Basic Training: A is for Adolescent

Posted on August 18, 2020 in Form a Company

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Ah, youth. I wish I had been so motivated to change the world when I was a teen. I was more concerned with how geeky I looked in braces and participating in nerdy things like student government. Here’s how this week’s teen wants to make a difference:

Q: I am trying to start up a robotics business but can’t find investors. Probably because I am thirteen. Any advice? Also, how old do you have to be in order to start up a business?

A.: Yes (for those of you Wonderama fans) . . . but according to the law, they’re not considered mentally competent until age 18. That’s not a slap in the face of teenagers–some of whom are exceptionally bright and brighter, in fact, than some adults–it’s a recognition that the human body is still in its maturation stages. So right, wrong, or indifferent, the law has a cut-off point at age 18. Under 18, you need a parent or guardian to start a business, sit on corporate boards and enter into contracts on your behalf–you can’t do it alone. [OK, there are exceptions for organizations such as Girl Scouts, etc., but that’s beyond the scope here]. Savvy investors know this, which is why (among other reasons) they would never dream of having discussions with a 13-year-old without counsel, parents and/or other witnesses present.

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