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Old 5th of February 2005 (Sat)   #1
dsze
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Default Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

How many of you actually have a business lic. and a registered DBA for your business name?

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Old 5th of February 2005 (Sat)   #2
NGrinerPhoto
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

i have been a working pro for 5 years and use my name and ss# - you really don't need all that
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Old 5th of February 2005 (Sat)   #3
amazingimages@bellsouth.n
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

i have a business license, but i would like to know how to get incorporated.
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Old 5th of February 2005 (Sat)   #4
defordphoto
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

We sure have had some killer threads here! Great answer BD. And yes, I have a biz license and registered biz name/website.
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Old 6th of February 2005 (Sun)   #5
pradeep1
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

For Alabama:

Go here to incorporate: http://www.sos.state.al.us/business/corporations.cfm

Incorporating is a fairly simple process since you have a pretty straightforward business. Just look at the sample incorporation papers given at the website above and then type up your own and file that with the Secretary of State and pay a fee and you are done. Then you'll need to get a fed. tax id (called an EIN for a corporation), a couple of State related numbers, based on if you have employees or not, pay sales taxes, etc. You can usually ask someone at the Secretary of State office when you go to file for all the requirements. You may need to register your Doing Business As (DBA) Name as well along with your corporate name. So if your corporation is Joe Blow, Inc. then you can have a DBA name of Amazing Images. You then will need to get yourself a simple corporate kit - usually Office Depot will make you one with all the documentation you need to "run" your corporation, and also will throw in a company seal, etc. for about $60.00. Oh yeah, you'll need to get a business license from your local county or municipality as well.

The easiest and probably the best for most small businesses would be an "S" Corporation. You get all the benefits of a regular "C" corporation in terms of liability protection, etc., but the formalities are less in terms of paperwork, etc., and also your corporate income is directly reported on your income taxes - either as salary or dividend income. It has all the benefits of you operating like a sole proprietorship, but the gives you the legal backing of a corporation. Very useful. What's cool about "S" corporations is that you can take out money out of corporation as a dividend and pay a lower tax rate, but the corporation itself will not have to pay a tax on that dividend amount - so the usual double taxation (corporation pays tax on money and then you pay tax on the money) issue becomes moot. So in other words, in round numbers, you earn $100,000. You can take out a fair salary - say $40,000 in salary. On that $40,000 you'll pay all the taxes - FICA, Medicare, Payroll taxes, etc., etc. That can amount to a good amount of money ~ maybe something on the order of $15,000-20,000. Now you can take out the other $40,000 as dividends and I believe only FICA is withheld. So you get the money at a cheaper tax rate than your salary. If you were a regular "C" corporation, you would not have this advantage. So instead of paying out $100,000 as a salary and then trying to pay out all these taxes, you can split up your money coming out of the corporation to reduce your overall tax burden.

It is 6:00 AM EST on a Sunday, so I may be blowing smoke up everyone's *ss, but I would talk to an accountant to get down the facts for your situation and decide what you need to do. But just keep some of these points in mind.

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Old 6th of February 2005 (Sun)   #6
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

Hmm? This is kind of what I expected. Some people say, "yes you need to have all the paperwork" and other say,"I've been in the business for many years with no problems."

Here's my situation; This was the first year that I've charged for any photographic work and my costs far outweighed my income....to be expected the first year I guess. I would like to shoot just a handful of events each year...like maybe 10 paid jobs a year that might include family portraits, kids, senior portraits and maybe 1-2 weddings...(after reading Bloo's wedding saga, I'm tending to shy away from them). I use my intitials as my business name. I don't employ anyone else, its a one man deal. I don't plan on making more than a few thousand each year. But, I would like to continue doing paid work on the side of my full-time profession for 2 reasons. I've found that the look on people's faces when they get their photographs from me is very addictive and this also helps to subsidize my habit. I'm not intending to make a living with photography, but I do want to be true & accurate in the way that I exist in the eyes of the govnernment. I want to "do it right." I've searched online and found many varied answers to my questions, but nothing that really says, "this is what you need, heres where you find it and it will cost this much." Anyone have a link/s that might get me started in the right direction, or more specific advice? I do live in Indiana.

thanks,
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Old 6th of February 2005 (Sun)   #7
dsze
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

Thanks Bloo... great info & advice. Maybe I'll keep looking into it, but I seriously doubt that I'll ever get to the point where I'm working with $20,000/year with photography...Honestly, I hope that it never gets to that point. A few thousand/year to help me cover my equipment costs and give some nice people great images of their family and I'm happy... I don't want it to become a "job" I need it to stay fun. ...my profession is stressful enough, I need an outlet, not more stress!!

thanks again,

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Old 6th of February 2005 (Sun)   #8
Tom W
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloo Dog
...
Years after that phone call, when I had finally incorporated, correspondence from the state included a decsription of my company activities as "photographer and producer/distributor of photographic backgrounds."
So you are the one that distributes "bokeh".
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Old 6th of February 2005 (Sun)   #9
mdmedicgod
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

Wouldn't an LLC corp. work better. In the weekender type of business?
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Old 6th of February 2005 (Sun)   #10
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsze
Thanks Bloo... great info & advice. Maybe I'll keep looking into it, but I seriously doubt that I'll ever get to the point where I'm working with $20,000/year with photography...Honestly, I hope that it never gets to that point. A few thousand/year to help me cover my equipment costs and give some nice people great images of their family and I'm happy... I don't want it to become a "job" I need it to stay fun. ...my profession is stressful enough, I need an outlet, not more stress!!

thanks again,

-daniel
Yeah, I was speaking from experience of running a full-time business. If you are just making some cash on the side, you may want to do just the simpler reporting of income on your taxes...but do understand the downside of your liability protection - you'll have none. So if Bridezilla and M.O.B.omb sue you, your personal assets could be at risk.
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Old 8th of February 2005 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: Do you have a Bus. Lic/Reg. Name?

Bloo Dog I AM JUST STarting a LLC in Hawaii. One of the selcection is that you can select that you have no liabliety for the companys debts, obligation and such; or you can list what you want to be liablie for ie: the bussness loan you want but the bank want give you with out you being liablie for it.
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