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Work/Jobs Talk about the business side of things. Advice, questions, inspiration, and moral support

How Much?

View Poll Results: How much do you charge for restorations?
$10-20/hr 10 8.55%
$20-30/hr 26 22.22%
more 34 29.06%
I charge by the job (how much, and how do you estimate?) 47 40.17%
Voters: 117. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 01-29-2003, 07:01 PM
suz4x4 suz4x4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: New York
Posts: 13
Question Do you Charge tax ?

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone could help me out on this, I am trying to start my own retouch bussiness and wanted to know how to go about the fun part of taxes. Is it considered a service?

I would appreciate any help or suggestions!

Thanks!
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  #32  
Old 01-29-2003, 07:48 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Location: Colorado foothills
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The way it was explained to me when I got my sales tax license is that restoration/retouching is a service, thus not subject to sales tax (at least in the state of Colorado). Also, if I include one print as part of my services, then it's included in the service and not taxed. However, if a client offers more prints than are included in my service, those prints are taxable.

For the prints that are taxable, then you have to determine where the client lives in relation to your taxing "district". For example, my business is outside city limits, so I don't have to collect city sales tax - I only collect county and state sales tax, as long as the client also lives in my county. If I had a client from outside of my county, but still within the state, then I would only collect state tax, since that's the only "base" that we have in common. Of course, that means if a client lives out of state, I do not collect any sales tax at all (assuming I mail the prints to the other state. If an out-of-state client were to pick up the prints at my business for some reason, then I would be required to collect sales tax.

Have I made that clear as mud?? You should check with your own state laws as they are most likely different in every state.

Jeanie
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  #33  
Old 01-30-2003, 01:15 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Grand Junction CO USA
Posts: 683
suz4x4
In all fairness, the very last place you want to ask a question about taxes is here on a site devoted to retouching.
The tax laws vary so much from state to state, county to county, city to city etc that you really need to check with whatever authorities exist in your locality.
Most of the tax people I have delt with have one thing in common, they want that tax money (their wages come out of it) and they will be more than glad to tell you all about how to go about collecting whatever taxes you are supposed to. I am sure that they will assist you in getting all the necessary forms, permits or whatever it takes to make sure you are a "legal" business in your area. And they will collect whatever fees are necessary for you to open your doors!
I have always just gone in (or phoned) and started with the line "I am thinking of opening a business, what do I need to do?" Notice that I did not imply that I was already doing business, just thinking about doing it! That is usually an important point.
Anyway, goodluck and don't let the tax folks scare you off, but at the same time don't put your foot in the water where the sharks live........
Mike
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  #34  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:35 AM
suz4x4 suz4x4 is offline
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Location: New York
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taxes

Jeaniesa & Mike,


I will check it out even further. I think NY might be the same as colorado. I will try not to let it all scare me off! It is nice to know how other people are handling things and that your not too far off! ( well maybe I'm alittle off- in what direction is to be determined .)

Thanks for your help I appreciate it!


Sue
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  #35  
Old 01-30-2003, 12:28 PM
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Jim Conway Jim Conway is offline
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Location: Oregon City, Oregon
Posts: 212
Maybe dumb or lucky?

I haven't posted in some time now but after reading this, I felt that there might be some benefit for the dozens of new readers to know that business is not "universally" bad!

With the accent here on a positive report - I've just closed the books on a great year and it appears right now that my net for January will easily be in excess of $8,500 - thanks in a large part to the usual annual response we get from the Christmas cards that we sent out.

During the past year I've increased my pricing in order to cut a backlog that is still in excess of 3 months and far too much work for this 73 yr. old man! I've raised the small orders for custom printing, media conversions etc. to a minimum order of $39.50 now and for the retouching (the art work end of the business) to $139.50 minimum (not including prints).

For the information of those who do not know me, I've kept no "secrets" to anything in my business and have posted all of the info on my methods, sales, advertising, etc.here long ago. Very little has changed and thanks to Doug, those posts should be fairly easy to find in the archives so no need to repeat any of it here.

Problems - sure - like everybody else I have my share. The changes from traditional to digital has been a pain for me and still is! Given a choice I still have a tendency to revert to the old ways whenever possible and I am still having trouble finding competent help.

STORY TIME! As some of you may know, the Portland market is a highly competitive area - yet this past year a new photo copy and restoration shop opened less than a mile from me! A father-son team that were offering the "price" advantage. Big grand opening and splash in the local papers but out of business in less than three months! Like the car commercials with the extreme sports, you gotta ask , "What were they thinking about?" How could you possibly build public trust in 90 days?

The bottom line is this - you "buy" market share with time and money and anyone that wants to implement a business plan has to know that you cannot increase your market share with a single "feature" and that includes price!! Visualize a scale with benefits on one side, price on the other - and think about how you can tip the balance to benefits to offset any price you set, then how you are going to get THAT story out to the public. Do it and you'll have all the business you can handle simply because there are literally billions of photos that are self destructing every year and only a few thousand people around who know anything at all about how to salvage them.

Jim Conway
Timemark Photo Conservator
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  #36  
Old 01-30-2003, 12:37 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Thanks for the uplifting post Jim!! I for one need all the encouragement I can get right now!

And congrats on your great year!

Jeanie
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  #37  
Old 01-30-2003, 07:26 PM
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KevinBE KevinBE is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lake Charles, LA
Posts: 511
Thanks for your insite Jim. I am trying to begin my business. So far it has been a big eye opener. A lot more to consider that I had planned on. I am going to have to go to my City Hall to get the full information as to what permits and tax licenses I need. I have been unable to glean this information from their Web site or from the State Web site either. I'll have to hunt more agressively for the information.

I'm so glad that I can start small and hopefully grow my business over time. I can't believe that Jim's new competor came and went so fast. They never should have begun a new business if they were unprepared to lose money for at least the first year. But, that happens to a lot of new businesses. I guess that is one reason why the majority of small businesses fail.

Anyway, thanks again guys for the information.
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  #38  
Old 02-02-2003, 07:32 PM
suz4x4 suz4x4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi,


It is definitly an eye opener to try and start your own business.

I did find out that in NY (Long Island) you do have to charge tax, it is considered tangable personal property. it's 8.5%. just one more thing to worry about.
I did not check into any permits or anything else. Should I?????

If anyone has any other tips on starting a business let me know! If I find anything else out I will be sure to post it.

Thanks
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  #39  
Old 02-02-2003, 08:32 PM
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jeaniesa jeaniesa is offline
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Suz,

Just checked to see if there's a Small Business Association in your area - found the NY business "startup kit" here. That should tell you everything you need to know about starting a business in NY!

Jeanie
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  #40  
Old 02-06-2003, 06:05 PM
suz4x4 suz4x4 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: New York
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Hi,

Thank you for the link. I will be sure to check it all out!
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