It’s summertime and, for some, it’s a fantastic time to hire youngsters! Think of some of the necessary parts of your business that you don’t enjoy as much as others and then see if you can find a motivated, responsible teenager to help out.

Where to look (if you don’t have teenagers at home)? Community Facebook groups are a great place to start. Also, ask around! Your neighbor’s babysitter may be a whiz as creating graphics.

Here are some guidelines for hiring the under-18 set:

  • Hiring owners’ children of any age
    • Can work any number of hours or time of day. Under 16 can’t do hazardous work (think lawnmowers, sewing machines), work near flammable materials, or where food is cooked.
    • If ALL employees are immediate family, owners’ children need not be paid minimum wage. However, if any are non-family members, even family must be paid minimum wage.  
  • Hiring owners’ children under 21
    • Wages exempt from FUTA.
  • Hiring any children under 18
    • If the business is 100% parent-owned, the children under 18 are exempt from FICA.
    • If children are not owners’ children, obtain an age certificate that is recognized by both the US Dept. of Labor (DOL) and your state’s Wage & Hour Division (WHD). (DOL may accept state age certificate but confirm with WHD.) Return the certificate to the worker at termination.  
    • Under 18 may not do hazardous work.
  • Hiring workers aged 14-15 who are not the owners’ children
    • Can work 8 hrs./day, 40 hrs./wk, June 1-Labor Day, between 7 a.m.-9 p.m., if school is not in session. Exceptions: Limits do not apply to news carriers or children who are employed exclusively by a parent/sole proprietor. For agricultural jobs, contact the DOL.
  • Hiring children under 14
    • Cannot be hired unless they work for a parent/sole owner.


Material presented on this page has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Information adapted from the May 2017 issue of AIPB’s “The General Ledger” newsletter. Photo by Pineapple Supply Co. on Unsplash.