Business Name

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by valeriemartinphotography, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. valeriemartinphotography

    valeriemartinphotography TPF Noob!

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    Hi All - I have been an aspiring pet photographer for some time now and have noticed that someone else has the same business name Valérie Martin Photography (which is my full name). The only difference is I put an accent on the "e" in my name since I am French. I am wondering if I would down the line run into any legal issues?

    This is my website: Ottawa Pet Photographer │Valérie Martin Photography

    This is hers: http://www.valerie-martin-photography.com/

    Thanks!
    Valérie


     
  2. ruggedshutter

    ruggedshutter No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I doubt that you would run into any legal problems since you are both on opposite sides of the world.
     
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  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Difficult to say since I practice law only on the internet. :icon_jokercolor:

    Have you done anything to register your business name and protect your images? Have you conferred with a real lawyer about setting up your business? Are you required to be licensed in your community? Do you regularly file your tax returns?

    All of the usual regulations in effect will have your name, address, tax I.D., and possibly other differentiating identification linked to only you, so the fact that you both have the same name will not (in my opinion) create a problem.

    This legal advice is worth every penny you paid for it. :)
     
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  4. valeriemartinphotography

    valeriemartinphotography TPF Noob!

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    Thank you, this is reassuring!
     
  5. imagemaker46

    imagemaker46 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It shouldn't be a concern at all, they have a .com you have a .ca so you're good for the domain name, and it's not like the rest of the world has business names that aren't the same.
     
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  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Let's put it this way: My registered business name is, "John's Photography". Toss that at Mr. Google and see what returns. In most countries, unless a business has a "unique" name, such as "Xerox" which can be trade-marked, they have no claim on exclusivity, further, businesses named based on one or more of the principles can have no claim against each other (You could have five different legal firms all named, "Smith, Smith & Smith" on the same street).
     
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  7. valeriemartinphotography

    valeriemartinphotography TPF Noob!

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    I have not registered by business name. It started off as a hobby and is becoming a part-time job now. I do not plan on doing this full-time. Since I make less than a certain amount of money I thought I didn't have to register my business or declare anything on my taxes (I am in Canada). I protect my images with a watermark, should I be doing something else? I am still quite new to this, I really appreciate your advice!
     
  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I know nothing of Canadian tax law, but here in the U.S., we are required to declare all income, whether from a small part-time business or larger. We also are allowed to deduct business expenses which lowers our tax liability.

    A watermark is no guarantee that your images are fully protected against copyright infringement.

    My (free) advice is for you to go talk to a lawyer about your business. Yes, you will have to pay something, but in my opinion it will be money well spent.
     
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  9. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    A watermark is advertising, and functions poorly as a theft deterrent.

    Just a few years ago Canada made some major changes in Canada Copyright Law.
     
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  10. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What you should do is find out what, if any permits or licenses are required. I have no idea about Ontario legislation, but in BC, almost every municipality requires you to purchase a business license if you want to run ANY sort of business or trade (other than garage sales). As far as reporting goes, Revenue Canada requires that you report all income, but it can be done on the "miscellaneous extra income" line of your tax return. What you don't have to do is collect/remit sales tax if your gross income is below 'X' dollars (refer to provincial legislation for exact figures), but you should keep very detailed records so that you can, if required demonstrate that your business income was below the limit.

    As for registering a business name, that again is provincial, so I can't speak for Ontario. In BC, the whole process costs less than $100 (filing fees) and means that a business is "legitimate", in other words, if things did take off, you would already have the foundation in place to apply for your GST/PST/HST number, etc.

    The single most important thing you need to do if you are taking money for services (and even if your only working on the barter system) is have insurance. The minute someone pays you ANYTHING for your work, they will assume you're a business (regardless of WHAT they may say to you), and if they trip over a light stand and chip a tooth....
     
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  11. valeriemartinphotography

    valeriemartinphotography TPF Noob!

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    Good idea. I have a friend who is a Lawyer I will ask her to help and/or recommend someone to me.
     
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  12. valeriemartinphotography

    valeriemartinphotography TPF Noob!

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    I am trying to find this information online and it's very confusing. I will ask my friend who is a lawyer if she can help or refer me to someone. I was also able to get a referral to an insurance company for businesses through my current home/car insurance. I will give them a call. I am using a program online to generate receipts it's called "wave", is that sufficient?
     

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