Note to Lee Rainer,
      Yes it works for the grandchildren too, just make sure that they have a reasonable wage

    • David Mear, CPA | May 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Your statement in #3 implies that SS and Medicare taxes withheld would be refunded to the child on their tax return. Not true. Only the Federal income tax withheld would be refunded. Children hired by an S-corp or C-corp are subject to the same SS/Medicare tax as everyone else, as is the employer corporation.

    • cathy turchan | May 16, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      Even better….put their money in a ROTH IRA. I have an 11 year old that puts all her babysitting money and dog sitting money into a ROTH IRA. 50 years of compounded tax free growth!

    • Melissa | May 16, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Super cool article!

    • Tom | May 16, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Since I have a son and these advises are directed to parents with daughters, they are useless to me.
      And besides, doesn’t every business person know this already?

    • Patricia King | May 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      If you can also hire a Grandchild, do you have to pay workman’s comp?

    • Cricket | May 16, 2018 at 12:35 pm

      Great article! I employed both my daughters doing basic office duties and found that as long as you treat them like “employees” and not your children, you are golden. Working in an office, dealing with clients, and answering phones gave them both confidence in themselves as well as excellent communication and social skills. I do wish I’d have thought about the Roth IRA though – *sigh*

    • Melissa | May 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      We have had our kids work in our retail store when they were young (now they are out on their own). Loved having them by our sides, showing them what mom & dad do for work, and they learned a lot.

    • Bill | May 16, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Workers comp will surely go up.,…..

    • Tom | May 16, 2018 at 11:41 am

      Do kids need to have working papers in order to work in your business?

    • Leslie Nickerson | May 16, 2018 at 11:05 am

      @Adam Carney, language changes to keep pace with the values and popular discourse of the culture; if it didn’t, we’d still be writing like the transcriber of Beowulf (which we all read in translation in high school because the original language is so different from modern English). Most academic and journalistic style manuals (APA, MLA, Chicago, Washington Post, New York Times, Associated Press) now encourage the use of singular “they” as a gender neutral pronoun. Singular “they” was even named 2015’s word of the year by the American Dialect Society, although it is hardly new (c.f. Shakespeare)! Also, if you’re going to nitpick the grammar on a business article when it has nothing to do with the ideas contained therein, the least you can do is ensure that your own comment is grammatically correct.

    • Mark Walker | May 16, 2018 at 10:16 am

      This sounds very interesting. Does this apply only to parents with dependants? What if you are a Step Parent or Grandparent with a Sole Proprietorship and want to employee a step child or step grandchild? Does the Federal Minimum Wage apply?

    • Michele S Hewitt-Webster | May 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Great Article but you need to take the time to set expectations for your child in the workplace and let them they will be held accountable as an employee. It is never easy working with family!

    • Scott Huffman | May 16, 2018 at 9:06 am

      The gentleman mentions the importance of teaching our kids about the amazing new technologies like “cryptocurrencies” in one of the comments…….. Another point would be to have your kids work for you so that you can teach them about real business with real technology. Teach them that good old fashioned hard work is what creates wealth and jobs, not multi-level pyramid scheme snake oil scams like Bitcoin.

    • KT | May 16, 2018 at 9:00 am

      Can I hire my nephew and nieces and get the same benifits?

    • Barry | May 16, 2018 at 8:53 am

      This was an excellent tool for my son growing up. He learned what it took to be the last person in line to have to resolve an issue and how to manage and work with his peers. Not only as a future manager or business owner, but to see what it was like to be on the front lines and to experience what any employee experiences on a daily basis. The one drawback he ever experienced was putting his experience on his resume after he graduated from college…he actually made it through a third level interview (final) with a fortune 100 company to have the department manager actually tell him that she felt that working in a family business was not a good work experience and was basically just a filler for the resume and not actual work experience. I don’t know where she got her information from, but I believe my son would say it was exactly opposite. I would not fire him and I would not let him quit when things got tough…LOL Not sure about other parents hiring their children but from my experience we tend to be more direct and expect more from them than we are with any other employee within the company.

      • BETTY ROSE | June 2, 2021 at 4:08 pm

        Same here…my daughter went on to own 2 businesses! She said every employer after me was easier! LOL!

