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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Christine M. Bossie

member since: 4/22/2008
 

Do I Need a License?


Do I need a license if my photography business is on location only? I dont have a studio but someday I would like one. Do I need one now?

4/22/2008 7:59:51 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  It depends on the state, county and city where you live. In most places in the U.S., chances are yes, you do. While it's a way for government entities to generate additional income, it's also another way for them to protect the citizens.
Even if you don't have a storefront or studio, your home address becomes your business address, which may open a separate can of worms, again depending on where you live. Oh, and btw, if you're required to have one and don't and get popped for, say, shooting in public without a permit, the fines and back tax assessments can be considerable.
Before you do this, I strongly suggest you talk to someone - whether a business consultant, accountant, or local lawyer - to find out the requirements you need to meet before hanging out your own shingle. That would include county and municipal fees, taxation and insurance requirements. It'd be consulting fees well spent.
take it light.
Mark

4/22/2008 8:27:12 PM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
 
Mañana, Christine, mañana.

4/22/2008 10:45:09 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Susan
Susan's Gallery

member since: 3/22/2004
  Hi Christine, most areas have a small business administration that provides lots of resources that are tailored for where you live. They're usually not expensive and you can often get assistance as a small business. Also check your community college for cheap resources. Best of luck!!

4/29/2008 5:59:27 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  I have just read Mark F response. I am amazed at the stated "restrictions" on licensing etc in the USA (I assume it's in the US). I am form Australia. Please tell me more about what you can and cannot do as a Photographer in America... eg: shooting in public without a permit sounds incredibly like a "police state".

4/29/2008 5:56:52 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Susan
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member since: 3/22/2004
  Roy, I live in the US and there are no blanket restrictions to "shooting in public." A permit is not required for me to go out with my camera and shoot whatever I want in public. I'm not sure what Mark is referring to.

The only thing I can think of would be if you had a photo shoot (for business) in a public place you might have to have a permit? This might be likely if you were blocking a normally public space, like a road or building? Since this is just a hobby for me, I'm taking a wild guess :)

Otherwise, if you are operating a business you need a license, which is a simple process. But if you were found to be earning income from a business without a license, which probably means you're not paying taxes on that income either, then yep, your gonna get fined as well as owe back taxes and such.

4/30/2008 6:38:48 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  How can this be proven or policed in the US? Some amateur photographers may only have sales 2 or 3 times a year - and they may be flukes, or friends weddings etc. or a friend of a friend liking a picture of his house or dog (etc) and is willing to pay for it. How can any government body police such a system with "licensing".
Nobody needs a licence in Australia to operate any business. They ask only that you "register" your business name if it is a "made-up name" like JKR Phantom Photos etc. If, on the other hand, you operate your business as your "own name" (eg: John Smith) then you do not even need to register it. You just operate and off you go. You must however show "all incomes" on your end of year Tax returns. We have a tax called GST (Goods and Services Tax) which is 10% added onto the bottom line of an Invoice. If your business earns less than say $50,000 a year you don't need to register for GST purposes (you just don't charge it).
What would happen in the US if you were an "amateur photographer" and by chance took some nice shots of say a local football game... and 2 of the parents wanted 2 shots each. Surely this would hardly constitute being called a "pro" (2 sales for the year - big deal). Would you have to register this transaction????

4/30/2008 7:20:20 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  More and more metropolitan cities, in response to 9-11 and all the homeland security crap, are imposing more and more restrictions on photography. In addition, cops in large cities are using photography as a pretext to stop and ID the persons shooting. If they determine you're on a commercial shoot and the city has permitting rules then they ask for permits. A permit is pretty cheap but requires that you show a business license AND in most cities I've ever worked in here, also requires you to post a surety bond naming the city as the insured. This protects them from liability if someone gets hurt on a public property like a park. If you don't have one, the cops can shut you down and cite you which requires a court appearance and demonstrates you took remedial steps to register.

Insofar as I know, you don't need to register your business name in order to start your business IF and only IF you're doing business under your own name, i.e., Mark Feldstein, Photojournalist. BUT you still need the business license in California, New York and Illinois and I believe Washington state as well, if that's where you reside.

