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Anyone have experience starting before 18?

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Gabriel_Exists

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First of all, I am 16 years old and already know people will tell me to wait until I'm 18 to start business so I am able to sign legal documents, I understand that point of view. However, I am desperate to start as soon as possible as I have 948 days until my first theoretical day of University (if I take a gap year), I do not want to go, but unless I have something to show for it before then I practically have to (or be banished by my family). I would much rather start sooner than waste 390+ days (until I turn 18) that could have been used building a business. I have no interest in a traditional job and have wanted to be an entrepreneur long before I read TMF.

In the UK you can register an LLC at 16 but not many other things, I'm not sure how the UK compares to the US (I know there are certian things you can do with a co-sign, not that my pearents would agree) but If anyone has experience starting before 18 I would really apreaciate any wisdom and advice.
 
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Edgar King

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First of all, I am 16 years old and already know people will tell me to wait until I'm 18 to start business so I am able to sign legal documents, I understand that point of view. However, I am desperate to start as soon as possible as I have 948 days until my first theoretical day of University (if I take a gap year), I do not want to go, but unless I have something to show for it before then I practically have to (or be banished by my family). I would much rather start sooner than waste 390+ days (until I turn 18) that could have been used building a business. I have no interest in a traditional job and have wanted to be an entrepreneur long before I read TMF.

In the UK you can register an LLC at 16 but not many other things, I'm not sure how the UK compares to the US (I know there are certian things you can do with a co-sign, not that my pearents would agree) but If anyone has experience starting before 18 I would really apreaciate any wisdom and advice.
Hey Gabriel! Teen freelancer here but no business yet per se.

When I was 17, I wanted to open a business as well but couldn't because of my age, so my parents stepped in and set one up for me. Since it seems your parents won't do that for you, I suppose that's not an option. But you can always ask and see!

Why don't you want to go to University? Uni might be a better experience than you think and I'm afraid you'll regret not going when you're older.

The only thing I can recommend is you learn a valuable skill and use it to help the people around you or online. Charge for the next help after refining your offer. Then use the seed money you earned to test your business idea, make a sale online and scale it from there. I don't think you'd need to set up an LLC to test it though.

Worst case scenario, you'll earn some seed money to fund the business you'll start when you're 18.
 

Johnny boy

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You could go grab a brush and some moss-out and clean moss off of roofs for over $800 a day. You could be making 10+ grand a month as a kid just having people pay you cash.

The in person stuff is an insane opportunity I wish people told me I could just drop out of school and do my own thing and make so much so quickly.

Everyone's always doing bullshit little online half assed side hustle attempts and they end up making like $45 a month after all of the work and upfront costs.

Make money, find a way to get employees to start doing the work after you get things rolling, now you have easy money coming in and live like you're retired in your 20's.

I started when I was 21. I'm 25 now and have 4 employees. Our goal this year is 500k rev 250k profit (fingers crossed)

A couple of my friends as examples, all in their 20's:

Friend 1. Selling franchises for his own home services company
Friend 2. Makes a few hundred grand a year selling headstones. Owns downtown commercial real estate. (You could say he's 'killing' it lol)
Friend 3. Sells sonar locaters (for locating utilities and stuff) to municipalities across the united states. Has a centurion card at 25 years old.

Me and most of my buddies are droppouts with our own 'unromantic' businesses.

For now you may just need to hustle low-key under the table and some people might have a problem with that, but I personally think who gives a shit. You're 16 you won't go to jail.
 
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Tiago

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Built my first business at 17, sold it at 19. Not for a huge amount, but that goes to show that you don't need to be 18.

I registered it only a year after starting operations, until I proved the business model and was making a profit.

Just start. Don't worry too much about the legalities. If you need to get the business registered, put it in your parent's name.
 

Rabby

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I made websites for money when I was around 13. Didn't make much, but it was experience. I ended up writing web copy and ads at that time too, for local small businesses (mostly family of friends from school, neighbors, or people introduced by the aforementioned). When I was 17 I built a forge and started making things from metal and selling them. No reason you can't start early. Also no reason everything you do needs to be a full-fledged business with employees and a corporation, etc. Make it work for you, get the experience you need while providing products and services other people need.
 

thechosen1

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When I was 12, those mini skateboards called "tech decks" were all the rage at school. I got my mom to take me to the store, where I would buy a pack of 5 for $5 and then sell them for $5 each (5 x $5 = $25. $25 - $5 = $20 profit each time). Eventually I learned about the German brands that were made of real wood and made my own by gluing thin veneer strips together and clamping between existing tech decks; sold some of those to kids at school too. The fad faded out though - kind of like the fidget spinner trend - but this was in 2008.

I also had a reputation for being the "drawing kid" in class. I drew a picture of Jack Sparrow the year before (I was 11) and made 300 copies of it, marked them 1/300, 2/300, 3/300... etc. Sold those for $5 each until my teacher got mad about it and made me stop. (Didn't sell all for the $1,500 projected but still ended up with over $100, a lot for that age)

You don't need to be 18 to start making things, providing services, or selling. The fact you're 16 and can drive means you can do almost anything.

Maybe I'll make a thread about stuff you can do as a kid to get started.
 