    • Ken | May 16, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Jacinta’s point about Roth IRAs is good for anyone who has a child working. As I understand it, a benefit of a standard IRA is you get a tax deduction NOW, and pay taxes on the distributions later; with a Roth IRA, you get no deduction now, but pay no taxes on (correctly-timed) withdrawals. But if a working youngster pays no taxes anyway and so needs no deductions, and contributes to a Roth-IRA, they NEVER pay taxes on that money– not now, not later.

    • Kelly | May 16, 2018 at 8:35 am

      Adam: great take away from the article:-/
      Gene: great info!

    • Lee Rainer | May 16, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Does this work for Grand Kids also?

    • Donald Ratte | May 16, 2018 at 7:29 am

      I believe the new standard deduction for filing single is $12,000 where you state it is $6,300 in item #2.

    • Arnold Peterson | May 16, 2018 at 1:16 am

      Great advice! My jerk son at 10 years old demands living wage $15 an hour.
      And wants challenging work. He is learning tooling setup on cnc mills, Has mastered the art of drill sizing with calipers. So as the CEO , I am the janitor…

    • Catherine | May 16, 2018 at 12:17 am

      That’s sounds great. However, they are still only accountable to their parent and that is a whole lot different than someone they don’t have a close relationship with. It can backfire. I’ve seen it. I worked for my parents as a kid, and so have my friends and let me tell you, it’s not the real world. It’s got its pros and cons like everything else. This article is written for the benefit of the parent , not the child. Working for your parents is not the same as working for a non family entity, and that wake up call, is eye opening.

      • BETTY ROSE | June 2, 2021 at 4:06 pm

        I suppose it depends on the parent(s). My child worked for me from 12-16 in my Accounting/bookkeeping side job. She always said I was hard on her (maybe). However, when she went to work for a “real” employer in an accounting office as an assistant to the office manager, they quickly discovered she has real bookkeeping skills…long story short: she received a raise before she even received a payday and was moved to the bookkeeping department!

        • Small Biz Ahead | June 3, 2021 at 8:22 am

          Thank you for sharing your experience, Betty!

    • Greg | May 15, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      This is all great and all but the day of artificial intelligence is upon us and we as parents need to start teaching our kids and learn a few things ourselves about this historic revelation about to happen. If we teach traditional subjects in schools and college we are doing our next generation a bad service. Things like RFID, AI, Bitcoin, and Blockchain are here to stay and these technologies will evolve into the next type cryptocurrencies of the next generation. Prepare them now because waiting around will be too late.

    • Karen | May 15, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      Loved this article. One of the smartest and best employers, I had the pleasure of working for, grew up working in for her parents business doing accounting, scheduling, phones, etc. Although she did not have a college education, she was a savay, smart business woman and ended up being the CFO of a manufacturing company by the time she was 30. She accredits all her experience and knowledge to the outstanding training her parents provided from a young teen up into her early 20’s.

    • Nolan Rodrick | May 15, 2018 at 11:17 pm

      Kid can work

    • Kathy | May 15, 2018 at 11:10 pm

      There is an error in #2 the heading is correct however the amount in the body is still 2017’s standard deduction

      • Elizabeth Larkin | May 16, 2018 at 8:18 am

        Edited – thank you!

    • Jacinta | May 15, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      You did not mention that the kid could invest $5500 in a Roth IRA and the benefits of a Roth.

      • Elizabeth Larkin | May 16, 2018 at 8:19 am

        Great point Jacinta!

    • John Carroll | May 15, 2018 at 10:15 pm

      What if my son is 18 but still a junior in high school? What kind of rules will affect him?

    • Adam Carney | May 15, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      Gene, why do you use she when he is proper English for the ambiguous pronoun. Just to show how progressive you are? We’ve really come full circle on this one, haven’t you?

    • John | May 15, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      Good article — helpful for the future when the time comes..

    • Michael Lanuza | May 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Grate advice, I have two teens that are ready to start work during their summer vacation.
      And I just happened to own a business, so I”ll be able to hire them.


    • pranatee pattanayak | May 15, 2018 at 6:59 pm

      What would be the right age for your teenager to start helping in your Business?

    • J. Stephen Deffner | May 15, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      Good stuff. In my situation and family, I would also get a great employee.

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