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Old January 2nd, 2007, 01:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: MI
Posts: 2
Recommended Business Structure for Videography

For the past year and a half, I've been doing weddings on the side for friends and relatives. I would like to start a legitimate business now, and I have been debating how to structure it, for tax and legal reasons. Here in Michigan, a sole proprietorship sounds the way to go, however liability is unlimited. Some have suggested going to a LLC mainly for this purpose. However, the LLC seems to be much more complex.

I was thinking a tight contract for clients could eliminate most liability in any case, but I was hoping to get some input from the rest here. I've been coming to DVinfo.Net for about a year now and just reading every one's tips and advice has been very helpful.

Thanks in advance to any who respond.
Robert Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2007, 01:53 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Worcester, Mass USA
Posts: 125
In Mass, an LLC is easy to set up (takes about $1000 to set up, $500 a year to maintain status) - and does exactially what I want it to do - seperate my personal accouts from my business, and gives me some protection if ever someone sued me. It also allows me to charge my business expences as tax writeoffs in most instances (and has helped me get nice returns at tax time!).

Tight contracts can't protect all things (as any good lawyer will tell you - most contracts arn't worth the paper they are printed on) - so in my mind, extra protection is always needed to prevent bad people from coming after you.

I might be a little paranoid, but people are sue happy now - and don't care if they signed a contract with you or not.

Just my 0.03 (I gave myself a raise this year!)

Lakota Den Productions, LLC
Ryan DesRoches is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2007, 03:32 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
For your own peace of mind and financial security contact an attorney who specializes in corporate structure. Since not too many of us here are lawyers any advise we give could be detrimental.
As for a tight service agreement the tighter the better BUT bear in mind that there are ALWAYS loopholes.
To repat myself, contact and sit with an attorney, it will cost a bit but in the long run it will be more than worth it. Every state, every local and the fed government have different regs so your situation is different than mine and mine is different than everyone elses.
Don't chance it-see a lawyer.

Don't mean to sound like I'm nagging but asking here is like asking your mechanic to do major surgery on your body (no offense to anyone but let's face it-we're in the video business not the law business-although my mother, rest her soul, is still probably disappointed about that ;-O)

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