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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 03 Jan 2014 (Friday) 23:17
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tnguyen600
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Jan 03, 2014 23:17 |  #1

Hi Everyone,

I've decided that I wanted to be much more aggressive and legitimate with my photography. Too many craigslist photographers or GWC which is fine but they're not paying taxes, insured, etc. So I hope me being more established legally will open more doors.

I just signed up with PPA which I'm really excited about. I just wish I did this a two years ago...I had my 70-200 MKII stolen at a church.

Anyway, the next thing on my list to establish an LLC. Anyone use Legal Zoom before and was happy with it? I've heard some mixed reviews.

For those that are familiar with PPA, should I purchase their general liability policy? I was quoted $343 for the year. I'm not sure if the Indemnification/Trust that's under the professional package includes general liability.

Thanks in advance for your help!


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xchangx
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Jan 03, 2014 23:26 |  #2

Careful whem evaluating ppa's equipment insurance. There are differences between them and other insurnces. Mainly replacememt value vs actual value.


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tnguyen600
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Jan 03, 2014 23:35 |  #3

Thanks for the heads up. I just checked it out and it looks like their basic coverage is evaluated at the actual cash value which still isn't bad compared to what i have now...which is nothing. Once my PPA is processed, I'll get a quote for their Purchase PhotoCare® Plus Insurance plan which uses replacement cost value on scheduled items.


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supfresh
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Jan 04, 2014 00:08 |  #4

I've been looking into purchasing insurance and getting "more legit" as well, I'm quite curious to see how the transition turns out for you, in terms of ease, and complications, etc.

Keep us posted!


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tnguyen600
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Jan 04, 2014 02:19 |  #5

Well, I went thru LegalZoom. Pretty straight forward but they try to up sell you a lot of services/features. I chose the standard package which runs $289 plus filing, etc. All said and done, it was $501 + $159 for the assigned agent. The assigned agent is an annual fee.

What I found weird was that the filing fee was different despite it being the same state. The gold package which runs $359...the PA filing fee was $195. For the standard package ($289), it was only $125. Odd.

So now I knocked out PPA membership and LLC status. Next up, revamp site (zenfolio) and new business cards.


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xchangx
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Jan 04, 2014 19:02 |  #6

Why exactly did you want a llc status and not just a sole proprietor?


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tnguyen600
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Jan 05, 2014 10:37 |  #7

Liability issue and tax purposes. It's a little more money initially and slightly more complex but down the road, I think it'll be worth it.


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Seamus69
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Jan 06, 2014 13:19 |  #8

There is absolutely no tax advantage to being an LLC vs. a sole proprietor. None. In fact, if you are the sole owner of the LLC, you will report to the IRS as a sole proprietor (using the same form-Schedule C) because the IRS doesn't recognize LLCs as a business entity. That said, as an LLC, you may later make a Sub S election and there are some tax advantages to being as S corp. There are also a lot more annual administrative costs with Sub S elections which negate the advantages unless you are approaching six figures of net income. There may be some liability protections of being an LLC, but don't you think if there is a liability claim you will be sued personally right along with your LLC? The cure for liability protection is insurance. Assigned agent? Is that the same as the Registered Agent? A Registered Agent is the person who will get any legal correspondence should any come your way. Why not be your own Registered Agent rather than pay someone to receive your mail and forward it to you and save $50 a year or whatever they are charging you? Please spend a couple hundred bucks and hire a CPA and/or attorney who is an expert in setting up a business. In the long run it will save you time, money, and anguish.


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1000WordsPhotography
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Jan 09, 2014 09:25 |  #9

I would advise a regular insurance policy over ppa. I've heard a lot of complaints about their insurance.


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DagoImaging
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Jan 09, 2014 10:02 |  #10

I had both...ppa's insurance as well as a private business policy. PPA's was a joke when I tried to file a claim on it. I won't go into the details other than they wouldn't pay and I in turn dropped them for just the single private policy.

PPA is over rated IMO, I've since left them as well. Pay for a PPA title that really didn't help me one bit in the 3 yrs I was a member.


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tnguyen600
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Jan 09, 2014 22:43 |  #11

Thanks for the input. Who's your carrier? I'm looking for general liability. PPA offered some business general liability 1M/2M for ~$337/year.


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watt100
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Jan 13, 2014 13:21 |  #12

Seamus69 wrote in post #16582591 (external link)
There is absolutely no tax advantage to being an LLC vs. a sole proprietor. None. In fact, if you are the sole owner of the LLC, you will report to the IRS as a sole proprietor (using the same form-Schedule C) because the IRS doesn't recognize LLCs as a business entity. That said, as an LLC, you may later make a Sub S election and there are some tax advantages to being as S corp. There are also a lot more annual administrative costs with Sub S elections which negate the advantages unless you are approaching six figures of net income. There may be some liability protections of being an LLC, but don't you think if there is a liability claim you will be sued personally right along with your LLC? The cure for liability protection is insurance. Assigned agent? Is that the same as the Registered Agent? A Registered Agent is the person who will get any legal correspondence should any come your way. Why not be your own Registered Agent rather than pay someone to receive your mail and forward it to you and save $50 a year or whatever they are charging you? Please spend a couple hundred bucks and hire a CPA and/or attorney who is an expert in setting up a business. In the long run it will save you time, money, and anguish.

^^ all true about the taxes and liability
going to a local CPA could result in similar costs but definitely be your own "local" or register agent!




  
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