I'm Ali - a photographer who built her business from the ground up and wants to help others do the same.

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“Where Do I Start?” Series: Legal & Financial

July 13, 2020

When I first began my business, my number one fear? The IRS beating down my door because I was breaking some law I didn’t know existed. Or skipping a step in the legal process that could somehow leave me legally responsible for something I didn’t know I was responsible for. So basically…I was terrified I would have a legal blindspot…and furthermore, I didn’t have money to hire a lawyer to check my blindspots for me. Because, let’s face it, I was new, hurriedly decided to leave my “day job,” hadn’t saved, and, therefore, had no money set aside to start my business.
Between figuring out how to set up my business, register it, get the right licenses, file for taxes, and creating a contract (scratch that–so many contracts for each different type of session!)…I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. I am sure I can’t be the only one!
First thing’s first:

  1. Determine your business’s structure! If you don’t know what that means, you can find out more by downloading the FREE Small Business Start-Up Checklist. For the most in depth information though, check out The Photography Framework Shop when it goes live on August 10th.
  2. Get squared away on taxes. That means filing for an FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number). And yes, you still need one of these even if you aren’t employing anyone but yourself.
  3. Register your business to pay state taxes.

If all of this sounds overwhelming to you…that’s okay. It was to me too…and I stumbled through the process, probably leaving some i’s undotted and t’s uncrossed. My teacher heart doesn’t want anyone else to have to experience that, so let me walk you through it!
Stay tuned for the launch of The Photography Framework (that showcases a Legal & Financial module!!) on August 10th if you’re like me and feel like the Internet is swimming with useless information that doesn’t really help you get the answers you need!

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