Starting a Photography Business

Starting a new business can be a steep learning curve in the beginning of the road, and taking pictures is only a small part of it. If you want to make your company successful, you must consider many other aspects. Anyone can buy a camera and say that they’re a professional photographer, but in this competitive market your credibility, experience and business skills will be put to a test. Moreover, if you are starting a photography business you will need to have extensive knowledge about taxes, business types and other administrative issues. Keeping in touch with the new world technology of photo manipulation is not enough in order to be a successful photographer. These tips will help you become a successful professional:

Taxes

Because the governments are very good at funding themselves, the taxman will surely find out about any income you have. When starting a photography business, you will need to report every dollar, even the $10 you make from licensing images or from using new world technology. However, the taxes you pay depend on the business type you choose. If you select an appropriate business type, you will be able to save some tax money.

Business type

In the U.S. there are 5 types of businesses: Partnership, Sole Proprietorship, Hobby, LLC (limited liability company) and Corporation. These structures affect how much tax you pay, how much paperwork you must do, how much you can write off and how exposed you will be in case you get sued or go bankrupt. When starting a photography business, you will need to choose one of the above. The easiest is Sole Proprietorship, because the taxes go on your personal tax return and there are no forms to file. However, by choosing this type you expose yourself to all of the liability. This puts all of your personal possessions at risk in case someone sues. An LLC gives a legal separation of liability and you can also pass the taxes through the personal tax return. A Corporation is more costly and complicated, but in some case it is more profitable. In order to decide which one is more suitable for your needs, discuss it with your accountant. Furthermore, you should make use of the internet and social media networks to promote your business, to show people the best examples of your work and thus gather more prospective customers. Nowadays, you cannot define social media without talking about society itself, which is more and more reflected in the online presence and information people share. By exposing your work online, you make sure as many people as possible see it, because almost a third of the planet’s population has an account on at least one of the main networks. Define social media as you will, but if you want advertising and promotion, and you want them for free, then this is one of your best options.

Why you need an accountant

Unless you have experience in this field, you will need someone by your side who knows about the tax law and how it applies to businesses. Hiring a qualified tax professional will actually save you money in the long run, and it will also give you peace of mind knowing that your business is in good hands. In order to make sure you have a good accountant, find someone who has experience in working with small businesses similar to yours. Because starting a photography business is not easy, ask candidates how would they approach things. It is also important to hire someone you can have a good working relationship with.

Separate financial accounts

When starting a photography business, it is important to separate personal and professional accounts. If you mix all personal and business purchases into one account, the IRS will see it more as a hobby than a business, making it harder to get deductibles. Moreover, separating accounts makes organizing your finances much more easier.

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