Understanding Insurance Responsibilities and Liability
the meat and potatoes of the business aspects of this is this is the dry stuff, right? This is the stuff that is the underbelly of businesses. What we're gonna talk about, you already know you like to take food pictures, Jen, you'll be asking yourself, Is this kind of business I want to be involved in? Do I want to do I want to do all these things to? You'll know them now and you'll be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not this level of involvement on the business end is something that you wanna handle, you can handle, you feel comfortable with, or can you get a partner on work with some other people? All of those things. They're all valid in the conversation about how to handle a business because some of the most successful businesses out there as food photographers are pairs. You know that there are couples. I work with my partner. I mean, we clearly need other people in this environment to help us do this work. So it's not unusual to think about that dividing up som...
e of these duties. What are the different ways to get be called the business right. So as individuals, we can all be called sole proprietors right, which is usually the entry level into the way we're going to do business with other people. Now, when you are working as a sole proprietor, you are assuming more personal liability. So you're not given the same protections as somebody who is incorporated on some level, and they're very different levels of this. And if you are interested in forming, uh, let's say an LLC, which is sort of a lower level corporation or something like An S Corp. Which is a higher level corporation, all of these things are things you should consult both your accountant and your lawyer and get set up, and you can find these kind of papers and all the things online resource is and research what they mean. But I would encourage you to do certain things to set yourself apart from other people as well. So by forming a corporation or forming an LLC, you're also indemnifying yourself against, um, lawsuits. You don't want to lose your house. You don't want to lose your personal wealth if something happens. Plus, you also need to have things like um, insurance insurance on your gear and certainly insurance on your sets and that insurance isn't exorbitant in price, you know, you can get $ million of coverage for something like $800 a year. The idea of having a corporation at the highest levels as an independent, um, business. You run the risk of paying taxes twice. You pay tax on the money as business, and then when you issue yourself a salary, you pay money on that. So that is a bit of a complication that you need to be aware off. But there are benefits that override that sometimes like personal in the indemnification from lawsuits and bankruptcy. And all of that because of your business goes under. You don't want to take your whole life with it. And it happens. Businesses fail that sometimes the way it is. Or sometimes you need to close a business and reopen a different business or a smaller business. It's it's all things that you need to be aware of. That workman's comp issue is the 1st 1 on your list. I would say when you leave here, you need to make sure that you are either covering yourself because you don't want to ever be Xed out of a job because you are not prepared as a professional. That's just that's unacceptable. Um, that insurance on your gear and that liability insurance is also really important because, God, man, when you lose a camera, it's just it's just such a huge investment. And speaking of the investment you put into your gear, I would say from a nuts and bolts. Bread and butter, meat and potatoes kind of perspective is When I was a younger photographer, I poured money into my gear because nothing speaks to a client when you're on set than working with good gear, they see it. They understand that you've spent money on it. They understand that you're really on your professional because you've put money into your gear. So it's important to know that. And it's also important to turn around the people who work for you and understand if they're working for you, what their responsibilities are like. 10 99 forms like workman's comp. All of those things are important to know. But if you tell your assistance and you tell your P A's and you tell your producers or anybody who's working for you, you're gonna pay them in 30 days. Payment. 30 days If you have vendors that you use regularly, like proper rental or food services or any of those things, pay those people on time. Because if what happens is you can't rely on those people anymore. Your job's gonna go down the dream. So be really reliable. And lastly, no surprises again speaking to communication. But if you communicate to everyone in the in the arena, whether it be vendors, assistance producers, your agency, anything it all needs to be out on the table. You can't drop surprises on people in business because the last thing they need is a headache. One of the most important things for the clientele that I have experienced in my career is I'm easy to work with. I get it done. I don't complain. I stay positive. I pay people on time and you build a lot of goodwill around that. And then what happens is when things go sideways and eventually they will on a job. You have a lot of goodwill in the bank because you've done all the right things