Business License??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by fl_chic96, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. fl_chic96

    fl_chic96 TPF Noob!

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    I am just wondering if you need a business license to sell your services or prints? I'm just wondering what the legals are on this? Please help!
     
  2. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    logically speaking.....it makes sense to have a license if you are continuously providing the same service for a charge......otherwise....you are doing business without a license......
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Laws will vary from place to place...but the answer is probably yes, you do need a licence to sell products or services. Just as, or more importantly...you have to pay tax on what you earn...if you don't, that's tax fraud...and I'm thinking that the IRS takes that pretty seriously.
     
  4. sigmuh

    sigmuh TPF Noob!

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    To my understanding, in Canada at least, it's NOT illegal to sell your prints or accept money for your photography service(s) ... under certain circumstances.

    Take for example a kid mowing a neighbour's lawn, or walking a neighbour's dog: they can pocket that money no problem - no jail time. Unless you're making money on the side for your photography when your business permit for a shop you own isn't for photography, it should be okay.

    The only time you are legally required and obligated to have a liscence is when you are getting paid from another company known to the government. That is because the company that has paid you has you on record now for their purchase.

    But, TECHNICALLY speaking, you should have a permit... otherwise, you'd be contributing to the underground, blackmarket economy that's already out of control.
     
  5. Majik Imaje

    Majik Imaje TPF Noob!

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    It depends on exactlly what your doing. if your selling an occasional print to people directly. I doubt anyone is going to press you to comply.

    BUT if you have a business address and you are doing this daily. THEN you best be observing all laws.. (sales tax etc.)

    but if your making less than 100 per month. I don't see the need. Unless your selling to companies that pay you via check.

    Be Honest and call your town / city town hall and ask, be honest and they will tell you if you should have a license.

    Here in Alaska I have to have a state license and a license from the city also.

    Above all.. keep good records! of everything, your costs for supplies and everything else. you can deduct business expenses! and get some books on photography as a business! There are a lot of "crooks" out there.. I got robbed constantly by BIG name companies! I should have put in the necesary time to LEARN the business with as much fervrency as I did LEARNING how to expose and priint properly.
     
  6. fl_chic96

    fl_chic96 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for all the advice. I think I will call the city to see what the actual law is. I wouldn't want to get into trouble for something like that.
     
  7. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    Wouldn't there be some advantage if you are selling your services/prints to creating a business?

    I thought you should be able to get camera equipment tax free if its for your business?

    I'm not sure if this works for all business but I know our family farm has a tax-exempt number that we use for anything related to the business. My dad actually bought a camera with it to take pictures for the website aka business use.

    I don't know if this is just an agriculture thing or what but I wouldn't mind knowing. :)
     
  8. smyth

    smyth TPF Noob!

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    Business licence i'm not sure. In Canada you only need a GST number if you bring in 30k or more.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Even if you make $100...I think you are still supposed to report that as income...and pay income tax on it. I'm not sure if you actually need a business licence to do that...or if you can just claim it on your personal tax forms.

    There are many advantages to setting up a business...like the write offs that you can make...and staying legal, if that's what your local laws say.

    Be sure to look up the rules in your area.

    Also, around here...you can choose to set up an 'Incorporated' company...which I think means that the company is it's own financial entity. This is good because it protects you, the owner. If you are just a sole proprietor and someone sues you...you could lose all of your personal assets. If you are incorporated, they can sue the company into bankruptcy...but you should be protected. Of course, it's more work to set that up and the fees/taxes may be higher.
     

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