Last time we talked about taking care of your clients when relocating your business. This next topic is one of my least favorites. We’re photographers, not lawyers or accountants, right? Right. But seriously, DO NOT forget that when relocating, you need to get your business paperwork taken care of.
Business License: You need to be licensed. Period. Do you want to be taken seriously as a professional? Yes? Then get a license. The city in which you are operating your business will have these forms on their website. It’s easy. You just have to fill out some paperwork.
Business Insurance: There are a few reasons you need insurance. First of all, what if something bad happens? What if your gear gets destroyed or stolen? Then you’re out all that money! Insure your gear. You also need insurance for your business. As sad as it is to say, the public in general is very eager to sue. What if you’re out on a shoot, and a child steps in a hole and breaks his ankle? It could happen! And if it does, you are putting yourself at risk of being sued. Was it your fault? Not necessarily. But just the act of being sued is expensive! Attorney fees, going to court, not to mention the time you have to spend dealing with it. But let’s just say that you are sued and lose…do you have the money to shell out? GET INSURED!
BBB: The Better Business Bureau. I will admit, I’m not 100% sure why I feel this is necessary, but it doesn’t hurt to have another certificate! This is also done by area. For example, I had to deal with the San Diego BBB.
Taxes: Probably the most important topic I can cover today. You need to meet with an attorney and an accountant and figure out what the State laws are and what you need to be doing to get your taxes in order. Personally, I set aside 30% of my income for taxes. I really cannot stress the importance of getting your Tax ID number and becoming legit so that you aren’t in trouble with the IRS later on. No one wants to have to deal with the IRS, right?
LLC vs Sole Proprietorship: I’m not a lawyer, and won’t pretend I know what is right, but this is also an area to discuss with your attorney. I’m not giving legal advice via the internet (because I don’t want to be sued) but add it to your list of questions to ask your attorney.
Ok so there is the beginning of it. I am sure I’m forgetting something important, but these are a few of the vital forms to add to your checklist when relocating your business! Yes it will cost some money up front, but in the long run, you are saving yourself time, money and possibly worse consequences.
Next time – Marketing tips! I have a few I’d like to share!