There is a lot to consider before getting your older involved in a family business.
Before you even begin thinking about employing your child in your family business, you have to consider whether he or she is mature enough to hold a part-time job. Legally, you can hire your child if he or she has a work permit and is over 14 years of age. However, some 14 year-olds are not yet ready to hold a job.
Some kids are so involved with school and extra-curricular activities, including sports, that it isn’t realistic to expect your child to hold a part-time job, even during the summer. You don’t want to have your kids trying to do too much.
You need to determine wages and how you will pay your child before he or she starts working. It is legal for parents to pay their own children in cash when working in a family business. No taxes need to be paid on the income your child earns. You will want to offer your child at least minimum wage as he or she could easily go out and get a different part-time job.
You will also have to be careful as to how your child will be perceived by other employees. You won’t want to give the impression that you don’t expect any work out of your child, or that you are showing him or her much favoritism.
When you are both your child’s boss and mother or father, you have to set boundaries between the two roles before you child even begin his or her new job. Your son or daughter needs to know when you are his or her boss and when you are his or her parent. Working for your parents can cause a lot of confusion in this area, especially when work is occasionally brought home, as is the case in many family businesses.
You will also want to consider how much responsibility you would like to give your son or daughter within the business. The more responsibility you feel that you can safely give him or her, the better. It will provide your son or daughter with good work habits and skills.
Chances are that your son or daughter has the active social life of a teenager. As a result, it is inevitable that he or she will occasionally want some time off. You need to consider how you will negotiate your child’s time off before they begin working their new job.
If you take the time to think this important decision through, you will avoid a lot of issues down the road, and you might just improve the relationship with your child.
It is a good idea to have your kids get work outside of the family business as well, even if it is only for a few hours after school.
If these few small items are kept in mind, the process of employing your son or daughter in the family business will go much more smoothly. As the daughter of a small business owner who worked for her parents for several years during high school, I have experienced some of the issues above. Hopefully this will help you make a more informed decision when considering employing your son or daughter in the family business.