Legal Question in Business Law in New York

Can a minor co-own an LLC?

Thanks for taking my question. I am a minor, about 17 and a half, going to school in New Hampshire. A friend (he's overage) living in New York and I are considering starting an LLC together, more specifically an internet retail store, proabably filing the papers in New York. However, this brings up the question as to whether I can be named a co-owner of the business or not legally at this time. Waiting until my birthday seems like a very unappealing option, as we're ready to launch in less than a month, but I also don't want to go into this venture and wind up getting burned.

What are my options here? Can I still sign the contract for co-ownership, and it will just become legal on my 18th birthday? Will it be rendered invalid permanently if I sign prematurely? Could the contract be written so that my partner has full control until I turn 18, at which time my share is handed over to me? Some idea of what to expect and what options I have would be greatly appreciated. If possible I'd rather not involve my parents, because they are not trustworthy, but if that is what it takes, so be it. Some advice on how to minimize their power over the deal would be appreciated. Thank you again for your time.

Asked on 4/04/05, 10:55 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Lawrence Graves Coolidge & Graves PLLC

Re: Can a minor co-own an LLC?

You can (and should) proceed as a member of the LLC. If your co-venturer is concerned, he might ask you, as to all contracts (like the LLC operating agreement) that you will have signed before turning 18, to ratify them after your birthday. No need to involve parents to sign on your behalf.

Best of luck with this venture!


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Answered on 4/05/05, 9:43 am

Meyer Silber The Silber Law Firm, LLC

Re: Can a minor co-own an LLC?

There should be no problem. I am not even sure that you could back out, as 17, while legally a minor, should understand his actions.

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Answered on 4/05/05, 10:29 am
Antonio Maldonado Maldonado Myers LLP

Re: Can a minor co-own an LLC?

Chances are that the one that could get "burned" is your friend. Not you. Only you can disavow the contracts you get into while you are a minor (except if they are for necessaries). Your friend can't.

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Answered on 4/04/05, 11:40 pm

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