State and local (municipal) agencies here in the U.S. actively communicate with each other as does the IRS with state taxation agencies. If you take out a business license, the city notifies the county tax assessor, the tax assessor notifies the fire inspector and building department, the building department notifies the some other agency and ad infinitim.

The IRS has minimum taxation requirements as well, however you can take advantage of the deductions available for small businesses and reasonable and necessary expenses. BUT if you meet the minimum income requirements, from any source, then you have to file. That's pretty straightforward. How you file (what form your business takes) is up to you and your accountant.

In the U.S. everyone wants a piece of the financial pie or an opportunity to justify what it is they do for your tax dollars at work. I think I'm going to pack it up and move to Melbourne. I understand great medical care there as well, eh Roy?
M.

4/30/2008 8:57:10 AM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Susan
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member since: 3/22/2004
  Gosh Mark, you make it sound awful! lol

In Maryland, if you're going to start a legit business (i.e., report income, losses, pay tax, etc.) you have to have the license. And Roy, you then have to file a return annually. That's how they keep track.

That was why I recommended the SBA. They'll typically give you all the info you need for your area for free. I took a class with them on starting your own biz and it was only $50. A license is 180.00 and if I only made a few sales Roy, all my expenses could be written off as a loss (including new equipment!). If I have a home biz, then getting the license is also beneficial, as I could "write off" a portion of my home expenses as well. For taxes, this is often an advantageous route.

Roy, I believe that your examples are incidental type income. That is, selling something that already belongs to you, versus contracting with an individual or business to produce a service or goods. The US Govt, scary as they may be, isn't going to come after the first type :) By the same token, that first type of person can't write off their expenses, equipment, losses and so on.

Sounds like Australia doesn't have an income or property tax? The GST sounds like our Sales and Use Tax. But for sure, they all (govt's) get you one way or another...lol :)

4/30/2008 10:26:42 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Even better than the SBA which is a governmental agency off the Department of Commerce is SCORE. Service Corps of Retired Executives. They generally work without charge, frequently offer convenient classes in various subjects from management to accounting to marketing, AND some of their members are glad to work 1 on 1 with small business owners to help them do things like formulate business plans and other strategies.

Until this administration gets dumped in November and the country breathes a collective sigh of relief, yes Susan, it IS awful. You might be interested in seeing a movie called "V for Vendetta" with John Hurt.
M.

4/30/2008 12:29:48 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  Gee, it sounds so complex in the US. We too have concerns since 911 but not to that level of paranoia. Those licensing fees (and all the rest) would nullify any small income your average "amateur" would receive from any "friend's wedding pics". Hardly worth it overall.. and I thought the US was the land of the "free" and encouraged small business!!! (boy was I wrong).
As for claiming equipment, expenses etc... we too can do that, providing we show some genuine attempt at making money from the stated business (in this case Photography). In effect one could advertise, set-up business, buy equipment etc etc etc.... then not make one brazzoo ... but at the end of the year claim it all off one's normal income (presuming you had a steady daytime job that is). And yes Susan.. we also have Income Tax, Provisional Tax (when employing people above a a certain amount) and other general taxes.

4/30/2008 10:17:31 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  This one extra thought.... any intended terrorist could easily conceal his camera and take whatever shots he needed (cameras are getting so small these days, especially video cameras).
Seeing your average "amateur" on a street carrying some massive Canon F1 with monstrous white telefoto lens would hardly be considered as taking "covert photographs".
Who is missing out here.... not the bad guy but the honest average guy (per usual).
I myself was stopped and questioned by local police because I was out shooting in a quiet side street ... a Road Sign (I was up a ladder 12 inches away from the street sign at the time trying to get a super wide shot of the sign and the street, if you know what I mean).
The police were there in a flash, prancing around like they do, a thousand questions, some semi-accusing me of being a paedofile or such.
On the other hand, if I was a real bad guy (which I ain't) nobody would have been the wiser if I had a concealed pocket or say a hat camera.
Aren't some of the laws crazy??????

4/30/2008 10:47:58 PM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Susan
Susan's Gallery

member since: 3/22/2004
  Yes Mark, I hadn't even thought of SCORE but what a great resource!

Interesting discussion and events that happened to you Roy and I'm sure, plenty of others as well. I hadn't even thought about the pedophile aspect. Geez, if you were shooting anywhere near a school or playground you would also certainly be suspect these days.

