You may be thinking it’s time to incorporate your photography business. If you are running a sole proprietorship or partnership, consider forming a Limited Liability Company, or LLC.
Incorporation is important because it ensures limited liability of shareholders and ensures that personal assets cannot be seized to repay debts. It has become much easier to incorporate your business.
There are a few ways to incorporate: 1) contact your local attorney. Fees vary from state to state. 2) you can incorporate yourself online using www.incorporatetime.com (I’ve used this company 3 times and have no affiliation with them. I’m not a paid sponsor, just a client). The fees for New York State are $290 for an LLC plus $25 fee to obtain a tax ID. It’s pretty affordable in my opinion. All fees are listed on their website.
Here’s some helpful information if you choose to incorporate yourself.
Choosing a Name for your LLC
You can name your LLC anything you prefer however; it must not be the name of an existing LLC, in your state. Incorporatetime.com will perform a preliminary name check for you. When you choose your name, it must contain “LLC”, or “Limited Liability Company” at the end of your entity name (i.e. My Unique Business Name LLC or My Unique Business Name Limited Liability Company).
What is the organizational structure of an LLC?
The company may be directly by the members (you), or members may designate a manager. If management is by the members then each member is a manager of the company.
Having a registered agent for your LLC:
All states require that your corporation maintain a registered agent. A registered agent is a person responsible for receiving any legal documentation on behalf of the corporation. For my business, I personally act as my own registered agent (note: your address must be within the state that you are incorporating in) and I receive all legal documentation for my business.
Other important info:
When you incorporate using Incorporatetime.com there is a standard State Filing Service, which typically takes 15-20 business days. You can expedite if you’d like. Also, you have the option of getting an LLC Kit. I’ve never purchased this, but it may be of interest. Here’s some info about the kit: https://www.incorporatetime.com/LLCKitPrompt.htm
All businesses need a tax ID (Federal Tax Identification #). You can obtain this yourself or have incorporatetime.com do it. In the past, I’ve had incorporatetime.com do this.
Incorporatetime.com will perform a name check and let you know if it is available. They will send you a publication notice for your state. Publication is your responsibility. For New York State, they require that you publish a notice in two newspapers stating the formation of the LLC.
The following notice applies to NY State:
Section 206 of the Limited Liability Company Law of the State of New York states:
Upon the effectiveness of the initial Articles of Organization of an LLC, a copy of same or a notice containing the substance thereof shall be published once each week for six successive weeks, in two newspapers of the county in which the office of the LLC is located, one must be a daily newspaper and the other a weekly newspaper designated by the County Clerk. Proof of such publication by the Affidavit of the publisher or printer of each newspaper must be filed with New York State within 120 days after the effective date of the Articles of Organization of the LLC. You must contact your local county clerk for to obtain the designated newspapers for your county.
Limited liability entities that are formed or authorized to do business in New York after June 1, 2006, which fail to comply with the publication requirements within 120 days after their formation or qualification will have their authority to carry on, conduct or transact any business suspended.
Here is a sample letter sent to my local newspaper requesting publication of the notice: Chief publication sample
What’s next after you incorporate? Get insurance for your business! Click here.
Tips for booking an affordable wedding venue in Northern New Jersey:
Congratulations, you’re ENGAGED! What’s the first thing you do after screaming yes and telling friends and family?
1) Go to www.theknot.com, click on community and join your local chat room (mine was Northern New Jersey). Introduce yourself to fellow knotties and start planning your WEDDING! What’s the second item most brides-to-be DO?
2a) They want to set a date so they begin looking for the perfect venue.
As a former knottie bride married in May 2006 I remember searching for my perfect venue with the right distance between my husbands family in Paramus and mine in Staten Island. We wanted something roomie with a delicious cocktail hour. Whether YOU are looking for beautiful outdoor gardens, one wedding at a time or a budget friendly venue, there are so many wonderful options in New Jersey just waiting for you to call. I always recommend my friends and family looking for a great value, to consider these few ways to save money on the reception hall (which is the biggest wedding expense):
a) book off-season (December through March)
b) book Friday or Sunday
c) book Saturday or Sunday DURING THE DAY
d) book a cancellation date (which is a date which suddenly becomes available)
I would certainly recommend (b) and look into (d) cancellation dates for reception halls. These are dates, which become available suddenly due to an event being rescheduled or a cancellation. The hall may offer 30-40% off the normal rate BECAUSE they need to fill that slot fast or they could lose a tremendous amount of money. The reason they don’t charge full price is that brides booking a cancellation date have to quickly call ALL OTHER VENDORS and hope they have that date free. There are some challenges to getting a DJ or photographer since cancellation dates may be 4 months away up to one year away. Vendors book quickly! Also, if a date is suddenly available that deposit left on the date is unofficially applied to your cost, so the venue doesn’t really lose much money afterall, but the NEW booking certainly benefits.
2b) So you’ve found the VENUE and are almost ready to book. The sales manager will ask you what time to start your wedding. That answer depends on the day of the week booked. Friday weddings start latest. Sundays may start a bit earlier since people have work the next day.
Ask the venue a few questions at the end:
How much they charge for tax
How much is gratuity?
Is there a maitre’d fee?
Is the cake included?
What kind of deposit would they like if you wanted to secure a date?
When are the payments due if you want to book?
The cost of the wedding venue is usually 50% of the total budget. It’s important to remember that if a hall quotes you $100/pp plus tax and tip, you’ll likely spending $100 plus 7% tax plus 18-22% tip (or $125-129 per person).
Booking a hall for a great value is POSSIBLE! Just be creative – good luck =)