Have you been considering joining TPPG but don’t know where to begin in making your business legal? We are here to help! Getting legal sounds scary, but in reality it is actually fairly simple and quick to do. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your business operates legally and ethically.
Sunbiz.org is a great starting resource for starting a business in Florida: http://sunbiz.org/startbus.html
Sales Tax Certificate
The State of Florida requires every business in the state to acquire Sales Tax Certificate from the Department of Revenue (DOR). It is free to apply! Every business must also collect and submit the proper sales tax to the DOR. To begin the application to acquire a sales tax certificate, go to http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/taxes/registration.html, answer a few questions and you are all set!
If you are charging for your sessions without charging sales tax, collecting sales tax, and submitting the sales tax collected to the Department of Revenue (DOR), it is illegal. The DOR conducts periodic audits within the photographic industry in Florida.
Business Tax Certificate
The City of Tallahassee requires anyone operating a business within the city limits to pay the occupational tax and obtain a Business Tax Certificate. You may obtain this by following the directions at the City of Tallahassee site here http://www.talgov.com/treasurer/treasurer-bustaxcert.aspx
Federal Employer ID Number
The Federal Employer Identification Number (or EIN) is provided by the Internal Revenue Service to assist in the reporting of business revenue. An EIN number can be obtained free of charge by filling out the online application at https://sa2.www4.irs.gov/modiein/individual/index.jsp.
Forming Your Business
You have several options when creating your business. You can register as a corporation, an LLC, or as a sole proprietor. Visit http://sunbiz.org/downloads.html for a link to download the forms required for filing.
Fictitious Name Registration
The last step you might consider is Fictitious Name Registration. This is only required if you name your business something other than your own name (ex: PHOTOS BY ME). This can be completed online at www.sunbiz.org. The cost is $50 and it’s good for 5 years. If you are registered with the state as a corporation, you may skip this process.
If you need help with any of this, please contact our membership chair, Kate Bellflower.