All good info to keep tucked away, I suppose. I wouldn't change my habits but it's probably better to be as aware as you can be in any situation.

Mark, thanks for the movie recommend. I'm off to Netflix to see if they have it. Then I gotta go take some pictures..lol :)

5/1/2008 6:49:18 AM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  You only need a license if you are shooting from your car and you are the driver. LOL


I got my business license for in 2000 = $80,2003 = $125 and 2006 =$190 (one time fee each). I was allowed a tax break for 3 years. If my company did not make any money after that it would be considered a hobby. So every 3 years I started with a new business name and haven't paid anyhting to uncle sammy so far. Keep it simple, keep all bills and payments in order and take cash when the party agrees (do not put this money in the bank!) You can always cut a deal for cash for your alreday inflated price and there is no contract (paper trail). When I get close to making a profit for the year (on my paper trail) I upgrade my equipment in December to bring about a minus.

About shooting in public. I have been asked to leave a couple of properties downtown by security. If you've got your pelican box with you, you might raise an eyebrow. I just carry a reflector and few cameras with me and if asked, I just say I'm shooting some friends from my Church. A good thing my buddy has for shooting in public is a student photography badge from NYIP. Amatuers don't get bothered as much is his theory.


You should have license if you are going to have a paper trail and you should get a permit if your production looks commercial.

5/1/2008 7:34:31 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Roy mentioned earlier: "We too have concerns since 911 but not to that level of paranoia".

IMO, the current regime in this country, (I mean that term deliberately), is comprised of a bunch of fear-mongers that would rather bully the people here with fear or manipulation of facts of one thing or another, WMD, terrorism, etc. instead of instead of governing by wisdom and reason. Bush has 264 days left until the new pres. is sworn in. Maybe the new person can start working to get this country back on some kind of reasonable track and start rebuilding the damage this administration has done here and throughout the world.

In the meantime, the old expression: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone really ISN'T out to get you", comes to mind.
And remember too, government should be afraid of the people, not the other way around.

Yep Susan, get the flick. It's great. Probably available in Australia as well. And if you do, please drop me a note and let me know what you think.
Be well guys.
Mark

5/1/2008 10:27:40 AM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  "Bush has 264 days left until the new pres. is sworn in. Maybe the new person can start working to get this country back on some kind of reasonable track and start rebuilding the damage this administration has done here and throughout the world."

Good thing Bush works alone, so he can take all the blame. Maybe the terrorist can rebuild the administration. They're pretty good with the demolition. Last time I checked, the droids weren't working for the government anymore. Next your going to warn us about global warming and how we should get rid of the valcanos and cows.

Dream Lightly

5/1/2008 11:53:40 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Hey Anon Carol! And you don't think Cheney and Rove and Libby and all their oil company and Haliburton cronies had a hand in this deal? Guess we know which party you're registered with eh? LOL !! Remember Carol, "Fear is the beginning of wisdom". Be afraid...be very afraid.

Speaking of global warming...
Mark
==================================
Next soap boxes scheduled to leave at 5:30 and 9 P.M. PDT (Pacific Democratic Time :>).

5/1/2008 4:13:24 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com

member since: 12/13/2005
  I remember practicing some panning shots at an empty carousel when some children decided to ride it so I quit shooting, grabbed a fruit juice and waited for them to finish their ride. That didn't stop a mother from calling security. I understood her concern but she could have come and asked me 1st and I would have shown her the images I had taken did not have any children in them. Luckily I had spoken to the security guard earlier and he knew I was on the level and I did show him the images I had taken.
Like Roy said, if I was really a pedofile I wouldn't have been set up with a tripod and a bag of lenses laying on the floor but in these days of post 911, you have to be so careful shooting in public. Big lesson learned that day..

Mark & I agree on our political views. My 1st thought when Bush was elected was - Now I will have to pay attention again. (I kinda sluffed off when Clinton was in office. I just figured he would play with his interns and bumble along with no real problems.) I knew Bush's long list of failures & corrupt dealings when I lived in Texas while he was governor. Its kinda funny that most Texans never really thought Bush would ever amount to anything much less be governor and no way he would be president. He was just a rich party kid that had no responsibilities & screwed up everything he ever attempted. (see: Harkin Industries). I guess his daddy promised him he would get to be president one day. He couldn't have done it without a long list of corrupt criminals like Rove, Cheney, Citibank, General Dynamics, Halliburton, Saudi Bin Laden Group, Carlyle Group, Enron & of course Diebold to help him steal the election.
Its embarrasing to have such a pathetic government. I think there will be a huge celebration the day Bush leaves office.
OK Mark, you can have the soapbox back...

