Terms and Conditions for starting a graphic design business

If you are thinking on starting your own business you might be wondering how do I do it? Graphic designers certainly aren’t short on creativity, it’s at the heart of the profession. There are other sides of the business that are often not the focus, or the favorite, topics for graphic designers, and the legal side is one of them.

It remains an important aspect of what graphic designers do. Contracts need to be written, copyrights secured, and disputes settled. Handling the legal aspects of doing business has got to be the most dreaded part of freelancing. Here are some legal steps to starting a graphic design business, graphic design firm.

Business License:
Business licenses are permits issued by government agencies that allow individuals or companies to conduct business within the government’s geographical jurisdiction. It is the authorization to start a business issued by the local government. In order to operate your business, you must comply with a wide range of local, state and federal rules. Apply for a business license or pay a city business tax, depending on your state.

If you are using a unique business name (that isn’t your real name) you’ll need to file for a fictitious business name or DBA. It is a legal term used in the United States, meaning that the trade name, or fictitious business name, under which the business or operation is conducted and presented to the world is not the legal name of the legal person (or persons) who actually own it and are responsible for it.

Legal Status Of Your Business:
When you start a new business you need to decide what legal status it will have and carefully consider some of the issues involved, including the tax implications. This fact sheet outlines the main alternatives, which are sole trader, partnership and limited company. As a freelancer, you can use “sole proprietor” status and no legal status filing will be required (this is recommended).