How can a minor obtain a business loan for a start up?
I like many other 16 year-olds, I do not have thousands of dollars to pull out of my pocket. However, I do believe I have great entrepreneurial skills. I think I have nice-looking layout for an e-commerce site that's being quoted at around $5,000 in addition to other expenses. Banks and everyone else are reluctant to letting you borrow money because you are not an adult so you can't sign a legal document. My parents do not have the best credit, and they don't want to put it on the line for me. I guess I am the only that believes I can be successful, but I am hoping there is an alternative way to get funding besides working at a minimum wage job.
Unfortunately, I am not aware of any bank that would lend money to a minor. The reason, as you rightly pointed out, is that minors are (under the law) deemed to lack a full appreciation of the consequences of their actions. You may be exceptionally talented and mature, but right now (and given your parents' financial situation), your options are limited. Either find another adult, family member or family friend willing to lend you the funds, or hang tight until you turn 18. Take that time to develop an exceptional business plan!
The fall in new company starts does not necessarily mean that the American economy is less dynamic than it used to be, or that Americans are opening up new establishments at a lower rate than they did in the late 1970s.