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Speed112

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Over here, over there.
When I was 12 I was selling items in RuneScape to my classmates (at absurd rates) and sometimes getting paid to write their essays or help with homework. I was doing videogame coaching for money when I was 15-16. "If my math tutor can charge for maths, I can charge for games"

Got my first copy client at 17 when I didn't even know what copywriting meant. "Oh I'll write a flier for you to promote your special offer. I'll do it for $50" and they agreed. Easy.

If you can exchange value for money and get paid through Cash or Paypal or Crypto you don't have to worry too much in the early stages. That's how you start a business. Things get tricky when you start making past a certain amount and need to hire people formally. That's a good problem to have.

So you can "start" a business and figure things out along the way. Nobody is going to hunt you for it. Just go out there and help people. Honestly, the longer you can go without involving the government, legal entities, and formal bs, the better. It makes the cost of your mistakes and experience way smaller, while your growth way faster.

You can make the leap out of informality when you're ready.
 

Gabriel_Exists

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Built my first business at 17, sold it at 19. Not for a huge amount, but that goes to show that you don't need to be 18.

I registered it only a year after starting operations, until I proved the business model and was making a profit.

Just start. Don't worry too much about the legalities. If you need to get the business registered, put it in your parent's name.
Thankyou for the help, I wont think about the legalities too much and just start trying to prove a concept.
 
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thechosen1

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Yeah, as almost everyone is saying, you can start locally and earn locally and basically scale it up from there. Legalities come wayyyy later.
Yeah, a lot of this is cart before the horse stuff.

Get the horse first. Don't talk to a lawyer when you haven't even done anything or made a dollar yet.
 

Gabriel_Exists

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Jan 9, 2022
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You could go grab a brush and some moss-out and clean moss off of roofs for over $800 a day. You could be making 10+ grand a month as a kid just having people pay you cash.

The in person stuff is an insane opportunity I wish people told me I could just drop out of school and do my own thing and make so much so quickly.

Everyone's always doing bullshit little online half assed side hustle attempts and they end up making like $45 a month after all of the work and upfront costs.

Make money, find a way to get employees to start doing the work after you get things rolling, now you have easy money coming in and live like you're retired in your 20's.

I started when I was 21. I'm 25 now and have 4 employees. Our goal this year is 500k rev 250k profit (fingers crossed)

A couple of my friends as examples, all in their 20's:

Friend 1. Selling franchises for his own home services company
Friend 2. Makes a few hundred grand a year selling headstones. Owns downtown commercial real estate. (You could say he's 'killing' it lol)
Friend 3. Sells sonar locaters (for locating utilities and stuff) to municipalities across the united states. Has a centurion card at 25 years old.

Me and most of my buddies are droppouts with our own 'unromantic' businesses.

For now you may just need to hustle low-key under the table and some people might have a problem with that, but I personally think who gives a shit. You're 16 you won't go to jail.
Thanks for the advice and insperation, its so cool to talk to people who have actually done it. Also im going to start looking into more in person stuff, before now I didnt even think to!
 
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Gabriel_Exists

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Jan 9, 2022
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Hey Gabriel! Teen freelancer here but no business yet per se.

When I was 17, I wanted to open a business as well but couldn't because of my age, so my parents stepped in and set one up for me. Since it seems your parents won't do that for you, I suppose that's not an option. But you can always ask and see!

Why don't you want to go to University? Uni might be a better experience than you think and I'm afraid you'll regret not going when you're older.

The only thing I can recommend is you learn a valuable skill and use it to help the people around you or online. Charge for the next help after refining your offer. Then use the seed money you earned to test your business idea, make a sale online and scale it from there. I don't think you'd need to set up an LLC to test it though.

Worst case scenario, you'll earn some seed money to fund the business you'll start when you're 18.
"learn a valuable skill" I have done some freelancing as a video editor and can use the full adobe suite but I have only made about $100, still good to know though.
 

Gabriel_Exists

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Jan 9, 2022
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When I was 12, those mini skateboards called "tech decks" were all the rage at school. I got my mom to take me to the store, where I would buy a pack of 5 for $5 and then sell them for $5 each (5 x $5 = $25. $25 - $5 = $20 profit each time). Eventually I learned about the German brands that were made of real wood and made my own by gluing thin veneer strips together and clamping between existing tech decks; sold some of those to kids at school too. The fad faded out though - kind of like the fidget spinner trend - but this was in 2008.

I also had a reputation for being the "drawing kid" in class. I drew a picture of Jack Sparrow the year before (I was 11) and made 300 copies of it, marked them 1/300, 2/300, 3/300... etc. Sold those for $5 each until my teacher got mad about it and made me stop. (Didn't sell all for the $1,500 projected but still ended up with over $100, a lot for that age)

You don't need to be 18 to start making things, providing services, or selling. The fact you're 16 and can drive means you can do almost anything.

Maybe I'll make a thread about stuff you can do as a kid to get started.
I had a few tech decks when I was 12 aswell. Unforunatly I can't drive until Im 18 (uk), but I will be doing things anyway, also the thread about stuff you can do as a kid would be awesome.
 

Rabby

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"learn a valuable skill" I have done some freelancing as a video editor and can use the full adobe suite but I have only made about $100, still good to know though.
If you get enough people to use this service, and make them very happy with the quality and responsiveness, there's a very good chance they will start referring new business to you. Applies to most any service.
 
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