(Closed) Potential Photographer Has No Business License

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
1986 posts
Buzzing bee

Well, ask her to get one? They don’t cost a ton, I don’t think. Make sure she is insured, that’s most important. (Not health insured, business).

Post # 4
Member
1405 posts
Bumble bee

People don’t get F’s on BBB for not having a biz license, they get F’s for customer complaints.

 

It’s really not a huge deal, how many weddings does she handle per yr?  If she doens’t make much income she may treat it as a hobbie and not declare income tax.  If she is not filing her business at all though and the IRS finds out, she can be in trouble.  The important thing is that she is reliable, you like her style, she has the right equipment and experience to cover your day, and she has the necessary biz insurance that most venues require.

What bothers me is that it’s quite simple to apply for a DBA, a simple trip to town hall…so not sure why she is talking around it and making excuses.

Post # 6
Member
3255 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

If she has an F on BBB AND doesn’t have a license, I think I would go with someone different just to be safe. If you’re looking for affordability, try talking to a local college. My roommate in college used to do weddings all the time because professors recommended her to brides looking for cheap photography. 

Post # 7
Member
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Some smaller scale photographers don’t acquire buisness licenses unless venues require them. They pay their taxes as self employed individuals so a buisness license is just another fee they paid the city in addition to taxes. If they choose to apply for a license as an LLC  they can claim travel, equipment, etc. on their taxes- for someone who does it on a large scale it makes sense. For someone who is new to the buisness or part time it means they’re much more likely to get audited. A lot of hobbyist apply for a buisness license and then claim vacations and equipment for personal use as “travel expenses.” The IRS really looks out for that kind of thing.

 If your venue requires a license a DBA may work (quick, cheap and easy for her to get). If you’re worried about being able to report someone to the BBB- as long as the contract protects both you and the photographer there will be no problems- i.e. one of the clauses should cover if the photographer loses/ruins your images or doesn’t show up all together. It should state you recieve your total package price back. In return, there should be a clause protecting her- this may state if your vendors, clery/church rules place any restrictions on her she is not responsible for missing images. The BBB really isn’t going to help you get any money/damages, taking the photographer to small claims is typically the best way to go.

 Also, make sure your contract clearly outlines the service you are contracting. There was a post a few weeks ago about a bride complaining her photographer said she ordered an album when she allegedly did not. Her contract should have stated what she was getting and when/how much was due. That way your photographer can’t look at a client and say, “Hey- you need to put a $X dollar deposit on this album.” Solid contracts are important.

  If you’re still not sure: Ask for referrals and email the people whose contacts she provides. Also request to see a couple completed wedding gallery- this is a good way to gage the quality of her overall work and that she completes work. 

Post # 8
Member
19 posts
Newbee

If the potential photographer’s business isn’t properly registered, then there is a good chance that he/she doesn’t have the liability insurance.  You definitely want to check this since a lot of venues actually require this.  

Post # 9
Member
29 posts
Newbee

@bomphoto: I don’t believe this to be true. I know plenty of photographers who carry all the proper insurance and are not registered (they carry DBA’s/pay self employed taxes).

Post # 10
Member
19 posts
Newbee

@MWilliamsPhoto: my bad for not reading the post thoroughly.  what i meant to say was that if they didnt register the business w/ the state, aka freelancing without registering for taxation.  🙂  

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