Ask Entrepreneur - Starting a Business

What legal issues arise when trying to start a business under the age of 18?

I am a 16 year old sophomore in in high school and would like to start a mobile auto-detailing business. I have read E-Myth and a book on starting your own auto detailing business. The only thing that I don't know is what legal issues will arise. Eventually, I would also like to have employees before I am 18.

When would be a good time to look into taking over a family business?

My father's grandfather started this high-end women's retail shoe store. It has been passed down 3 generations and is staring me in the eye. The store has enjoyed consistent growth over the last decade and I feel that, with some help, I could take it to the next level. I have a degree in business management and feel like I've had enough job experience to take this business on.

Is there an advantage to graduating from a prestigious university?

Hello, I'm currently a full time student at a community college with a full time job and I'm excited about applying to universities this fall. I'm a finance major but I'm also currently craving the moment I start my own venture as an entrepreneur. I wanted to know if there's an advantage to graduating from a prestigious school. Would a prestigious school offer better resources and network opportunities that would enhance the quality of my business?

Should I be worried about not having a college degree, even though my business career is going fine now?

I love my job right now, but I'm still concerned about my background. I didn't graduate from college. I am worried that someday our company is going to fast track and I am going to be stuck with nowhere to go and my intellect will have no credibility without the degree. Should I be as anxious as I am right now of the whole situation?

How can I test-drive a restaurant business?

Hi, I am an engineer who has a burning desire to start my own business. I have narrowed it to an Indian restaurant. Before spending a ton of money on location, cooks, and the whole works, I want to know if a cheaper, more viable way of finding out if this particular business model will be successful exists.

How can I make my recycling business idea profitable?

I am interested in starting an e-waste recycling business in Massachusetts. After doing some initial research, I realized that there is no simple and convenient way for businesses or consumers to dispose of their computers, monitors, printers, cell phones.

However, I am not quite sure how this type of service (collecting and transporting e-waste to recycling plants) can generate revenue. Are businesses or consumers willing to pay for this service if it was more convenient?

What university major would prepare me for entrepreneurship better?

Hi. I'm currently a university student in Australia. I'm currently completing my commerce degree but I'm having trouble deciding which major would be most beneficial to me in the future. I'm torn between finance, management or marketing. I love them all. I was wondering which major would be most useful to be an entrepreneur. I'm leaning more towards marketing and management because they seem to be important in running your own business.

Do I need a portfolio of past projects to start marketing my consulting business?

My resume shows work experience in key account management where I presented sales presentations to retailers and buyers. My resume also shows work in the marketing agency setting where I was an account executive working on marketing programs like promotions, events, and sponsorships. I also did creative work for in-store POS. I don't have a portfolio that shows proof of these projects and I am wondering if I need this to start a consulting business or if I can just show clients the services that I offer now and appeal to current needs vs. previous work done as proof.

Is it wise to partner up when opening a restaurant?

I am a 27-year-old female living in small-town Minnesota. I have wanted to open my own restaurant for years now, just haven't taken the jump yet. A good friend proposed that we partner up. I am a little leery. She has her ideas, I have mine, sometimes our ideas match. She does have the business background that I lack. I have been in the restaurant industry for 11 years now and love it. I'm just not sure that partnering up is the best decision for me, but it is appealing. What is your advice?

Given the economic state and the recession outlook, what advice would you give a first timer business owner?

Interested in opening an eclectic vintage and coffee boutique in a quaint yet busy city in Florida. Concerned if now is the correct time to open a business, or if I should wait until the 'downturn' passes?

How do I acquire the former customers of my parents' failing business without my parents resenting me?

My family business is going bankrupt. The plan was for my wife and I to take it over throughout the next few years, but the business has been going downhill. Now I've started my own business doing the same thing because it is what I love and the customers are saying they want to come with me. Is there any crime here? My father is trying to pin the failure of his business on me.

How do I help my 15 year-old son start a business?

Hello there, I am producing a instructional DVD for music instruction and I would like my son to manage the sales so he can start learning about business. How would I go about this? He lives in Kissimmee, FL and I live in New York City. He is an ace of a son and is doing phenomenal in school. I wish to help him out with my talent and have him earn the profits of my labor for his future college tuition. The DVD sales are estimated to bring in at least $70,000 in the first year and they will be done through the internet.

How do the benefits and disadavantages of a sole proprietorship compare to that of incorporation?

I have been operating my small business as a sole proprietorship for the past two and a half years. I've had losses the past two years but now that my business is really prospering, I'm wondering if it would be in my best interest to incorporate and what the benefits would be to do so? I hear that S-Corps are the best option for small businesses--is that true?

How do I prepare myself to take over my parents' business?

I'm 17 years old and my parents own a successful restaurant. I feel I need to be well-educated to take over the business, but I didn't get the best grades in high school. Would a 2-year school prepare me better since I'm not looking to get a job after college?

At what point should I make the full leap from my day job to my startup?

I have a photography business that I'm starting up, but don't know at what point I should make the full leap from my day job to this startup. Is there a certain amount of income I should reserve before I make the transition?


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