Business

alicemaryalicemary Beginner grinnerRegistered Users Posts: 4 Beginner grinner
edited November 3, 2015 in Mind Your Own Business
I have been floating on this for a while now..
Are photographers supposed to be register and/or have an LLC or what have you, with their state.... if they are being hired and/or stating they are a business/or owner of such and such photography?

Comments

  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited October 9, 2015
    Some cities/counties or states require a business license so it's best to check with your local municipality.

    As to whether you need to set up an LLC, that you need to discuss with your accountant. There are advantages and disadvantages to all forms of business entities depending on size and structure and future growth. This also can effect your taxes which is why you'll want to discuss it with an accountant.

    I would also recommend that you check with your insurance agent, running a business has some protections and liabilities that can effect your insurance.
    Steve

    Website
  • greenflygreenfly Beginner grinner United StatesRegistered Users Posts: 7 Big grins
    edited October 9, 2015
    Some cities/counties or states require a business license so it's best to check with your local municipality.

    As to whether you need to set up an LLC, that you need to discuss with your accountant. There are advantages and disadvantages to all forms of business entities depending on size and structure and future growth. This also can effect your taxes which is why you'll want to discuss it with an accountant.

    I would also recommend that you check with your insurance agent, running a business has some protections and liabilities that can effect your insurance.

    Thanks.. I just get so flustered that I am register with the state and have an LLC and people are popping up with non registered photography business's..
    I just don't get it..ne_nau.gif
    " The world is not always a beautiful place; it's how you envision it to become beautiful" ~alice mary herden
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited October 9, 2015
    greenfly wrote: »
    Thanks.. I just get so flustered that I am register with the state and have an LLC and people are popping up with non registered photography business's..
    I just don't get it..ne_nau.gif

    This isn't just a photography thing, there are plenty of other service businesses that deal with weekend warriors competing for the same clients.

    Think about it like speeding. Lots of people get away with it, some get caught. Just because some get away with doesn't mean that you have to do the same thing. When you do things right, you don't have to worry about what happens when something goes wrong.

    When that something does goes wrong, the non licensed, non insured photographers learn the hard way. Here in San Francisco a weekend warrior is being sued because his memory card failed after a wedding and the images were not able to be recovered. While the case is still ongoing, his lawyer fees will more than likely bankrupt him before the case is decided in the courts.
    Steve

    Website
  • SamSam San Jose CA Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited October 11, 2015
    To be clear, a city business license does not in any way guarantee or warent the business as professional or competent. There aren't any background checks or vetting. It's just a revenue generation operation. Period!

    The San Francisco photographer being sued has nothing to do with his lack of a business (gov money generation process) license or lack of insurance.

    Insurance is something one voluntarily (unless mandated by the gov) purchases to protect themselves.

    Disclaimer: I have both. :D

    Being able to hang out a shingle and open a photography business without special documents, school degrees, industry approval, apprentice certification's, etc. is known as the free enterprise system.

    While far from perfect, and does have it's downside, who here wants to change it and create a federal department of photography licensing and certification?

    Sam

    PS: Trust me I vent and complain about idiots who are willing to work at less than min wage and / or take on weddings or other important events without the knowledge or experience. :D
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Commercial Photographer San Francisco's North BayRegistered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins
    edited October 12, 2015
    Sam wrote: »
    To be clear, a city business license does not in any way guarantee or warent the business as professional or competent.

    I was not implying that a business license and insurance would make anyone a better photographer, or make them a better business person, or protect them in all instances. Those things do offer some protections. They also add other potential benefits.

    As to whether I would like to see a federal department of photography licensing and certification, I don't believe that would solve anything. Just because someone got certified it still wouldn't mean much. Would a piece of paper make them a better photographer or better business person or even make them ethical?

    Should there be something that is needed for one to call themselves a professional photographer? In some ways it would be nice, but in the end it doesn't the solve the problems. Does a mechanic who gets ASE certified all the sudden become a better mechanic? Of course not, so I'm not sure that there is a one size fits all solution.

    I personally made the choice to have licenses and insurance to protect our studio and photographers and there is the added benefit of "some" clients who look for those with such items, but none of that makes us any better or more ethical than anyone else. It simply offers us limited protections.
    Steve

    Website
  • SamSam San Jose CA Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited October 12, 2015
    I was not implying that a business license and insurance would make anyone a better photographer, or make them a better business person, or protect them in all instances. Those things do offer some protections. They also add other potential benefits.

    As to whether I would like to see a federal department of photography licensing and certification, I don't believe that would solve anything. Just because someone got certified it still wouldn't mean much. Would a piece of paper make them a better photographer or better business person or even make them ethical?

    Should there be something that is needed for one to call themselves a professional photographer? In some ways it would be nice, but in the end it doesn't the solve the problems. Does a mechanic who gets ASE certified all the sudden become a better mechanic? Of course not, so I'm not sure that there is a one size fits all solution.

    I personally made the choice to have licenses and insurance to protect our studio and photographers and there is the added benefit of "some" clients who look for those with such items, but none of that makes us any better or more ethical than anyone else. It simply offers us limited protections.

    Steve,

    By having the license and purchasing insurance you are demonstrating, albeit in a small way, you are a serious business person, complying with local regulations and have insurance not only protects you but also protects the client. I believe this also shows some level of ethics.

    One may think business insurance only protects the business but it also protects the clients because if the business has insurance, then irrespective of the financial condition of the business the client has a real way of recovering $$ for any real / reasonable damages.

    Any business that has had to pay out on numerous claims will find getting insurance next to impossible.

    So having insurance is a plus in the real world as well as marketing.

    Sam
  • petemiler123bpetemiler123b Beginner grinner Registered Users Posts: 3 Beginner grinner
    edited November 3, 2015
    Like Cygnus Studios said, some states or cities require a business licence. You will need to check that with the respective municipality and get the details. Once they said, you will be requiring that, then you could consult any business licence registration provider. I had to do that in Ontario, where I live. I consulted Ontario Business Central, who provides online business incorporation in Ontario and master business licence too.
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