Hello, how can a 17 years old be emancip...

Asked by Katcap on 19-04-2024 11:43:53
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Western Cape

Hello, how can a 17 years old be emancipated? Will it allow him to apply for passport on his own? Can he then run the business?

Further information relating to Question:

How long does the process take?

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 19-04-2024 12:09:21

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

As a 17 year old, you are a minor in terms of South African law and reach majority status once you turn 18 years. Majority status means you have full capacity and may enter into contracts, sue or be sued, etc. 

Currently, at your age, without the consent or assistance of your parents/guardian, you may:- Have a Last Will and Testament; Undergo HIV testing (as from age 7); be held criminally responsible for a crime (as from age 14); Receive medical treatment provided you understand the implications (as from age 12); and Open a bank account (as from age 16). 

The term emancipation refers to the “freedom to contract independently” and is normally granted to a minor by his or her parents. This is similar to a minor entering into a contract with the assistance of his/her guardian. This status is granted only for the minor to participate in a specific activity and the parent or guardian must give tacit (implied) or expressed consent.

How does a minor acquire emancipation? Either, through an application to court (usually when the parent/ guardian refuses), or given either by way of tacit or expressed consent by the parent/guardian. 

So your parents could give you permission to run the business themselves, and they could assist you in the process, but if they refuse then you would need to apply to the high court to be emancipated - which could cost you R40k to R60k to get right! 

So, if you are currently 17 years old, my advice would be to get your parents to assist you in opening and running the business, because you will turn 18 very soon and you would then have full contractual capacity in your own name! 

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