Question:

Do you need a business license for freelance photography?

10 October, 2021 Jerry Volkman 6

Answers (6):

  • AUTHOR: MARIBEL SERNA
    14 October, 2021

    It depends on whether you are operating as an Independent Contractor, Sole-Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation. If you're operating independently (with your own business license), then the answer is generally yes because this type of freelance photography generally falls under the definition of "self-employment". If you're not self-employed and plan to be using one entity's equipment or services for marketing purposes without pay in exchange for credit or exposure that would make it seem like they are your employer (financing contract with equipment rental company), then theoretically anything can happen. But I think it's unlikely unless you say no to the previous question.

  • AUTHOR: LUZ LATSON
    14 October, 2021

    You do not need a business license for freelance photography, but if you're with the company and want to be covered with workman's comp, you will need a policy. You would also require a business license if your primary income is from photography and you offer it as separate service or product (probably like offering one service per visit). Being an "independent contractor" does not mean that they are 'in business' in the common sense of owning their own studio/shop/etc., nor is this something that most independent contractors in traditional jobs generally do.

  • AUTHOR: YURI PECORA
    14 October, 2021

    No, you do not need a business license for freelance photography. From the point of view of the government, if you are taking photographs for your own personal use only it is perfectly OK! Beware though when your photography does fall in to many of the following types of "commercial" activies which make you a business in this instance - selling photos, advertising on behalf of companies or individuals in various forms (TV or print ads), conducting photographic surveys or interviews on behalf of businesses, photographing products for sale by retailers, professional photographer at professional photography studio shoots where there is money exchanged with models/actors etc., etc.

  • AUTHOR: ANTHONY MONGOLD
    14 October, 2021

    Yes. This should be the question your ask yourself before investing anything into photography because there are many rules and regulations involved to obtain a business license for freelance photography. Regulations can vary from state-to-state so it's best to investigate what is needed where you live before you start out, this way you don't have any surprises later on. When starting out as a photographer, there are plenty of things that need to be taken into consideration depending on the type of photography that you want to pursue.

  • AUTHOR: LAWANDA MONGOLD
    14 October, 2021

    Yes. Freelance photographers must register with the U.S. Copyright Office before photographing anything, even if they are photographing for themselves or commercially businesses without formal agreements in place to work with them on a job-by-job basis. No one is allowed to use commercial still photographs of any kind without registering them with the US Copyright Office first. This includes freelancers who don't have contracts in play, artists who photograph completely on their own, and anyone about to advertise an event or business that might actually need someone's help setting up shots--such as bands, theater companies, restaurants, stores.. everyone needs copyright licenses before releasing pictures of any kind to be used by either themselves or others for advertising purposes.

  • AUTHOR: ARDEN MENJIVAR
    14 October, 2021

    Technically no, but a POD (professional organization designation) might be a stricter standard to go by. Freelance photographers aren't required to register with their local government authorities, but they are still subject to the same laws and regulations as anyone else who does business in the state. And registration can also serve as an additional safety measure against legal action such as copyright infringement or defamation. One way to protect oneself is by registering with professional organizations such video and audio broadcasting associations). The relationship between freelance work and certification isn't always straightforward--especially in cases where freelancers plan on providing goods and services across state lines--so your best bet will probably be consulting with an attorney licensed in your immediate area for clarification.