Newbie looking for company start up advise

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    • #44557
      video geek86

      Hi All,

      I am new to this forum and have been reading through a lot of the posts on here and have learned a lot.Throughmy question is that I am trying to start my own productioncompanyand am looking for a name for the company. I amtryingto make sure that the name is not copyrighted. So where would I go for that? Also looking for any advise that anyone can offer about starting up a business. I have a few years of experience just doing videos on the side but am looking to getting paid and getting more clients.

    • #186576

      Where are you located?

      Here in Florida, you can research company names online (state web site) and register your company name as a fictitious name (DBA – Doing Business As) which will get you the paperwork needed to open a business checking account under that name. You can the go to the IRS website and file for a EIN (Employer Identification Number) which you can associate with the company which is what you should use to pay your payroll & estimated taxes with.

      As for my real advice – Get an accountant, or better yet an attorney, who specializes in setting up businesses.

    • #186577
      video geek86

      I am located in Cleveland, Ohio

    • #186578
      Luis Maymi Lopez

      I have my own corporation called “Xeneuxe” and I must say that creating a company requires A LOT of documents, papers to fill and a good amount of money to spend in lawyers, accountants and many other things. Before you start you’re production company consider what is going to be about and exactly what you need. Birdcat mentioned a DBA company, which is all right if you will be recording weddings, birthdays and so on, but if you are looking to make larger projects in which you will employ many people, a DBA may not be the best choice. For example, if you hire someone to operate lights and that person get injured he/she can sue you’re DBA company, basically demanding you’re own persona. For example, if this happens to me as a DBA the person will sue Luis O Maym as responsible, so I have to pay for any medical treatments. In a corporation is not the same because people will sue the corporation (a legal entity) and the corporation will respond with state insurance. In my case it cost me a $99 and it covers any accident in the video production.

      This is just one of the gazillions things you need to know about making a company. The single most important thing before starting a company is knowing exactly what is going to be about and how you’re going to make money. Since you’re interested in making a production company I recommend starting out (believe it or not) with photo montages. This are rather easy to do and can help you get good income to start out. Luckily one of Videomaker moderators (Earl) wrote a book called Make Money Marketing & Producing Photo Montages: The Complete Guide. This book will help you kick start your business and get your name out. Having a business is looking for new opportunities to make income and to continuing moving forward without stop.

      NOTE: I’m not an attorney or a business consultant. The advise I gave in this post is from my personal business experience. Always consult a certified attorney, accountant and so on when setting up a business.

    • #186579

      video geek86, in Missouri we also have the fictitous name proceedure. You can check if the name you are considering is available. Your state may be similar. I can also recommend Earl’s book for montage work. It is a good source for information about the business of video as well as making montages. Good Luck. 

    • #186580

      Luis is very correct – For purposes of protecting yourself from any sort of liability, a corporation is the way to go. Just be aware there are certain rules you must follow, and certain costs you don’t get with a limited partnership or sole proprietorship.

      I had a full C corporation (as opposed to sub S) back in the 80’s for my consulting business. We had a couple of really good (on paper) years. Cash flow was an issue however – I was getting paid by clients on a 90 day net, which was standard practice at the time – However, I was paying subcontractors on a 30 day net – which was also standard practice at the time. Anyway, we had a great month – in excess of six figures but after paying all the subs plus the regular monthly bills, I had less than $20 left to pay my salary! To add insult to injury, the accountant told me I had to loan the company enough money to pay me and then repay the loan when cash flow caught up – The legal issues (along with personnel issues) got so egregious, I just closed up shop after 11 years.

      As I said in a prior post, TALK TO A LAWYER WHO DOES THIS BEFORE YOU JUMP (or at least a CPA). There are many hidden costs – plus the plain old cost of doing business (like printing, phone, office equipment, commercial checking account, etc…) so make sure you have income producing gigs lined up before you go down this road.

    • #186581

      As I have posted before, most times those just starting out in business seem to put the cart before the horse. Yes, it is important to have a name and identify what legal entity the business will become (C Corp, S, LLC, Partnership Sole proprietor) but all of this and much more should take place long before you ever start it should be included in a detailed business plan. Your business plan amongst other things should contain a mission statement, a vision of what the business will become and a set of goals. The plan should include how you plan to finance your new business, how you intend to market to and gain new customers, who the key company individuals are and their roles, what type of business you intend to partake in, cash flow estimates, 5 year revenue plan estimates, what the legal identity of the business will be, and much more. If you do not have a plan how do you know where you are going or what you are doing with your business. Most business without a business plan suffer greatly right from the start, some fail to even get off the ground and many fail in the first year or two. The scenario goes like this: You get a big job; you believe you can make a go of it as a business based on the results of the big job, you finish the big job and the well dries up where are the customers knocking down my door? You failed to get any new business in the pipeline because there was no plan to do so. Once you have a plan many things become very clear. Some develop their plan and realize the business idea they had would not work, others realize they need more seedcapital money than they thought, and others realize its a good plan and idea but that they have to keep their day job until they get it up and running generating revenue. There are many good books on the market that provide guidance. One book I just read is by Dave Ramsey called EntreLeadership. Another author to check out is Jeffrey Gitomer his little red and little black books should be mandatory reading for those just starting out in business (the little red book covers sales and the little black book covers making connections).

      Starting and owning your own business is hard work dont let anyone tell you differently. There is a great deal of blood, sweat and tears you will pour into it. With that said write your business idea down make sure this is the direction you want to take. If it is then go for it, make it happen but whatever you do make sure you have a plan to get your business to where you want it to be otherwise find something else to do and keep your video work as a hobby.

      Note: I have 35 plus years of business experience. Some of my business of been great successes others have failed in dramatic style but all of my business endeavors have started with a plan.

    • #186582

      If you market, you will make it! Earl Chessher. After all is said and done as per much of the excellent advice given here, once you have a product/products and/or service/services … if you market, you will make it! I end virtually all my video business & marketing blog articles with this, because it’s true.

      I’ve tested it and enjoyed new, renewable and referral/repeat business, failed to implement it and paid the consequences in lost revenues. For nearly 30 years, I’ve found marketing to be the key element of successful business.

      Thanks, guys, for the positive nods on my video sales and marketing books on funeral & memorial production and photo montage production. You made me smile.

    • #186583


      The other members have dropped some good advice so I won’t rehash. Here’s an article I wrote here @ VM on the subject. It’s basic, but it’s the exact path I and just about everyone still in business followed….

      Starting a Video Production Company

    • #213115

      During the time I started I business I have several thoughts and plans in mind how my business will works best beyond my expectation.. That I thought I know it all. Good that I was referred to Alexandra Watkins (here she is ) first, and that gives me proper business start up ideas which I eventually use and manage it towards my current business success. Starting a business have their own special needs to work the way you want it and become more profitable. By the way, you should also look at this site just to make sure you have better understanding on what are most important for business start up.

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