As photographers' businesses grow, they often want or need to adopt a formal structure. Since the organizations are dictated by state law, they may vary a bit by state. The options often include a "C" corp, an "S" corp, an "LLC," and a sole proprietorship. But how do you decide what is best for you?
Most states' websites provide good background information on the business entities they allow. To find your state's offerings, conduct an Internet search using a good search engine such as Google to find your state's Secretary of State's website. Search on your state's name (such as "Georgia") and the words: "secretary of state." The extension of the url will be ".gov" or ".us." Be careful - some websites attempt to appear to be the state's website so that they can charge you extra for the information and for registering your business. Once on your state's secretary of state's website, look for "corporations," "business organizations," or "business entities."
For example, here are the business organization websites for Texas
, New York
, and California
After you do your preliminary research to get a basic understanding of the business structure options, you next should talk with your accountant and/or your attorney. Since each photographer's business and personal circumstances are different, you'll need professional assistance to learn what business structure will work best for you.
Take my advice; get professional help.
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