Are You Too Young to Start Your Own Business? How Much Does Age Matter?

So many milestones, achievements, and opportunities in life are often dictated by a person’s age. While we’d like to think that age is nothing but a number that really isn’t the case. A person is unable to vote in the United States until they are until they are 17 or 18 years old (depending on the state), they can’t consume alcohol until they are 21, and there are limits to how many hours a person can work if they are under the age of 16.

Obviously, many of these age restrictions make sense, and are there for a person’s own well-being, but what about something such as starting your own business? Just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t have a great idea and the drive to start your own company. So, are you too young to start your own business, how much does age really matter? Let’s take a closer look.


Young Successful Entrepreneurs are Nothing New

One look into the world of entrepreneurs and you’ll find that there is nothing new when it comes to being young and successful. Gurbaksh Chahal is an excellent example of someone who may be considered “too young” by some to start his own business, yet managed to defy these naysayers and build a highly successful business at the age of 16 when he dropped out of high school.

This business was ClickAgents, which just so happened to be the first ad network that took a look at performance based advertising. In just 18 months, he was able to sell his business for a whopping $40 million to a company called ValueClick.

Not every young entrepreneur will be as successful as Chahal, but he is a perfect example of someone who didn’t let age be a determining factor in his success.

So, What is the Perfect Age to Start a Business?

The question that seems to float around amidst budding young entrepreneurs is what is the perfect age to start a business? There really isn’t a concrete answer to this question. There are plenty of experts who are strong believers that age really doesn’t matter. They would be the first to say that you are never too young to start a business. Rather than focus on age, there are other factors that should determine your readiness.

It’s important to focus on factors such as how independent you are, how much time you have to dedicate to your business, how motivated and driven you are, how much thought and research you’ve put into your idea, how responsible you are, and if you’ve got a viable business plan in place.

Keep in mind that not every business has to start out as a big huge idea. Sometimes those businesses that start with the smallest, simplest ideas are the ones that end up being the most successful.

Little entrepreneur and her nail polish business
photo credit: Claudio Beck / Flickr

Look Into the Legalities

Even with all the best intentions and readiness, it’s still important to look into the legalities in your country/state when it comes to signing legal documents and binding contracts. These will be required to set up a business and depending on your age, you may need a guardian or parent to sign on your behalf. This can end up scaring off some entrepreneurs, but this is really just a part of the process and shouldn’t steer you away from your goal.

At the end of the day it really comes down to how ready you are to start your business, stick with it, and see it through – the good and the bad.