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Taking Care of Business
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Old December 28th, 2005, 02:12 AM   #1
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Co-Owner or Sub-contractor(Freelance)

Well, I've been working at this studio for maybe 2 months now. And the Boss guy wants to officially make everything legal. He want's me to sign papers stating that im a Co-Owner. Or I can Sign papers saying im just a sub-contractor. If Im a co-owner, He say's I will own 50% of the company. But i'd Be making 45% of all work. So I technically wouldnt own half which means i have no say in the company technically. If im just a sub-contractor then i will make 40%. I know that if im Co-owner, i have to help pay for stuff such as computer breaking, rent, ect. If im Sub-contractor then i dont pay for anything. He also knows that im going to school in the fall most likely. Another thing that's kinda shady is that he keeps trying to get me to let him pay for half of everything. Like all my equipment. He knows that im going to leave eventually and he wont have any equipment to use. I own just about everything...(Camera, tripod, lights, dolly, track dolly). Another Negative about the whole Co-owner thing is that i cant technically work for anyone else, since id be taking work away from the company. Does anyone know anything else that i should know before signing my life away. Im pretty sure I DONT want to be a co-owner. Anyone...help
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Old December 28th, 2005, 07:26 AM   #2
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If you are a co-owner, not only do you own half the business, but half the problems as well. Go freelance.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 08:16 AM   #3
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And as a co-owner half the liability if the business gets sued. If you own 50% you have a say .. the fact you're generating 45% of the work doesn't mean a thing. A silent partner who has merely invested 51% of the businesses capital and doesn't do any active work at all still has a say in how the business is run.

If the business owns your gear, when you leave its likely that all your gear will stay behind.

From the way you describe it, this whole things sounds shadey. I'd run away from this guy as fast as your legs can carry you.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 08:26 AM   #4
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As others have said, be careful here - whichever way you decide to go. There are a lot of legal and tax implications to all this. Since you're under 21 that might also have a bearing on things. Maybe someone in your family knows a lawyer and an accountant who would be willing to discuss all the issues with you for little or no money? I think this would be worth your while and would save you a lot of problems down the line.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 09:10 AM   #5
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Without being a tax lawyer or accountant I'd say subcontractor.
As has been wisely stated as a co-owner you own half the problems and half the liabilities.

As a subcontractor you are self-employed and things like buying your own equipment may be deductible. If you go the sub route you'll still need to talk to an accountant about whether to incorporate or not. Self-employment taxes can be frikin brutal, but get an experts advice. Even if they charge you for the time the couple of hundred you spend will save you thousands and thousands in the future and may even keep your butt from being audited.
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