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Author Topic: Hiring your children  (Read 4427 times)

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« on: December 29, 2008, 10:48 »
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I live in the US and I am planning to hire my children (ages 13 and 14) for my new micostock business.  Some of the work they may do could be modeling, helping set up a shoot, taking photos, keywording, and uploading.

Does anyone have an employment agreement they use for hiring their children?  How much should they be paid?

My 14 year old would like to take photos and submit them to mircostock sites, but as far as I can determine you must be 18 to do this.  If I hire her, wouldnt I get the copyright to the photos she takes so then I could legally upload her photos?  Is there any verbage I should add to the employment agreement so that I get the copyright ownership?

Thanks,

Mark


WarrenPrice

« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 12:01 »
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Mark,
If I were an IRS agent, I would be investigating you already.  Sounds like you are setting up a scam to claim expenses for a business that does not exist.  Go slowly.  Your ideas are good but a bit premature.

Examples of Model Releases for minors are available at all the microstock sites.  You'll need specific releases for each agency to which you upload images.

You'll also need these for adults and certain property.


« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2008, 15:14 »
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each MS agency has different rules on what it will accept -- some require that the seller actually have TAKEN the image, others just that the seller controls the copyright.

as far as hiring your kids and getting the copyright from 'work for hir', i'd guess the kids are too young to sign anything, so it might get tricky

if you do it properly, you can run a business at a loss for 3 yrs, but if you dont show a profit by the 4th, you will be liable for taxes on the prior years.

 like many others here, i've got a lot more info on MS at my website

steve

« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2008, 15:17 »
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Examples of Model Releases for minors are available at all the microstock sites.  You'll need specific releases for each agency to which you upload images.

 


you can use just one MR if you word it properly -- i dl'd all the releases for agencies i submit to, then redacted to  1 doc that covered any specific details for each agency.  i sent a copy to the stricter agencies and they said it would be fine; your mileage may vary

steve

« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2008, 16:25 »
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Go to IRS.GOV and type 'employ children' in the search box and you will find some answers. Tax wise any ways. Do the same for your state. I am sure it won't be simple.

« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2008, 18:29 »
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I never looked after it here in Brazil, but I always read that it is prohibited to hire minors, in order to avoid exploitation and school dropouts. There were issues even about small farmers needing their children during harvest and in some rural areas schools changed their periods so that there are no classes during the harvesting season (although, from my understanding, children should not be employed anyway). 

I wonder however how minors can work in TV or as models.  I suppose some legal authorization is required.

Regards,
Adelaide

bittersweet

« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2008, 21:35 »
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I wonder however how minors can work in TV or as models.  I suppose some legal authorization is required.

There are very strict rules about the number of hours per day that they are allowed to work, and they are required to attend (or more often work with a tutor) a certain number of hours a day. (This is in the US)

Outside of entertainment industries, the legal age for agricultural work is (I believe) 14 years old (within a certain number of hours per day), and allows farm families to pay their children (who will likely be doing some of the chores anyway) and get a tax break for it. Most other jobs require a child to be 16 (and sometimes 18 if it involves heavy or potentially dangerous machinery, selling cigarettes, or certain other tasks). The employer is required to get a permit from the school approving the employment. They are only allowed a certain number of work hours in proportion to their school hours, and cannot work past a certain time on school nights.

« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2008, 22:03 »
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There ain't nothing wrong with slave labor when it comes to your own children! Or you can give them pocket money just as you would for other chores (but don't expect it to be a legitimate business tax deduction!).
My kids have scored a wii, computer games and DVDs as well as extra pocket money for acting as models or holding reflectors for me. All on a strictly unnofficial basis. So I don't treat it as expenses, and they don't treat it as income (but my stock income is so low, it's  still a hobby as far as both me and the Australian tax man is concerned . I'll have to talk with the accountant again about that, though if my income continues to rise - it's still easily a loss, as I plough it all back into computer of camera gear or software and technical books but it might be getting big enough to be a loss making business.)

Official employment gets messy. And what's allowed varies a lot with the jurisdiction. I think it's fifteen here in South Australia (and younger for stuff like newspaper delivery on bicycles!)  There  often seem to be exemptions for hours of work and age for models and performers and sometimes for kids working in a family business. In Australia the taxation on kids income can be pretty heavy to stop people from just funnelling business income to other members of the family in lower income  tax brackets (I've got to check up on this as my youngest has just been offered some (I think paid) singing and dance work, so I can play at being a pushy stage mother!)

istock will take minors as contributors  - they have a form for parents to sign to agree to take the fall if there are any problems (basically!). If you email contributor relations, they can help. My daughter wants to contribute audio so I investigated it earlier this year, but she hasn't got around to recording her application stuff, so I haven't gone any further with it. I don't know about other stock agencies though.
 

