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We do, however, need all of the normal certifications, registrations, tax ID's, etc. that go along with running ANY business.
For example, if you're under 18 you may or may not have trouble forming contracts. I believe in most states you have to be at least 18 to form a valid, enforceable contract. It would be a real shame if you had a client decide not to pay you for your work and find out you couldn't go after them because you are a minor.
I'm sure there are ways around it, but you should find out before taking too much of a risk.
Technically, almost every city is going to require every business to get a business liscense.
In actuality, many home businesses and other small businesses never bother getting a business liscense. Most cities are pretty inept at enforcement. I'd guess in most cities, unless a business has really noticable activities they could get away with not getting liscense until they had several million dollars in revenue.
Often the penalty for getting caught without a liscense is being forced to get one and pay back fees plus interest. Sometimes back fees aren't even (fully) assessed.
I am not advocating not getting a business liscense, but in many cities it is treated less severely than speeding in a school zone.
I am NOT a CPA or an attorney. Your best bet ESPECIALLY as you are a minor, is to talk to either one or both of those professionals.
Try calling an accountant in the area and ask if he'll speak with you over the phone. You'd be surprised how many will want to help you out (for free, or very little $) regardless of your age. Check with your local chamber or town hall. Call during a break at school, do you have a study hall? Find time during the day to call, if you can. Messages get lost or people forget to return calls. That happened all too often with me.
In the research I did trying to set-up my own business, I was really surprised by the number of people who seem to run legitimate businesses but actually don't. More than half of people I asked to speak with and asked for advice couldn't help me because they do all their work under the table. I was shocked- didn't know THAT many people would want to risk ramifications. And they all had websites, business cards, etc. to make it seem legit.
Good for you for wanting to follow your ambitions.