Is A Child Working For Their Parents’ Business Appropriate?

child working for parents business

A child working for his/her parents’ company is a very good idea to make the child learn important business and life skills. By looking at his/her parents, the child can learn business ethics, understand the intricacies of the business world, and get a head-start in life.

But you must follow child labor laws put in place, so no one can exploit children, whether their own or someone else’s. If you want your child to work with you in your business, you will also have to follow these rules. Otherwise, you could end up in big trouble. One thing to keep in mind is that the FLSA has set 14 years old as the minimum age to employ someone while limiting hours worked by minors under the age of 16. If you employ anyone under this age, you will find yourself in a serious mess.

Should You Hire Your Child Into Your Family Business?

Deciding whether or not you should hire your child is not a simple decision and should only be taken after much consideration. On the one hand, it can mean continuity and succession while having trust and loyalty within the family. On the other hand, potential challenges such as competency, family dynamics, different perspectives, and work-life balance must be taken into account. Striking the right balance between family ties and professional needs and wants is essential to make the right decision.

Reasons To Your Child Into Your Family Business

While there are potential drawbacks, a child working for a parent’s business is not all bad. In fact, it does have some pretty good advantages.

Your Child Can Develop A Work Ethic.

Encouraging your child to join the family business can be an excellent opportunity for them to develop a strong work ethic. A work ethic is a set of values and principles that make people work diligently, be proud of their accomplishments, and try to work to be better. By joining the family business, children can learn valuable skills and qualities that will benefit them throughout their personal and professional lives.

Work ethic for a child working for parents’ business:

One of the most powerful ways children develop a work ethic is by observing their parents and other family members working diligently in the business. When they witness the dedication and commitment put forth by their family, it instills in them the importance of hard work and perseverance. Also, being part of the family business often involves taking on real responsibilities at an early age. Whether it’s helping with day-to-day operations or taking part in any important or even not-so-important decisions, these responsibilities teach children the value of accountability and the impact their efforts have on the business’ success.

What’s more, in a family business, work ethic is often treated as a core value that is passed down from one generation to another. As children grow up with this mindset, it becomes an important part of their character. Also, quality is a very important aspect of any family business, a must for maintaining a good reputation and customer satisfaction. As children contribute to the business and witness the emphasis on quality, they learn to take pride in their work and aim for excellence in everything they do.

Working in a family business also shows the kids the real world of entrepreneurship and business challenges. They learn that success often comes with overcoming obstacles and learning from failures. Also, being involved in the family business requires balancing work, family responsibilities, and personal life. This experience helps children develop time management skills and discipline, which are essential for success in any field. And when they interact with the customers and clients within the family business, it enhances their communication and interpersonal skills. Learning how to maintain relationships with customers is valuable for their future professional and personal interactions.

You Get To Spend More Time With Your Kid

When your child is in the same business that you run, you get to spend more time with them. Not only can you keep an eye on them, but your parent-child relationship develops into a mentor-trainee relationship too, which can have lasting impacts on the child’s life. It also provides an opportunity to make them understand and learn important values and work ethics, shaping their character and helping their personal growth. Moreover, taking part in the family business offers a better work-life balance and a sense of belonging as your child becomes part of a family tradition and shared vision. Taking this chance to work side by side can lead to a more fulfilling and connected family dynamic while preserving and building a family legacy.

In the family business, you and your child can share common goals, challenges, and successes, strengthening your emotional bond. Being in a nurturing environment, your child can take on responsibilities and handle challenges, working on his/her personal development and important life skills. Additionally, working together allows for greater flexibility and understanding, making space for your child’s needs and supporting their growth. By building a family legacy and passing down values, the family business becomes a source of purpose and pride, giving your child a sense of belonging and direction in their career. Overall, spending more time with your child in the family business can be a transformative experience that benefits both your family and the business itself.

You May Not Have To Pay Taxes

While there can be certain tax benefits associated with running a family business, it’s important to note that claiming tax exemptions solely because it is a family business is not accurate or legal. Family businesses, like any other business entity, are subject to tax regulations and must comply with the tax laws of the country they work in. Taxes are an important part of funding public services and infrastructure and are essential for the functioning of society.

However, family businesses may be eligible for certain tax deductions or benefits. These benefits are based on the business’s structure, size, activities, and compliance with tax laws rather than its familial ownership.

