Sarah Allyn Photo

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Hello!

Last year I obtained my DBA license in commercial photography which in Anchorage, Alaska falls under science and technical services. This is perfect because I am, professionally, focusing on small business shoots at the moment.

I am also interested, and a little hesitant (due to their cost) in starting a print website hosted on SmugMug. However, I do not want another business, as a commercial photography license is not in the same category as selling prints (this would be a fine art license).

My question: how many of you guys sell prints without a business license or have run into this issue? If I have two licenses can I run them under the same name? I will also be posting this on a local page as I know licensures are not the same across all states, but would appreciate input from whomever has some to give.

Please do not hesitate to ask clarifying questions as I know this may be unclear to some. Thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.
 
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How much are these licenses that you have to buy?
 
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Sarah Allyn Photo

Sarah Allyn Photo

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How much are these licenses that you have to buy?

They're trivial; $50 per year.

I am more concerned with filing taxes with two business. The cost of filing vs. return, calculating deductions correctly, etc.
 
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Sarah Allyn Photo

Sarah Allyn Photo

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So you have a license for commercial photography but you can't sell prints? That's bizarre.

Great clarifying question, thanks for the reply.

Selling fine art images would not fall under commercial (technical) services here.
I would like to sell fine art images -- that is, landscape photography not for a client. This is my personal work I would like to sell, not prints for a job (I don't generally sell prints for my jobs, just licensed images for marketing campaigns, social media, etc).
 

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Which makes needing two separate licenses seem strange.
 

tirediron

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Which makes needing two separate licenses seem strange.
I think you need to talk to someone in your municipal office and look into this; it would like have a license to operate a garage to repair cars, but needing an additional license to sell the parts needed for repairs.
 
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Sarah Allyn Photo

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Which makes needing two separate licenses seem strange.
I think you need to talk to someone in your municipal office and look into this; it would like have a license to operate a garage to repair cars, but needing an additional license to sell the parts needed for repairs.

If cars are considered clients, this would be more like fixing client's cars but also obtaining and selling parts to a different demographic without fixing. What a metaphor, I love it! I'll absolutely post when I hear local responses.

In your area(s) is photography a more of a "blanket" license? What category or categories does it fall under?
 

tirediron

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I have a business license, that's all there is to it. It's the same license (and costs the same) as the the owner of a garage, the owner of a brewery, the person who installs carpet or makes signs... The only differentiation is whether or not clients attend your premises. That doesn't cost any more, just requires an inspection to ensure you meet standards for disabled access, parking & washroom facilities.
 
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Sarah Allyn Photo

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I have a business license, that's all there is to it. It's the same license (and costs the same) as the the owner of a garage, the owner of a brewery, the person who installs carpet or makes signs... The only differentiation is whether or not clients attend your premises. That doesn't cost any more, just requires an inspection to ensure you meet standards for disabled access, parking & washroom facilities.

Thanks for the reply, the license requirements in your area sound practical. Unfortunately in my area we are required to specify your business classification, such as commercial photography, studio photography, independent artist, or even a retail classification. Perhaps I will have to pay the department of commerce a visit...
 

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You always specify a business for a business license. That doesn't restrict you to a specific business model. And taxes aren't paid based on business licenses, they're paid based on organization. If you form a separate business entity to perform the sales, then you have two separate entities, both responsible for taxes. Not if you have a single entity.

You need to talk to your accountant and lawyer to get straight what you're doing.

Jeff

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Sarah Allyn Photo

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You always specify a business for a business license. That doesn't restrict you to a specific business model. And taxes aren't paid based on business licenses, they're paid based on organization. If you form a separate business entity to perform the sales, then you have two separate entities, both responsible for taxes. Not if you have a single entity.

You need to talk to your accountant and lawyer to get straight what you're doing.

Jeff

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This was the answer I was hoping for, I will talk with my accountant. Thanks Jeff.
 

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