5/1/2008 5:08:52 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  No No Carlton !!! You're doing great !!! Keep up the good work and always "question authority". Had we ALL done that in 2000, me included, we might not be in this mess right now. There's an HBO special starring Kevin Spacey on May 25th about this very problem. The previews are pretty interesting.

We now return control of your television sets.
M.
=============================
I luff dis place. Where else can you get so much variety for so little. Is it true political commentary and dissent has merged to form dissentary? Whaddya think?

5/1/2008 6:32:36 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  My... this has become "speaker's corner". OK I suppose because good commentary is better than useless waffle. I am in Australia and am probably not as "in touch" with all this as you local Americans (though world news does carry lots of information).
Generally speaking the image of Bush (and America) has been tarnished somewhat whilst Bush has been in office. He was never really considered to be an "appropriate" President in the first place (much like Ronald Reagan's image).
I am always confused with US politics as who is Republican and Democrat etc etc. Does it matter in the end. A good President will do the right thing regardless of party (one would expect that is).
My thoughts about the Bush administration (in particular) can't help but look at "the US war machine" (and all the back room cronies who make lots of money from it all... but forget about lost lives).
Not wishing to dig up any more controversy .... but didn't Lyndon Johnson sign an escalation of the Vietnam War less than 24 hours after Kennedy was shot (he was still warm in his coffin). Is this any indication of who is running the place.... the moneymakers!!!!!
Is this all too much and should we get back to "photography" ????

5/1/2008 7:37:23 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com

member since: 12/13/2005
  Yes Roy, The snow has finally thawed at some of our favorite camping places and I am going out with my photographer/camping friends this weekend to shoot whatever critters & flowers we happen across. So, I wont have to worry about about over-protective mothers, only over-protective bears (which are worse) - Yikes !!!

5/1/2008 7:58:38 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  You're back to Photography.... great. Politics can be all-consuming can't it? As for over-protective mothers... well what about over protective nobody's...
I was in a large public carpark some years ago (pre 911) with lots of people around and I was taking quick close-up snaps/photos of cars in general for a motor advertising job I was designing (ie: wheels, boots, badges - anything to do with cars, no people in them whatsoever).
I was approached by a man and his wife who demanded to know what I was "doing". I informed them I was doing a project and which was no business of theirs (are they the secret police?). They were astounded at my reaction... as if I am supposed to tell them whatever they asked. Who the hell were they to demand anything. They soon took off in disbelief and I continued.
I realise it may have looked a bit strange, but I was carrying a fair amount of photo stuff and all my shots were close-ups of car things.

5/1/2008 8:14:29 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  Actually, it would be interesting to hear of other people's unusual or embarrassing circumstances whilst trying to get some shots. Any takers?

5/1/2008 8:19:09 PM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  Kinda of easy to point fingers when your just watching from the sidelines. Was their ever a great president and if there was, in whose eyes, and was it 100% from all sides? If things went well, could it be they were in the right place at the right time. Its like marriage, you think all is going well and the next thing your losing %50 of your profit and time with your children. Its never perfect and if you think it is, you better start digging, I guarantee you'll find some dirt.

5/2/2008 5:57:00 AM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  Five Best/Worst in US History

Five Best Presidents
Abraham Lincoln
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
George Washington
Theodore Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman

Five Worst Presidents
James Buchanan
Andrew Johnson
Franklin Pierce
Warren G. Harding
William Henry Harrison

Courtesy:CNN


Guess Bush isn't that bad since he didn't make the cut. America hasn't choosen a good one for a long time. Or maybe the good ones like their clean image , so they don't run.

5/2/2008 6:29:32 AM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  Presidential Approval Ratings, Since 1950
Below are the highest and lowest approval ratings ever received by a president in a national opinion poll throughout his presidency.

