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Established nonprofit organizations

Nonprofits often rely on young workers who want to gain experience and have programs tailored to employ the youth for that purpose. An established organization will be familiar with local regulations and have policies in place that are compliant with local employment laws for minors. Some examples of established nonprofit organizations include:

  • Youth service organizations.
  • Environmental groups.
  • Day camps and overnight camps.
  • Animal shelters.

Reputable businesses

Employing minors can be tricky and require jumping through some legal hoops. The rules vary from state to state, however most states do require minors to obtain a work permit or other form of authorization before they begin working for an employer. The Department of Labor website provides an interactive map where state specific information can be found. Reputable businesses have strict policies in place to ensure they can legally hire minors. Businesses that routinely hire teens include food service and other service industry jobs. Some examples are:

  • Fast food restaurants.
  • Waitstaff at a restaurant that does not serve alcohol.
  • Car washes.
  • Retail stores.
  • Grocery stores.

Many of these employers want seasonal help when their staff goes on summer vacation or to help with increased seasonal demand, making them good options for summer employment.

Resorts, parks and country clubs

Resorts, parks and country clubs need more workers in the summer months during the busy season. At the right employer, mentorship may give teen workers an opportunity to learn a new skill, like lifeguarding, or even the chance to learn what it takes to run such a facility. Resorts, parks and clubs may need someone to help with yard work and landscaping, assisting members, cleaning, and even kitchen help. Again, these are places that tend to have good policies for their seasonal teen workers, and teens can often earn quite a bit of money. Resorts and country clubs often will allow their workers to receive tips, which can increase income and provide young workers with incentive to work harder.


Some teens may want to start their own business. With a little help, the process of getting set up will be much less daunting and provide the sort of experience a teen would not get elsewhere. In fact, with a solid Business Plan, and the right permit or license, a teen can easily start a business. Landscaping, babysitting, lemonade stands, social media marketing, and even tech work can all be transformed into profitable businesses.

That said, even young entrepreneurs need to follow the law and have the right documentation in place. It may be wise to contact a Rocket Lawyer network attorney or explore the Rocket Lawyer mobile app to get help for your teen. 

Kids can always start at home

There are some kids that have a drive to earn money before they are old enough to legally enter the workforce. As a parent, you can encourage them to pursue that passion by giving them tasks around the house or yard and paying them for a job well done. Another option is to connect them with older relatives and neighbors to perform household chores and other odd jobs, with supervision. You may want to consider using an Employment Contract or Business Contract to help teach your child about employment and entrepreneurship and to ensure everyone knows the expectations.

While exciting, allowing your kids, even when they become teenagers, to join the workforce can be difficult and scary for any parent. If you have questions, it can be helpful to ask a lawyer about your concerns or the legal protections for minors that apply in your city or state.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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