How to Start a Portrait Photography Business In Pennsylvania
This page will help you legally start a portrait photography business in Pennsylvania. Here are some links to ebooks that provide some excellent portrait photography business tips along with teaching to help improve your portraits: Natural Light Portrait Photography and One Light Portrait Photography. You may also want to start here: How To Start A Portrait Photography Business. You will want to properly plan before going through the registration process to make sure that being a portrait photographer and owning and running a portrait photography business is for you.
How To Register A Full-time or Part-time Portrait Photography Business In Pennsylvania
Getting started- The state of Pennsylvania has a website about starting a business in Pennsylvania here: Start a Business In Pennsylvania Guide (PDF Download)
1. Register your portrait photography business name.
Find out more about registering a fictitious name here: Pennsylvania Fictitious Names
If you need help choosing a business name: How To Choose A Photography Business Name
2. Select your business structure.
Sole-proprietor, LLC, Partnership, Corporation, etc. Find out more here: http://www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Business/Documents/Business%20Guide.pdf
3. Register your portrait photography business.
You can register your new business with the state of Pennsylvania here: https://www.doreservices.state.pa.us/businesstax/PA100/FormatSelection.htm
4. Business Checking Account.
You will need to open a separate bank account for your portrait photography business with your new business name.
You may want to file your own taxes if you are a small company. As you grow, it will be easier to have an accountant do the work. Be sure to research sales tax requirements. More info about taxes here: http://www.revenue.pa.gov/ and http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Starting-a-Business
6. Liability Insurance.
A lot can happen during a portrait photography session. It is important to have liability insurance to help in case of a photography-related catastrophe.
7. License and Permits.
You will need to check with your local government to see if you need a license to operate your business, and if you need a permit to take photographs at certain locations.