Can a minor under the age of 18 legally join a company? Though such requests are quite unusual when forming a new company or LLP, they do arise from time to time.
Let’s take a closer look at a minor becoming a member of an Limited Liability Partnership (LLP).
There is no statutory prohibition on persons under 18 years of age being proposed as members of an LLP but under general contract law, any contract (in this case the LLP members’ agreement) entered in to with a minor is voidable until they reach the age of 18, with the result that such a member may be able to avoid his or her obligations to the LLP, as well as the other members.
There is also the question of whether a minor is capable of giving informed consent when signing a contact. Do they understand the legal consequences of membership of an LLP and are they able to exercise an appropriate level of judgment when making decisions concerning the business of the LLP?
If a child is to be a designated member, it should be noted by them that the relevant legislation (the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000, the 2009 Regulations, the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Criminal Justice Act 1967) imposes over twenty administrative obligations on designated members together with penalties for non-compliance. These administrative duties reflect those that would normally be carried out by a director or secretary of a company and include but are not limited to:
- Appointing an auditor (where appropriate).
- Signing the accounts and delivering them to Companies House.
- Preparing, signing and delivering the annual return to Companies House.
- Notifying Companies House of any changes to the LLP’s membership, name or registered office address.
- Acting on the LLP’s behalf if it is wound up and dissolved.
Considering all of the administrative obligations and statutory requirements, it is unusual and often not advisable for people under 18 to be members of an LLP. It should be given careful consideration.
If you would like further information about the requirements around a minor being a member of an LLP, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
Author: Karen Bowley
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