Need advice on starting a photo company

Discussion in 'The Aspiring Professionals Forum' started by gossamer, Aug 10, 2017.

  1. gossamer

    gossamer TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I'm an amateur photographer with a D500 and a 24-70mm and a few other lenses. I have an opportunity to do some product photography for a small wholesale pet supply company and would like to form an LLC or S-Corp to do this.

    I'm already a business owner (C-corp), but I haven't had to incorporate in a long time, and I know how much things have changed.

    I still intend on remaining an amateur with only occasional photo gigs when the opportunity arises.

    Did you use a service like legalzoom to incorporate, or would you recommend an actual lawyer? Did you become an LLC? S-Corp? Where did you get your insurance? Did you incorporate in your state or in DE?

    Do you have a preferred photo release/disclaimer? What kind of release would I need for some simple product photography? I'd like to retain ownership of the images and be able to use them in my marketing and provide the buyer with a lifetime free-use license.

    Maybe there's an easier way for a "mostly" amateur photographer that picks up a gig and has to occasionally pay taxes?


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Get market research done.
    Get a lawyer.
    Get an accountant.
    Get a banker.
    Get one years' worth of wages saved up.
    Get a business plan.
    Get a balance sheet.
    Get good credit.
    Get advertising.
    Get customers.
    Get going.
     
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  3. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If it isn't going to be your full time job, much of this is unnecessary. Especially the year of wages part. You also likely don't need too much advertising, as it sounds like you just want occasional side jobs. Word of mouth will more than accomplish that.
     
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  4. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you have an existing corporation ... why not just run the photo biz as a division of the C-Corp? Save a few bucks on setup and you can use your existing accounting overhead to cover the new biz. I suspect you may not want to commingle the photo biz with your other biz ... so go S Corp. IIRC, LLC's were designed for joint ventures and the rules may make it a bit cumbersome for a corporation wholly owned by a single individual. Check with your accountant on LLC/S Corp/C Corp/DBA/Division.
     
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  5. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can run it as a small division and just use accounting to keep the businesses separated. If it develops into something significant then look at a separate entity.
    If you want to have one in business with the other then go with new entity. We had a computer store years ago that ended up with 14 corporations so they could buy and sell to each other..
     
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  6. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Just use your current company to bill the client and treat it like any transaction in the accounting system. You don't need a new company just to make some photos.
     
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  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Now I'm curious as to why there are multiple people who are starting their own pet supply company, and need to get photographs of pets and people and their products. My impression is that you're the fourth one in the past 30 to 60 days' time posting on here about starting a pet supply company.
     

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