President Highest Rating Lowest Rating
Harry Truman 87% 23%
Dwight Eisenhower 79% 48%
John F. Kennedy 83% 56%
Lyndon Johnson 79% 35%
Richard Nixon 67% 24%
Gerald Ford 71% 37%
Jimmy Carter 75% 28%
Ronald Reagan 68% 35%
George H.W. Bush 89% 29%
Bill Clinton 73% 37%
George W. Bush 90% 29%

Source: Can West News Service; CNN;

90% not bad Mr.B, if it were possible you could probably get 4 more yrs. People get bored fast in the US though, look at the divorce rate, maybe not.

5/2/2008 6:39:04 AM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Susan
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member since: 3/22/2004
  I agree 110% with Carlton and Mark re: the "village idiot." But I'm going to be neutral for a minute.

Staying informed and participating in the election process, among other things we can do, is hardly watching from the sidelines.

Nothing is perfect nor ever will be. That's why the more people that participate, the more likely it is that our government (or any gov't) will more likely be representative of the people.

Anonymous, I am sad to see that your position seems conducive to apathy. After all, why bother to get involved or have an opinion because no one or nothing is perfect. Too many citizens do and that's a BIG problem. I really hope you don't feel that way and please excuse me if I have gotten the wrong impression.

I honestly think that we DO need to look out for one another. Be glad someone questions you! (unless they are a jerk about it...lol) Understand that they are suspicious, and have every reason to be, about these fanatics that would bomb cars or pubs, or abduct and kill children.

When 911 happened, NO ONE WAS WATCHING THE STORE. I sat for almost 3 days before I heard from my husband, because a plane full of people flew into the building where he works (the Pentagon). As Firefighters, we lived with the horror of watching 343 of our own come down with the twin towers. Among the many stories I heard, was one of my husband's co-worker, whose young son was on the plane that flew into the very building where he worked. How horrible is that?

Sorry to preach for a minute folks. I just think that the paranoia attributed to those who question their own and others safety, has some basis in necessity, and maybe isn't so crazy after all.

Peace out :)

5/2/2008 7:16:56 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  I truly sympathise with everything you said in your story.... however I still believe that too many "safety precautions" (because of 911) will only make things worse (not better).... in other words the bad guys will have won... and will do it again if they see a massive impact on general people's lives because of their terrorist activities.
We all still have to live and if the only way of being able to "live" is with the introduction of a "police state" then it's not worth it.
People's awareness has been lifted for sure (every man and his dog is now looking for anything suspicious in the streets) but we must never lose our freedoms. If so, then we are doomed.
Some will argue we are half way to a police state already with video surveillance everywhere. One can't scratch your bum without it being caught and beamed around the world. I believe London has the most amount of video surveillance per square mile than any city in the world.... and they have also been trying for some years to introduce ID cards for everyone (even Australia tried to introduce one more than 10 years ago... and it was defeated by the public - thank God).
Is it all really worth it .... ?????? A great big NO! Moderation is the key.

5/2/2008 7:34:15 AM

 
Susan M. Smith
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Susan
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member since: 3/22/2004
  Oh I agree Roy, it certainly can be over-reactive, especially if we lose our freedom and quality of life. That would equal a success on the bad guys side that I wouldn't want to see happen.

I didn't know that about all the cameras in London but I'm not surprised. I certainly thought of the UK in terms of so many terrorist bombings. Guess they also watch a lot of video that's pretty interesting...like bum scratching...lol.

5/2/2008 8:27:58 AM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  I understand people are worried. But after time people forget and terrorist can wait it out. Remember it is an honor to kill in the name of their god so they don't care about anybody. They'll find a way around it and strike again. I'm actualy glad that Bush came along, he maybe hard headed, but he's got the terrorist running for the hills. Got to keep them busy, so instead of planning their next attack, they are looking for their next hidding place.I am proud to be an American no matter what other countries say. No military officer is out their to kill innocent people, they just get in the way when used by cowardly terrorist for shields. In America we all want a happy ending, other countries want to destroy that. America Bless God

