Before you take this step, I would encourage you to do a little research and study into the practice so you’ll at least be aware of the laws, regulations, and tax consequences of this practice.
Should you pay your children (or the neighbor’s kids) with cash to help you in your business and not call them employees so you can avoid the laws governing child labor standards? I won’t answer that – it’s your decision.
Generally, no youth under the age of 16 is permitted to work more than four hours in one school day.
They can’t be employed before 5:00 am or after 9:30 pm (unless the following day is a non-school day.)
You can’t hire a youth for more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period.
Youth that are 14 and 15 can be employed in certain situations and businesses that are non-hazardous like restaurants, janitorial services, fast food chains, landscaping firms, etc.
You would want to contact the State’s Labor Standards Office or department (it may not be called by that exact name) for specific information regarding the laws where you live.
If the youth is covered by the federal FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), the provisions for child labor could be different (and probably will be more strict and protective) than your state regulations.
You can go online and view the details of this subject ( http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/youthlabor/ )
At the time of this writing, minors (youth under 18) are covered by the minimum wage standard of $5.15 per hour (except that a minor can be paid $4.25 for the first 90 days of probationary employment) or $2.13 as a “tipped” employee (see the definition before trying this).
There has been quite a bit of rhetoric about increasing the federal minimum wage soon, so be sure to check for the latest details and figures.
The numbers I’ve given you could be out of date.
Be aware that children are also protected by other federal statutes related to anti-discrimination, minimum wage, payroll deductions, working conditions, fair housing, etc.
Again, the solo Internet model or strategy outlines a business for the single operator.
If you hire your kids, or others kids to help you, technically you’re no longer a solo business operator.
That distinction doesn’t really matter to me (I don’t hire children), but it should matter to you. Why? Because it matters to the authorities.
If you employ anyone else in your business, formally or not, you as the business owner will be liable for meeting all the laws, requirements, and financial considerations as an employer.
You need to make sure that you understand how these laws affect what you are doing. A word to the wise.
To your online business success,