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Well as for the specific things you asked, an LLC would make you and your company seperate entities. So, if your business got sued, you would not be personally liable. There are, however, additional expenses and things you need to do to set it up. If you are the sole owner of the company and have no “employees” you can set it up as a sole proprietorship which means you are the business. When you do taxes, any business income is listed the same as your personal income and you can still write off equipment and other related expenses. If you have employees or a partner, you will need to set up an LLC (or LLP) or another type of corporation (LLCs are the cheapest). Or just if you want the security of being separate from your company. Either way, you can operate under a business name by registering that name with the state department of revenue (in my state it costs $8 and takes about 2 mins.) That way you legally own that name. If you plan to just use your name or “‘yourname’ videography”, in most states (maybe all) you don’t need to register the name since it is already yours.
Make sure you keep good records and get a tax/accounting person if you do not know the laws. Also, make sure your taxes are in order and that you claim all your income. Being “self-employed” can be a red flag for a tax audit.
As for insurance, there are definite advantages and without it you can be asking for trouble. Check with a local insurance broker that deals with multiple insurance companies (not like State Farm etc.) to find out what coverage you can get or need. As an ex-insurance person, I can tell you to check with at least 2 brokers to be sure you’re not getting jerked around. If you want to spend some time doing your own research, call around to the insurance companies directly. It may save you money over using a broker (but not always). As far as rates, it varies ALOT by state so check with them.
Let me/us know if you have other questions and welcome to the good life!
Oh yeah, make sure you have everything in writing with your clients! Get or write a contract that lists specifics without insulting the client. You are welcome to use mine as a guide if you want ideas. (Its on my website.)