Can a minor hire me or doI need to get written consent from a parent first?

I do freelance web design and a minor has contacted me to do a website.

Asked on September 17, 2011 under Business Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A minor cannot enter into enforceable contracts; therefore, if the minor does not pay you upfront but rather contracts to pay you later, when the work is done, that contract might not be enforceable; thus, you could find yourself having difficulty in collecting if the minor defaults. For that reason, if you can't get the money paid all up front, you really should get one of the minor's parents to sign the contract as well. That will give you someone over the age of majority--the parent--against whom you can take legal action (e.g. sue in small claims court) if need be. So it's not necessarily "consent" per se that  you need; you need to to have some obligated to pay you against whom you can enforce the contract. (Or, as stated, get the payment upfront so it's a nonissue.)

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.