For instance, some common tax benefits for businesses, including family businesses, may include:

A child working in their family business may affect the federal income tax. The child’s wages would be considered a business expense for the family business, potentially reducing the business’s taxable income. However, the child’s earnings may still be subject to income tax depending on their total income and federal law. Also, working in your family business affects payroll taxes. As an employee, taxes are withheld from your salary. Self-employed owners pay self-employment taxes. Hiring family members also requires payroll tax compliance.

It is important to work with qualified accountants or tax professionals who are familiar with your country’s tax laws to ensure that your family business complies with all applicable regulations while maximizing legitimate tax deductions and credits. Trying to evade taxes or claiming inappropriate exemptions can lead to severe consequences and legal issues.

Tips For Hiring Your Child

Tips For Hiring Your Child

Hire Your Child To Do Real Work

Hiring your child to do real work in the family business offers a great opportunity for their personal and professional development. Remember, you must take this decision with professionalism and consideration to make sure that this turns out to be a meaningful experience for both you and your child. By assigning age-appropriate tasks, you can slowly build their confidence and competence while instilling a sense of responsibility and ownership in their work. It is very important that you work on your child’ professional development during this time. Offer them training opportunities and constructive feedback to help them improve their skills and gain work experience. Allowing them to explore different aspects of the business empowers them to discover their strengths and interests, potentially guiding their future career paths.

Also, to make sure you don’t end up being unfair to the other employees, determine fair compensation for their work based on market rates and the tasks they perform. It is very important to treat your child like any other employee, avoiding the perception of nepotism. Showing that their appointment is based on their skills and qualifications helps keep a positive work environment and supports a sense of accomplishment and merit in their role. Additionally, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is very important, especially if your child is still in school. Make sure that work commitments do not negatively impact their education or personal life. Encourage a culture that sees mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning, and provide them with the support they need to handle challenges and setbacks effectively.

By teaching your child professionalism and respect in the workplace, they will understand the value of respecting coworkers, following company policies, and maintaining confidentiality. This not only benefits their current role but also prepares them for future leadership roles within the family business.

Separate Family And Work Jobs

Effectively separating family and work roles in a family business is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive environment. Clearly defining roles and responsibilities based on qualifications and skills helps avoid ambiguity and ensures each family member has a distinct job description. Promoting professionalism and adhering to company policies for all employees, regardless of family ties, fosters a respectful and constructive work atmosphere.

Open communication and regular meetings provide opportunities to address concerns and expectations, maintaining transparency within the business. Avoiding favoritism and treating all employees fairly based on merit helps build trust and prevents potential conflicts. By encouraging individual development through training and growth programs, family members can reach their potential within the business. Resolving conflicts through structured mechanisms or external mediation ensures that issues are handled objectively, benefiting both the business and family relationships. Ultimately, a clear separation of financial matters and a balanced approach to work and family events contribute to the success and harmony of a family business.

Follow Child Labor Laws

Compliance with child labor laws is of utmost importance when considering hiring your child or any young people in the family business. Child labor laws are set to protect the rights, health, and well-being of children and adolescents, ensuring they have access to education, safe working conditions, and appropriate working hours. Violating these laws can lead to severe legal consequences and tarnish the reputation of the family business.

To follow the state child labor laws, it is important to understand the specific regulations in your country or region. These laws typically define the minimum age at which children can work, the maximum number of hours they can work per day and week, and the types of dangerous or prohibited jobs they should not undertake. Make sure that your child meets the minimum age requirement before considering hiring them in the family business. If your child meets the legal age for employment, provide them with age-appropriate tasks that align with child labor laws. Avoid assigning them dangerous or overly demanding duties for their age and physical capabilities. Always prioritize their health, safety, and education over business interests.

Maintaining the right records of your child’s working hours and ensuring they have time for rest, education, and recreation is important to comply with child labor laws. Implementing a fair compensation structure and providing the necessary support and resources for their personal growth and development is equally important. By adhering to child labor laws and prioritizing the well-being of your child, you show your commitment to running a responsible and ethical family business. Remember that running a safe, nurturing, and legally compliant environment is important for your child’s overall growth and the long-term success of the family business.

Bottom Line

Getting your child employed in your business does give you an edge in a lot of things, like Medicare taxes, income tax withholding, and even tax-free income for some places, but it all depends on the federal laws. One thing you must keep in mind, though, regardless of whether you are a sole proprietor, a single member LLC, or a partner in the company, is to follow the Fair Labor Standards Act and federal and state laws and keep your child over minimum wage. These things, if ignored, can land you in serious trouble. Other than that, hiring your child in your company can provide a very good opportunity for them to learn new skills while you guide them.

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

Recent Posts