Federal rules for 100% parent-owned businesses
- Owners’ children of any age can work any number of hours or time of day. No one under 16 can do hazardous work (e.g., with lawn mowers, sewing machines), or work near flammable or hazardous materials, or where food is cooked.
- If the only employees are immediate family, owners’ children need not be paid the minimum wage—but if others are regularly employed, even family must be paid minimum wage.
Owners’ children under 21:
- Wages are exempt from FUTA.
Any children under 18:
- If the business is 100% parent-owned, the children under 18 are exempt from FICA.
- If not owners’ children, obtain an age certificate that is recognized by both the DOL and your state Wage and Hour Division (WHD). DOL often accepts state age certificates, but ask your WHD to be sure. Return it to the worker at termination.
- The workers may not do hazardous work.
- Workers aged 14-15 but are not the owners’ children can work 8 hrs./day, 40 hrs./wk., June 1-Labor Day, between 7 a.m.-9 p.m. if school is not in session. Exceptions: Limits do not apply to news carriers or children who are employed exclusively by a parent/sole proprietor. For agricultural jobs, contact the DOL.
- Other children under 14 cannot be hired unless they work for a parent/sole owner.