Post a new topic
    11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 11, 2012 4:07 AM by JoeJr

    Starting a small Business in Pa..

    acbc16922 Wayfarer

      I have been taking photos for a long time, recently I starting doing photo shoots for a small fee. I decided in December to start my own photography business. Being a stay at home mother, all of our children are in school and needing a flexible schedule, turning my passion into a career seemed the best choice.



      I have gotten my EIN number, and have been reading so many things on the steps of starting a small business in Pennsylvania. However many sites say different things...



      What are the legal necessary steps that need taken to be able to call my self a Photography Business in my state.



      Any information will help them you...


        • Re: Starting a small Business in Pa..
          JAparri Wayfarer

          Hello! My humble opinion:


          Since that is a personal business and you sure want to start small for the meantime, I think your government shall exempt you from taxes, permits, etc. especially if the income or profit is still small.


          Then you can start with your close friends, family and relatives as customers. Your main concern then is to sustain your business. By the time you need to expand because your customer base expands (and your income too), then that is the time you have to do some legal registration.


          I am not sure with PA but please take time to ask a government entity of what the regulations are. You see regulations differ from country to country. Hoping you success!



          • Re: Starting a small Business in Pa..
            OfficeGoddess Navigator

            Start by going to for a comprehensive list of setting up your business.  I would check with the PA Secretary of State's office regarding registering a business in your State.  Some cities will also require you to set up a business account.  Again, the sect'y of state can tell you all of that - they should have an online site that will direct you toward small business requirements in PA.


            If you are wanting to set up a legitimate business, you WILL need to track your income/expenses and pay taxes on your business profits (even if you do it as a solo-preneur) so be sure and keep good records.  Technically, we are even supposed to pay taxes on garage sale earnings (like anyone reports THOSE! )


            Lily Chambers

            The Virtual Office Goddess, LLC

            Author: How To Do Your Own Small Business Bookkeeping

            • Re: Starting a small Business in Pa..
              LUCKIEST Guide

              Amanda. If you contact SCORE as Office Goddess suggested, please let us know if SCORE was helpful.


              Thanks LUCKIEST

              • Re: Starting a small Business in Pa..
                fshagan Adventurer

                Different states approach this different ways. In most states, you don't need to register at the state level if you use your name as your business name. Here in California, even for a sole proprietorship using the natural person's name, you may still need to obtain a city business license. Some cities try to restrict home-based businesses (mine requires an impact report, parking, etc. if you have clients that come to your home).


                Here in California, if you are using a "ficticious business name" such as "Barb Jones Photography", you have to file a ficticious business name statement with the county, and publish a notice three times in the legal section of a particular newspaper(s). If Barb simply called her business "Barb Jones" and had "Photography" as one of her services, then it would be a sole proprietorship and does not need a ficitious business name. Creating a LLC or registering a partnership requires city license, ficitious business name registration, and registration with the state.


                PA is probably not as strict as California, but it looks like state registration is required for a sole proprietorship that is using a ficitious business name. The state does have an Entrepenuer's Guide at: and it says on page 4:


                "If your business will be a sole proprietorship and you will be using an assumed name, you must check the avail ability of the name you have chosen and register it."


                That checklist on that page is pretty good; the rest of the PDF doesn't appeal to me very much.


                Nolo Press has some inexpensive books on running a home-based business, and what qualifies you for home office deductions, etc.I purchased the "Working for Yourself" book, and it's been helpful (especially on tax, withholding, etc.)

                • Re: Starting a small Business in Pa..
                  JoeJr Wayfarer

                  If you have all the equipment you need then you only need to file a fictitious name filing with the department of state $70. run a ad in local newspaper about the filing. when you get the form back you are in business as a sole proprietor. Check locally in your town about a license if you need one THAT'S it.

                  GOOD LUCK!