how to start a business?
ok so, how would one go about starting a small (i mean really teeny small) graphics business? like some old photograph fixing and maybe some logo design and t-shirt designs and stuff?
do i have to actually contact the small business administration and sign up or something? do i have to pay business taxes? how do i do my taxes at tax time? how would i go about editing/fixing old pictures - like would i have to pay royalties or something to the original photographer? what fonts can i use in projects for people - any that say they're free? what about the fonts that come with windows? what all documents would i have to get/make for my clients to fill out when i do something for them?
is this more trouble than it's worth?
[Edited on 8/27/2007 by hummingbird]
I'm going to answer these questions 1 by 1 as you asked them:
I doubt you want to start a small business, instead what I think you want to do is start working as a freelancer. This requires much less work and is usually sought after as a source for secondary income aside from your full time job. If you want to work for yourself full time, then yes you may need to start a business.
Because you are acting as a freelancer, you don't have to register yourself as a business. The only time you have to do such is if you're using a fictitious name (ficticious name license) or if you are selling items or if you have an actual store front. All of these licensings depend on your county/state/country.
As an honest freelancer, when it comes tax time (spring) you will be given an option to claim any extra income you made from freelance work specifically. This is your chance to be honest, as hard as it may be. Claiming this untaxed income will cause you to probably lose all of your tax return, and if not, actually owe on your taxes.
If you are doing photo touch ups as a freelancer, I'd image the client would own full rights to the photos. You shouldn't have to worry about copyright.
For professional print jobs, you should purchase the rights to the font you are using. On the web it doesn't matter so much, but for publically printed material, it kind of does matter.
Documentation: You need to create yourself a couple of different documents. One of which will help YOU as the freelancer determine exactly what the client needs/wants. Usually the client has no idea what they need, but when filling this form out, it will force them to think and get their ideas on paper, for you to read and understand.
The second form you need is a written contract between you and the client specifying a number of important things. Pay rate, milestone schedule, and many other things are included in this. I highly suggest, even if you are best friends with the client, to ALWAYS make a contract.
Well there you have it. I think i'd do a little research elsewhere before you start trying to run your own business. There are hundreds of books out there concerning this. Buy a couple, and do some readin!
i dont mean too plug other sites but a good website is freelanceuk.co.uk and its based in the uk so even if you are in the USA it still gives you an idea of what its all about.
Hope this helps
great - thanks, guys!
any tips on creating these 'documents'? how do i purchase the rights to fonts?
for documents check out the site i said about, as for the fonts u will have to wait for a reply from " altered Sky"
hey, paradox - thanks! but that site isn't working - 404 error. i tried putting www before the url, but it just gives me the site index. is the freelance uk site just down? or is there another link i could use? thanks!
awesome - i'll check that site out in more depth when i get home. thanks!