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Archive 2013 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online ph...
  
 
charlieboy
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p.1 #1 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


I have been reading and reading and it's time I finally ask after the effort. Who here (in a nutshell) sells photos online, and lives in California. Can anyone point me to some definitive answers like do I need a business license and if so is it for the city I live in? Do I need a separate tax ID or use my social? My name is the website (no fictitious business). I have a squarespace site and it uses "stripe" as it's service to collect CC payment. Anyone use them? I have looked and don't want to get flamed for not trying to do my homework before asking. I even talked to my accountant who has to get back to me because it seems I may or may not know as much as them at this point.


Aug 15, 2013 at 12:47 AM
BruceF99
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p.1 #2 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


A google search for California tax photography business gave this as the 2nd result:
http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub68.pdf



Aug 15, 2013 at 01:57 AM
mdude85
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p.1 #3 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


You should just wait for your accountant to do the leg work and let you know what your options are.

If you are selling a small number of photos online and not making very much money from it then software like TurboTax (even the free online edition, as I recall) will help you sort out the details.

You may want to ask your accountant if you can write off your Squarespace fees asa business expense, or any other photography related purchases that you made during the year that you earned income.

Good luck!



Aug 15, 2013 at 03:08 PM
charlieboy
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p.1 #4 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


I received a call from an assistant from the accounts office who asked a few more questions but seemed to be pointing to starting an LLC. Also calling my county to obtain a business license (around 160) and obtaining a tax ID. No fictitious business lic needed since ill be using my real name. This sounds reasonable and seems to make sense so far.


Aug 15, 2013 at 03:27 PM
charlieboy
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p.1 #5 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


My county says they don't issue a business license for what I plan on doing so I don't need one.


Aug 15, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Hammy
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p.1 #6 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


charlieboy wrote:
My county says they don't issue a business license for what I plan on doing so I don't need one.


I'd get that in writing (seriously), because as soon as you show an income on your personal or business taxes, a flag will go up in somebody's cubical and they'll be calling you for back taxes!

And then have your attorney and/or accountant verify that it applies to you.




Aug 16, 2013 at 09:54 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #7 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


The State of California Board of Equalization handles sales tax....It's quite an adventure dealing with them!


Aug 17, 2013 at 12:29 AM
mcddeb
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p.1 #8 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


Have you looked into Professional Photographers of America(PPA.com)? They offer 2-3 day classes on setting up shop. Also, look for your state affiliate of PPA for local pros to work with.


Nov 16, 2013 at 03:23 PM
 

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jefferies1
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p.1 #9 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


If you make sales then you need a Sales Tax ID to be legal. Even if the sale is non taxable you must list it as such. Using a personal name is fine but you still are doing business so the state wants tax collection. That is the same in any state. Big fines if you don't file.


Nov 16, 2013 at 05:49 PM
cineski
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p.1 #10 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


Get yourself a sales tax ID through the CA BOE. It's simple and painless. As for online sales, if you're selling within CA you need to charge sales tax if they're receiving a physical item. Transferring digital files over the internet does not get taxed. Any sales you do outside the state do not get taxed. The state of CA really, really, really likes to collect money.


Nov 17, 2013 at 02:56 PM
gheller
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p.1 #11 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


charlieboy wrote:
My county says they don't issue a business license for what I plan on doing so I don't need one.


Sorry, this is rubbish.

Like has been said, get it in writing or you will be in a world of hurt down the road

greg

(former CA resident)




Nov 17, 2013 at 05:29 PM
JoshI
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p.1 #12 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


I found here in NC if the county or city says I don't need a business license the best thing to do is apply for one anyway. If they grant you one, you needed it and if they don't grant you one, you have it in writing.

Josh



Nov 17, 2013 at 09:59 PM
mitesh
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p.1 #13 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


I'd also never do business under your personal name. Filing papers for an LLC is not expensive when you consider the legal protections you'll be afforded. The last thing you need or would want is exposing yourself to liability incurred through your business operations. A limited-liability business entity and adequate commercial insurance are two things any business- regardless of size- should not cheap out on.


Nov 18, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Brit-007
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p.1 #14 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


If you are earning money using your home as the hub, you will need a Business License. I am in West Sac and it is only $50 per year. Very easy to get and it provides peace of mind. Regarding BOE, being a Photographer is really simple options. If there are any tangable goods passing to the client, the client being in California, then there is an obligation to collect sales tax on the entire job. If you upload the images to the Web and the client downloads the files then there is no tangable goods passing hands. There is no tax requirement. If the client purchases prints then this is a tangable item and requires tax.

as cineski stated, he is correct. I just expanded a little.



Nov 20, 2013 at 08:35 PM
markd61
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p.1 #15 · My eyes are sore and my heads ready to blow.... Online photo selling.


I am in California and my business license is in the city where I conduct my business.
Contact the business license department of your city or town for info. If you live in the county, call the county offices.

Listening to hearsay from a lot of different sources that are not THE source can get you messed up.

Also, do your homework regarding business format (sole proprietor vs. LLC vs. S Corp etc). You may be able to safely conduct your business without the expense of those other structures. Your business is a very low risk sort of enterprise and is likely to not generate huge income ( we hope otherwise) and may not be worth the complication until you start making serious money.

Check out your local SCORE chapter if you have one. They can give you a lot of reasonable advice based on experience.



Nov 22, 2013 at 10:48 PM





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