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If you are asking if you should incorporate your digital photography business, my philosophy is that businesses like this should get up and running as quickly and inexpensively as possible (i.e., a sole proprietorship). Others will disagree, but my rationale is (1) it's only you, your skills, and your equipment that make up the business -- and it's a business that you conduct in person; (2) you're not seeking outside investors to fund the start-up, and (3) provided you have insurance and written contracts for your products and services (and perform accordingly), you're not likely to be defending any large lawsuits or to be putting your personal assets at significant risk.
If at some point any of those three begin to change (other people/channels, outside funding, or major liability issues come into play), you can always incorporate then. Another consideration: Taxes for a proprietorship are as simple as it gets -- whereas the time to do corporate taxes yourself (or the money to hire a professional) can take a big bite out of the few thousand in profits you are anticipating according to your profile.
If you do go with a sole proprietorship, you'll still want to get a federal EIN and a business bank account in the business' name -- and operate the business as a business separate from your personal finances.
Again, that's just my professional perspective and reasoning, as valid arguments can be made either way. Hope this helps. Best wishes.
99 Welcome to this web site. Light house always gives great answers.
I like to find out more about you and your business.
How long have you been in business, doing weddings,birthday parties,and portraits.
Do you have a business name?? Is this Full time or part time??
Just for your info, one person operating a business is a sole proprietor
and the sole prop is the most common form of business.
Do you have an Accountant??, Lawyer?? or Insurance Agent??
Sole proprietorship is fine, make sure to charge a setup fees, 50% down payment, and customer sign your quote with a check before you start. Whatever the clients like or don't like the photos. I had many bad experiences, shoot for 2 hours on customers location with light system, softbox, boom, etc..., the customer loved the pictures on the laptop, next day customer refused to pay because she did not like the pictures, also if there is media distribution, make sure they sign a contract and you own all the rights.
Sound advise on the downpayment. We never start work until we get 50% down. People take you and the job more seriously when they have some money invested.
Well I agree with you, but these customers bought print and design with 50% down payment, I give them a favor not to take down payment on photos.
So by experience, event if they are repeat customers, always take a down payment, make them sigh the quote, take setup fees, etc...
You must focus on business all the time and not drop at some point the down payment even if you worked with the customers before.
For the sake of a few $/£, IMHO, I would ask a reputable accountant. There may indeed be one or two on this forum...?