Being a sole proprietor in the state of Georgia

Being me, I decided that if I was going to get into the photography business, I’d go the whole 9 yards. Here are the steps I’ve taken to become recognized as a business (it’s not 100% official, but I’m working towards it!)

  1. Registered to get a free Employer Identification Number with the federal government a.k.a. the IRS. It was an online process and rather painless. I opted to receive a one-time PDF download that contained my EIN number. This number is great because it allows you to do business without putting down your social security number (SSN) every time you do business with a vendor who requires an EIN or Tax Identification Number (TIN).
  2. Registration with the state is surprisingly more painful and I’m not completely clear on what needs to be done to be recognized by the state. I did visit the State Tax website and registered to pay taxes on whatever income (which is not existent at this point) I may earn.
  3. Registration with the county in which you are operational. What you actually need is a trade name application or a “fictitious name” application which allows you to ‘officially’ call yourself “J and J Photos” or in my case, Jane Ullah Photography. Thankfully, my county’s website was much saner than the State of Georgia’s so I have the paperwork and know what I need to get submitted i.e. 1 form indicating your operational business name which costs $30 and apparently, I’ll have to run an advert in the newspaper for 2 weeks which will also cost $$! Overall, I expected that I’d run into these administrative fees so I’m keeping meticulous records and planning on including these expenses on my Schedule C form for the tax year of 2010.
  4. Rented a P.O. Box that will serve as my ‘official’ mailing address to receive correspondence. Mail meant for Jane Ullah Photography (fan me on Facebook!) should be addressed to: Jane Ullah Photography, P.O. Box 943 Athens GA 30603
  5. Designed and ordered business cards for my business! I’m pretty proud of the work I did on my business cards. I heartily recommend that you use which gives you a chance to preview what your card will look like called a “proof” in the PDF file format! I can’t stress how helpful that free feature was and they ship the cards promptly too!

It’s clearly a work in progress, but I look forward to becoming a small business owner/sole employee! Of course, I *still* have my day-job which I like and will be keeping, thank you very much. 🙂

Overall, it’s not as painful as I anticipated, but I’ll surely keep you informed if that viewpoint changes!