What is crowdfunding?
The word seems to be a hot term that’s used everywhere. Anytime someone needs to raise some money for a project they turn to crowd source or crowd fund. But what exactly does that mean? Well Venturebeat.com best describes it as:
“crowdfunding is funding from a crowd of people; that is, many people provide small amounts of money to finance something. Crowd funding has its roots in charitable causes, including the advent of micro financing to provide financial services to poor people, but has progressed to the online funding of creative and other projects via sites like Kickstarter and Rockethub…” Read more on VentureBeat
Can a Teenager Start A Crowdfunded Project?
Crowdfunding may not work for micro business owners under age 18, because legal contracts with minors are not legally binding, so most investors will not make a contact with a teenager.
But with that said, there are a few teenagers that have used sites like Kickstarter to launch their project. In fact, I just wrote a blog post about a teen who crowdsourced an iPad app last week, you should check it out. You might also want to check out his Kickstarter page to see that the project wasn’t launched under Emerson Walker’s name, but his father’s instead. This is most likely because of my reasoning mentioned above, legal contracts with minors are not legally binding.
Keep Good Records and Be Careful Not To Get Audited
Another thing to keep in mind is that any funds that you make off of your crowdfunded project are considered “taxable income” by the IRS. Even though you are not selling a product via a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter, the IRS will see the transaction as a taxable income because the IRS defines gross income from ‘whatever source derived,’. You can read more about this on Salon.com.
But crowd funding is definitely something to keep in mind for your future.
Carol Topp, CPA
P.S. Here’s a neat story of how some students pay for college through crowdfunding: New crowd funding site helps kids with little money achieve big college dreams