Longmont, CO asked in Copyright, Workers' Compensation, Business Law and Internet Law for Colorado

Q: I live in the state of CO, and person 2 lives in CA. Person 2 is 15 years old. Is it illegal to commission art from him?

I want to pay this young artist for work for video production (logos, etc.) because they are incredibly good. He turns 16 in January, but in order to protect myself I'm just curious if it would be legal to pay him commission as agreed on both sides for the artwork. His parents are okay with it and have given him full reign to my knowledge. What do I need to be careful of and what are the legalities involved?

1 Lawyer Answer
Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: There is nothing illegal with employing a minor provided that the employment stays within the limits of state labor laws (mostly related to hours working and ending at a certain time in the evening). If you are commissioning artwork it is likely that this employment does not run afoul with any state labor law. The other issue relates to the fact that an un-emancipated minor is generally not legally bound by the terms of a contract. If the contract includes the parents you may have greater recourse. I short, there is nothing wrong or illegal with employing a minor, but you may need to take additional contractual steps with a minor versus an adult.

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