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If you are passionate about photography, you may be thinking about turning your hobby into a business. Starting a photography business may be a profitable and rewarding career path, but there are several key legal considerations to think about before you start looking for clients. As a photographer, the creativity and expertise you bring to your new business will help you to stand out from the crowd. This article will outline how the legal side of setting up your photography business will work.

What Do I Need to Start a Business?

If you intend to open a photography business, you probably already have the skills required to take great photographs and create an appealing product for your clients. Running a business, however, requires an entirely different skillset.

You should be careful not to underestimate the level of experience you may need to manage a business successfully. The first step to starting your business is deciding whether you want to operate as a:

  • company;
  • partnership; or
  • sole trader.

If you do not already have one, you will then need to get an Australian Business Number (ABN). You should take some time to set out and understand your accounting requirements, including:

  • taxation;
  • budgeting; and
  • recordkeeping.

You will also need to know how to manage administration requirements, budgeting and business plans. Once you set up processes to manage these requirements, the next step will be deciding where you wish to locate your business and the type of insurance this will require. For example, you could:

  • lease a studio;
  • work on location and hire a small office space; or
  • work from home.

Where you run your business from will depend on the type of photography you plan to specialise in and your clients’ preferences. You should consider whether your location will help you to attract new customers or make it harder for clients to access your services.

How Do I Attract New Customers to My Business?

Once you have decided how you will structure and manage your photography business, you will need to think about how you are going to attract customers to your business. This could be done through:

  • online marketing;
  • word of mouth;
  • social networking; or
  • advertising.

Depending on the type of photography you will specialise in, building a social media presence may be an important part of building your brand. You should consider your experience with marketing and social media and decide if you will need to hire some external help.

What Terms and Conditions Do I Need?

Your business’ terms and conditions outline a legal agreement between you and your customer. Your terms and conditions should include:

  • details of the services you are going to provide;
  • the fees you are going to charge; and
  • information relating to the copyright of your photographs and intellectual property.

What Else Do I Need?

As a photographer and the owner of your business, you will have have the best idea of what you can bring to your business in order for it to be successful. However, there are some considerations you may wish to keep in mind.

For example, making sure you develop and maintain a current portfolio of your best work will allow you to showcase your work to potential clients.

You will also need to think about branding. Your brand should be personal, unique and memorable so that it stands out from other photography businesses.

Making sure that you invest in the right equipment for the type of photography you are going to specialise in is also essential. Especially when your photography business is just getting off the ground, you should avoid making unnecessary purchases. On the other hand, however, you should make sure that you have all the props, backdrops and equipment that you will need to offer clients a good service.

Key Takeaways

Starting a photography business may take a lot of work, but it may be a very rewarding decision in the long run. Ensuring that your photography business complies with all legal requirements for setting up a new business in Australia is essential. At this early stage, you should make sure that you create a solid foundation from which to build your client base and do what you love. If you need help setting up your photography business, contact LegalVision’s business lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.


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