5/2/2008 8:40:00 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  Anon's response above could easily open a can of worms (so to speak). The world is a complicated place, and no one country (or leader) is responsible for all the good (or bad).
One could argue that it is easy for a country (like the US) with a massive arsenal of weapons (some of Mass Destruction type) to call other countries cowards when all they can fight with is either rocks (ie: Palestine) or sneaky terrorism (ie: Al Qaeda or even Iran, etc). It's easy to argue that point when you have a massive army and also the technology to go with it (plus the dollars to back it up).
I asked a friend of mine that what would "he" do if he was living in his own country, was surrounded by tanks of either a minority government (ie: Israel) or the US (in Iraq). Would he not protest on the streets. Would he not want to throw rocks at passing tanks that were enforcing their will on his people? Any normal person would be throwing rocks. Only the whimps would not.
I am not condoning either of the sides, but I think one has to at least "think" of what may be motivating these people to do some of these terrible things. I don't believe they are doing it because they like it... they must have legitimate reasons.... but the media that surrounds us only report what they want to... so we never truly get any reasons for it all. They tell us what fits the agenda of the government of the day.
That old saying... "one country's freedom fight is another country's terrorist". Do any of us really know what is going on in the corridors of power.

5/2/2008 9:03:45 AM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  Well the terrorist have money, so thats not it. The biggest problem is
1. They don't like our freedom
2. Womens rights
3. Our religion
4. Our strength

Theres more but those are the big ones
I lived in Europe for 12 years stationed in Germany (my own choice-what one does for love).I had friends from Afghanistan, Turkey, Russia, Poland, Greece and Germany. They predicted long before 911 that something was stirring in the evil basements of the countries to our east. The Europens are very upfront people even once saying (which kind of shocked me) that Americans are stupid in which I demanded a quick answer as why they thought that way. First they said who in the world hires a new president every four years and that the max term is 8. Its like hiring a new CEO and once they get the hang of the company telling them to step down. Another thing is that our education system is way behind. We can name our 50 states but know nothing about the rest of the world. Also that we think prayer and saying sorry is an eraser for our wrong doings. They think America is all show. Then I asked, well what do you think about me? They said probably since I had lived in Europe so long that I had taking my mask down and spoke how I really felt about things. Our religion teachs and "eye for an eye". Theres is death before you get an eye put out, and you get credit with god.

5/2/2008 10:24:50 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Carol (Anon.) I have to ask you three questions because I'm sure inquiring minds here at BP want to know:

First, aside from confusion, what state are you actually in?

Second; what's in your water supply?

Third: When you say "Our religion teachs and "eye for an eye". Theres is death before you get an eye put out, and you get credit with god" I'd have to ask you which mideastern country you're from and which Al Queda cell are you part of?

And which concept of using fear to manipulate an entire country (or more) don't you get? Terrorist organizations have been around since before WWII, here and elsewhere. If their members want to be here, they will be and are. If for even a second you mistakenly believe that walls will keep them out or airport screening or endless lists then you really are living in a fantasyland.

Oh and BTW, the reason Congress amended the Constitution to reflect two terms in office for the president is to prevent one person or family from gaining too much power and building the kind of monarch here like the English monarch that we freed ourselves from in England in 1776 or the dictatorships your friends in some of the countres you mentioned, live or lived under now or in the recent last half of the 20th century.

As to your presidential popularity poll with CNN, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, even their ultra conservative moderators agree that Bush 43, hands down, is the worst president in history. Gallop recently came out with a poll that likewise named him as the worst pres in history along with NPR, the New York Times and even the Chicago Tribune can't defend the guy anymore. Face it. When you get down to splitting hairs with numbers at 29% and lower, it's pretty pathetic performance any way you report it.

Take it light.
M

5/2/2008 4:14:18 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com

member since: 12/13/2005
  "Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

--Goering at the Nuremberg Trials

5/2/2008 4:40:07 PM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  Typical Pinhead

5/7/2008 2:39:57 AM

 
Chris H. Ludwick

member since: 8/23/2005
  Interesting thread til it turned into politics, anyway back to the subject in regards to needing a license. It may depend alot on where you live as stated, i've never had one nor needed one. I do pay my taxes on the business and also did pay for registering my business name. However the county has finally caught up to me after 8 years in my current business name. It seems they wish to tax me on my equipment which I found odd as I already pay taxes to the Feds & State. Makes me wonder how a small business can survive with all these taxes going on?
Also as stated before I can deduct alot of my home expenses on my taxes because of the business being out of my home.

5/7/2008 9:50:33 AM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  I don't quite understand.... Tax you on your equipment? What does that mean? You paid taxes when you bought the stuff. Do you mean they want to tax you on the "money" that you spent on the equipment as a business expense, and claimed for?

