3 Reasons why you should get your Business License?
This may seem like a no brainer to some but to others its a legitimate question. One that I had myself when first starting out. Although it can be controversial it is an easy question to answer but no doubt its actually a very good question.
Firstly the simplest question that is usually asked is should I get a business licence to take pictures. The short answer is YES. Yes you should get a business license for your photography business and yes I also understand your reservation as to why you may not want to get one. Lets take a look at the reasons.
#1 – The Law Requires it
Ok yes I know you probably only shoot on the weekend so your part time at best so why would you need a licence?
This is often the biggest reason why person would ask if they should get a business license, especially here in the Bahamas. The Bahamas photography scene is loaded with intro level photographers looking to make a fast dollar and give them a leg up in life, even if its just for a short period of time.
I get it… its not a big deal and its not your main source of income. So why get a business license? Besides you probably only shoot on the weekends and not each weekend so why bother?
Well its actually an easy answer and its…
…because the law requires it.
The business at of 2010 part 1, section 2 subsection 1 clearly states
No person shall carry on a business within the Bahamas without the grant of a licence duly issued to him in accordance with the requirements of this Act
In case your are not sure what a “BUSINESS” is. The act gives this definition.
Business – includes a profession, calling, vocation, occupation, trade, manufacture or undertaking of any kind, an adventure or concern in the nature of trade, for the purpose of creating a turnover
and to further clarify what “TURNOVER” means because I know your are wondering.
Turnover – means the total revenues in money or money’s worth accruing to a person for his own use and benefit from his business activities within The Bahamas during the preceding year or any part thereof or in such other accounting period as the Secretary may allow, including all cash, credit sales and commissions without any deductions whatsoever.
You can download the Business Act below
There you have it the full legal reason why you should have a business license. If your not sure what all that jargon means, to simplify it
Any thing that you do that you are paid money for and you use that money to benefit yourself then you should have a business licence under the Business Licence Act 2010 of the Bahamas.
#2 – It shows Professionalism
Having a business licence can show that you are a legitimate business and you come to do business. Clients take you more serious because you have taken the time to get registered with your countries government.
Another part of this is that your potential clients will have the realization that you pay business taxes or that you have overhead expenses and thus many will respect your pricing with out asking the age old sarcastic question. ‘why you charge all a dat’
In a market that is overly saturated with weekend fly by night picture takers you have to begin to separate yourself from them and separate yourself from that market. Having a business license is one way to ensure that you begin the process of becoming a serious photographer with a serious photography business, even if you only shoot on the weekends.
Becoming Legal, as I call it, is one way you can level up your photography business game to show your potential clients that you are serious and that you can be trusted. Its like going to a website for the first time and seeing that seal of approval stating “TRUSTED SITE certified secure” if you haven’t noticed as yet its the trust seal to the bottom right of this website.
Again I cant stress how potential clients find my website and see that seal or see other security measures in place and also during our conversation and on my invoices I throw in my business licence trade number and they get it. This guy don’t play around… he means business.
The biggest part of you being professional is in wedding photography. The more a couple pays for their wedding the more security they look for. This isn’t always true but again if you put it out there that you are legal along with contracts and good advertising images there is no reason a person will feel uncomfortable contacting you.
#3 – Its FREE
Yes you heard me, getting a business licence at the time of this blog in 2020. Business licenses for business under the $100,000.00 revenue are all FREE.
There was a time when to get a business licence you had to pay a fee of $150.00 each year. That became a deterrent to many people because they figured, hey when I begin to make some money, then I can get the business licence however the problem was that after making a few bucks on the side you tend to like having your whole payment and sooner or later forget or refuse to get a licence.
What also makes it so much easier is that you can apply for your business name and your license online. It sounds and may seem difficult the first time doing it but all it takes is some time to read and follow instructions.
Many of the documents you require you should have already. Items such as your passport, drivers license and national insurance number. Seriously its that simple.
Watch the video below for instructions on applying for your business licence.
You can visit Inland revenue website to apply for your business license by clicking this link. APPLY NOW
As an added bonus to getting your business license for your photography business. You will take your business more seriously. Yes thats right, its a weird thing that happens. Usually when you spend money on something your tend to cherish it more. Although a business licence is free you will want to remain in good standing by renewing your licence each year. This means you are more likely to take yourself a bit more serious if you have a reason to do it.
Its a mental thing that I cant explain in this blog but it helps keep you feeling like you have something to loose. By loosing your business licence the one thing you have that makes you legit most people feel as if they become failures.
Instead of going that route I’ve found that when a beginner gets their business license as soon as possible and have to maintain it along with other business necessities they tend to stick around longer than those who never take that one step.
I hope that this helped you in making the decision to get your business license and become legally legit. If you have any other question that you would like to ask or just something you always wondered about, send me an email with your query. I’m always happy to assist.