How to Start a Portrait Photography Business In Pennsylvania

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)

How to start a portrait photography business in Pennsylvania

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:

3.  Register your portrait photography business.

You can register your new business with the state of Pennsylvania here:

4. Business Checking Account.

You will need to open a separate bank account for your portrait photography business with your new business name.start portrait photography business pennsylvania

5. Taxes.

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: and

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.

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