5/7/2008 10:00:35 AM

 
Chris H. Ludwick

member since: 8/23/2005
  No, the way it was explained to me by my tax consultant, is that they want to start taxing me every year about a
1 or 2% based on the current value of my equipment. Just the weirdest thing
i've ever heard a county do, State or Fed I would expect, but the county too??

5/7/2008 2:51:09 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings Chris. Sorry to disappoint you here with a minor political conversation. As to county taxes, if you're in California, they're called "business equipment/property taxes" assessed at about a 2% rate on the value of your equipment each tax year after one declares the present value of their business equipment including cameras, computers, lenses, lighting, supplies gear, etc.

Roy, yes. That's right. You pay sales tax when you buy it, unless it's purchased out-of-state through an outfit that isn't required to pay California sales tax for the "privilege" of doing business here. OTOH, one can deduct sales taxes paid along with county business taxes on both your and federal tax returns.

AND, if we buy supplies, say film and chemistry, we can avoid sales tax by having what's called a
"resale" permit available for businesses through the California State Board of Equalization. BUT you have to collect sales tax and turn it over to the state on the products produced for sale with those items that weren't taxed. I find the easiest way to handle that is avoid the resale deal, pay the sales tax if I buy supplies in California, and then ask the client for reimbursement of the actual cost and sales tax on the film and/or supplies.
Take it light.
Mark
M.

5/7/2008 4:14:24 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  Wow.... so so complicated. It's enough to turn anyone off starting any business at all in the US.

In Australia they used to have a "Sales Tax" system, and it too was very complex. There were many many different rates of Sales Tax depending on what business you were in.

For instance, the printing industry had about 5 rates (ie: 37% on some film and chemistry products for platemaking and such; ??% rate for photography; ??% for actual printing; ??% for graphic design; 20% on general things not covered by above). Some other industries were even worse.

Anyway, about 8 years ago they introduced GST (Gods & Services Tax) at a flat rate of 10% on everything. As usual some people complained, but most of them were idiots who knew nothing about the Sales Tax they were already paying but didn't know!!!).

The 10% flat rate of tax for the printing industry in particular was a godsend. It was marvellous. Prices dropped dramatically overnight.

However it was introduced by a "Liberal Government" (ie: John Howard) and the morons from the opposition "Labour Party" tried to get some "brownie points" out of the whole scenario... saying everything would go "up" (not down).

So what happens now in Australia is this....

(1) You buy your equipment inc GST; (2) You conduct your business and add on 10% GST to all your invoices (flat rate); (3) Either monthly or quarterly you send the GST monies to the Govt - less any GST monies you have paid (ie: GST on equipment or general expenses); (4) At the end of the year you send in your annual Tax Return. Nice and simple?

I think if I lived in the US I would become a "vagrant" (but then you will probably tell me they have tax surprises too).

5/7/2008 8:17:25 PM

 
Nancy 

member since: 10/24/2005
  I have a mobil business. I shoot childrens sports, team pics and action. In my area I'm requierd to be finger printed, have a state license, city business permit and a solicitors permit because as I'm shooting I wear a shirt advertizing my business on the back.
A few parents have asked to see these permits. They want to know that the people taking their childrens pics arn't wanted or have been convicted of anything.

5/7/2008 10:21:28 PM

 
Roy Blinston
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 1/4/2005
  Hi Nancy... Now that's what I call a "police state".

In Australia anybody can photograph teams/sports etc and parents often do. However, for some strange reason parents are never questioned in this regard, only people who "appear" to be non parents (?) or pro's (?) by carrying or using big cameras and pro gear etc.

Because of the increased "perceived" risk of peadofiles etc some parents (or the organiser of the event) may ask or enquire if you are a "pro photographer" (meaning do you have a registered business and address). They may ask for your Business Card or such, but that's about it.

Long live Australia... we're in the land of heaven compared to the US.

The only criteria that I know of in Australia to do with "permits" is for the "Press" (media). They all carry a Press Card.... but I think that applies world wide (?)

5/7/2008 11:13:12 PM

 
Anonymous 

member since: 2/10/2008
  Just a CDL

5/21/2008 2:25:16 AM

 

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