Business License Question

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by sarah_ashley|2, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. This is not about me. I have my business license and do photography full time but I was curious after it had come up on another website: Do you need a business license if you only plan on doing about one photo shoot a month or less? It had been my understanding that if you charge (even if its only $40 a shoot) then technically you are a business and should have a business licenses. Though if you don't advertise yourself as a business and only charge friends is that ok? Again i'm just curious and I realize the internet is not the best place for legal info.
  2. It all depends on where you are. Business licensing is a matter of local regulation. It varies town by town, county by county.
    You need to consult your local licensing authority, not other photographers, for info.
  3. licensing is local but as far as the IRS is concerned, if you have income you must report it!
  4. Charles: Again this is not about me (I have my license) and I am not sure where the person is from but I figured you all would say that.
  5. As others have said, licensing is a local issue. But I can't imagine local authorities anywhere going after someone who doesn't advertise himself as a business, does work only for friends and only charges $40.
  6. lwg


    At just a few $40 jobs it's unlikely they actually have a profit once you consider the equipment and supplies, so they probably don't need to report the income to the IRS either.
  7. The issue would be whether or not your friend is really running a business. One shoot a month might not generate enough income to cover expenses and could realistically be considered a hobby. Hobbyists do not have to comply with business accounting and tax rules in that all of their proceeds are simply another form of personal income.
    Your friend needs to decide whether or not he/she is operating a business. One resource to help with this is the discussion on hobby vs. business in the web site. If your friend really is establishing a business then he/she needs to follow all of the rules governing business taxation and reporting, not just the local one governing business licenses.

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