Bateman was born in Rye, New York, and was 4 years old when his family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and later to California. His mother, Victoria Elizabeth, was a flight attendant for Pan Am who was originally from Shrewsbury, the United Kingdom (UK). His father, Kent Bateman, is an American actor, writer, and director of film and television, and the founder of a repertory stage in Hollywood. Bateman is the younger brother of Family Ties actress Justine Bateman. He also has three half-brothers.
Bateman told Best Life magazine that he and Justine supported their parents with the paychecks they earned from their television shows; he also revealed that he was managed by his father until Bateman was 20 and dissolved the business relationship.