Adorable Pet Photography was planned to be a part-time business venture. It will be a small business designed to meet the needs of its clients and their pet family members. We are currently located in Atlanta, Georgia. Adorable Pet Photography will have a staff of two, with plans to expand to a full-time operation within the next five years. The owner serves as the head photographer, and will require one assistant. Adorable Pet Photography is invested in the community. It will provide pro bono service to the local humane society and funding of awards for local dog and cat specialty shows.
The staff of Adorable Pet Photography understands the value of our client's time and provides flexible schedules and locations for photographic services. We also understand the desire of the client to be satisfied with the value received for the money spent. At Adorable Pet Photography, we accept nothing but the best from ourselves and our suppliers.
2.1 Company Ownership
Adorable Pet Photography is established as a home operated, part-time sole proprietorship. It is the intention of the company to develop sales and broaden the client base so as to become a full-time business. The company will offer a full range of custom portrait packages. Portrait sittings are available in either the well-equipped studio, the comfort of the client's home, or in an outdoor setting.
2.2 Start-up Summary
The founder of Adorable Pet Photography has a long history as a successful photographer. A graduate of the Showcase School in Atlanta, his architectural photographs have been published in magazines such as Atlanta and Southern Living. The founder owns all of his equipment; therefore, no financial outlay is required for photographic equipment. Because Adorable Pet Photography is a home-based business, overhead is low. Funding is provided from various sources: a short-term loan, the founder's savings, and an investment from a friend.
It is the intention of the founder to keep the personal touch in the business and to keep overhead to a minimum, even as the business grows. Both the founder and the investor own homes and have spotless credit ratings.
2.3 Company Locations and Facilities
Adorable Pet Photography is located inside the city limits of Atlanta, Georgia. It is a home-based business, with an area of the lower floor dedicated to client reception, portrait viewing/gallery, office, and a 500 square-foot studio. Clients can elect to have the portrait sitting done in the studio, on location in the client's home, or in an outdoor setting.
Our office is equipped with the latest in business technology: telephone systems, computers, fax machines, email, copiers, printers, and software. The company will maintain a high degree of professionalism by using only the highest-quality photographic equipment and film to produce its portraits.
2.4 Legal Considerations
Adorable Pet Photography will be operated as a sole proprietorship. This creates simplicity since little is required to begin operations: there is minimal paperwork, and no legal counsel is necessary to create set-up documents. Salary for the owner will be withdrawn from the year-end funds, once the business is established and profitable. Taxes will be paid via the personal return of the owner, as personal income tax rates are lower than the corporate rate. Among the disadvantages would be difficulty in obtaining outside financing during start-up; however, the owner already owns a full array of professional photographic equipment and is investing $10,000 from his personal savings, along with another $10,000 from a personal friend. This limits the short-term debt to $12,350 from the owner's Credit Union, for which the business is already pre-approved.
The owner has received an affirmative answer from the Small Business Development Center of Fulton County, Georgia, for obtaining a business license for the company to operate in a residential neighborhood, since noise, traffic, and pollution are not factors to be considered in this type of business.
Two types of insurance will be needed for the company. The owner's current insurance is through State Farm, who offers a full line of insurance coverage. Photographic equipment will be insured for its full value by adding a rider to the existing homeowner's policy. An additional umbrella policy for up to $3 million will be issued to cover liability. Since this is starting as a part-time business, disability, health, and life insurance are already in place through the owner's primary place of employment. As this expands to a full-time business, this coverage will continue in place as part of the owner's retirement benefits. Since this is a small business with only one part-time employee, there will be no benefits package. As the business expands, the issue of benefits will be re-evaluated based on the needs of the qualified staff added to the company.
Copyright is a form of protection for original works that photographers enjoy. It is afforded automatically to any work, immediately on its creation in fixed form, and the copyright on the work normally becomes the property of the creator. Filling out a form and paying the necessary fee to the U.S. Copyright Office does not copyright a work. Copyright is part and parcel of the creation process. There is no requirement to register a copyright, but it is best to do so as a way of claiming a copyright. Registration helps immensely if suit for copyright infringement is necessary. All photographs taken by Adorable Pet Photography will carry proper copyright notice. This notice of copyright will offer protection against a claim of "innocent infringement" on the part of a client. In addition to this information being printed on the back of each photograph, the sales contract will include the same information.
Some clients of Adorable Pet Photography will require copyright release forms; this will primarily involve breeders and pet specialty show organizers who will need to use the photographs for publication.
A one-time consultation with an attorney will be obtained during the start-up process. This consultation will be used to develop necessary forms for the business and provide advice on any further legal considerations needed.