WarrenPrice

« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2008, 23:29 »
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OSHA laws are another consideration when employing children.  I once worked with children at a ranch for "troubled kids."  It had to abort ranching operations because of OSHA regulations regarding children.


« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2008, 12:15 »
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There ain't nothing wrong with slave labor when it comes to your own children! Or you can give them pocket money just as you would for other chores (but don't expect it to be a legitimate business tax deduction!).

Susan, it depends on how much of their time is spent in such activities and how much they are willing to do it (even for the pocket money).  There are cases of young girls (an young as 10) who are responsible for their younger siblings while their parents are at work.  They have to cook for them, bathe them, look after them, take them and pick them up from school - the same school these girls themselves don't attend to because they have all this on their shoulders.  Even if they got paid for this (and they don't), this isn't acceptable.

Ok, this is an extreme case, but even if kids are assigned chores that take their whole weekend, this would not be legally allowed.  Of course nothing happens if someone doesn't place a complaint.

Regards,
Adelaide

Tuilay

« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2008, 14:13 »
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Even if it's not slave labour, expecting your children to work is absurd.
With school, how much time do they have left to be children?
Give them a break to be children and enjoy life before growing up to "work" for a living.

This is bordering between child abuse and slave labour, no matter what you call it.

« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2008, 14:45 »
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Mark,

While your intention to keep things totally legal is admirable, you are opening up a big can of worms when it comes to child labor in a home business.  You should be consulting your own state labor board and state tax department when it comes to a situations such as this, not a photo forum. While people here can give opinions about what they think is right, it cannot be construed in any way as proper guidance.

For employing anyone, you must have proper accounting of payroll taxes, and these will likely involve payments to a state disability fund, workman's comp, etc. However, when it comes to underage child labor, your state may require something called "working papers" for minors, and there will likely be restrictions on activities, and possibly a premises visit by your state labor board. The premises visit has occurred with two people that I know of with minor children involved.

Following are a few comments on excerpts your original post. THese comments should be not contrued as legal advice.

Quote
Some of the work they may do could be modeling, helping set up a shoot, taking photos, keywording, and uploading.

If you are working on a site, meaning off your own property, even a public park, you had better have liability insurance in place in case someone trips over a tripod. Kids will just leave them in the darnedest places. And for a sole proprietorship, it is needed anyway. Should you have any other "models" entering your premises and they become injured, or their personal property brought to the shoot is stolen or damaged, your homeowners or renters insurance will not cover this.

Quote
Does anyone have an employment agreement they use for hiring their children?  How much should they be paid?

In a work for hire scenario, the images would be owned by you since it is work product. As far as a work agreement, children of this age cannot give consent for any legal agreement. Any agreement would have to be approved by a parent or legal guardian. In this case, any agreement that you write and approve could be construed as a shady deal. It should be approved by the other parent, and even then, any agreement could be construed as suspect because of the family relationships.

Except for certain businesses like restaurants, you are likely bound by minimum wage standards.

Quote
My 14 year old would like to take photos and submit them to mircostock sites, but as far as I can determine you must be 18 to do this.  If I hire her, wouldnt I get the copyright to the photos she takes so then I could legally upload her photos?  Is there any verbage I should add to the employment agreement so that I get the copyright ownership?

If employed by you, ownership of the images would be yours as it is work for hire. If you worked for Hallmark Cards and produced artwork while on their clock, the images are property of Hallmark. Plain and simple. Should you be hell bent on writing a work agreement, it should state that any and all intellectual property originated by the employee shall be considered and remain for all time the property of Your Business Name Images.

In the case of off the clock images produced by the children, you could just try a separate account for the child with parental consent as mentioned above, in which you yourself would have no rights to the images. They would remain the intellectual property of the child.

For proper guidance, consult an accountant who has knowledge of required payroll taxes, your own state labor board, and the Small Business Administration.  There is an organization within SBA called SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) that can steer you in the right direction. SCORE often runs local workshops free of charge, usually at a public library or other easily accessible venue. Check your local chapter.


« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 14:55 by stormchaser »

« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2008, 14:48 »
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Even if it's not slave labour, expecting your children to work is absurd.
With school, how much time do they have left to be children?
Give them a break to be children and enjoy life before growing up to "work" for a living.

This is bordering between child abuse and slave labour, no matter what you call it.


Yes I agree here. Pay them some of your own pocket dollars for posing once in awhile, doing a few simple tasks once in awhile. The expectation of having a "dedicated employee" at the age of 13 or 14 is unrealistic, if only because the attention span of a teen is so short. And they don't have their cars yet  :) After that you'll never see them anyway  :)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 14:51 by stormchaser »

« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2008, 15:05 »
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Just to let everybody know, I have no intentions of having my children be "dedicated employees".  I probably can only them to help out an hour or two at the most on the weekends anyway, since they are busy with their own activities.

Thanks for all your comments.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 15:10 by packerguy »


 

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