Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Truth

The truth isn't always the easiest thing to explain but it does certainly leave a good foundation if nothing else.  This is not the usual style of my blog to admit something that I'd rather not admit but here it goes.

The truth is that I never meant to start a freelancing company.  There.  I said it.

I'm sure you're thinking one of three things.  Either:
1.  Who cares (well you're the one reading this, aren't you)?
2.  Why would you admit that (it goes to the foundation laying...just go with it)?
3.  How did you "accidentally" start a freelancing company?

The third answer is a little more complicated.  I had no intention at all of starting up a company but it more or less ended up being a bit of a necessity.  I have a friend that works with a furniture company who called up in summer 2010 and asked if I would be interested in some freelancing work.  The answer I should have given would have been no, I'm swamped with schoolwork and adjusting to my fabulous new job.  But this is me, little Miss Entrepreneur, so I had to say yes.  Its like I enjoy not having free time or something.  So the first meeting something came up making the meeting relatively unproductive. The second meeting was better until the owner was saying that he would need my EIN.  My who?  Fortunately, I have an acquaintance who is an accountant and was able to inform me all about getting your EIN (also known as a business tax ID number...if you want to know how, just ask) and on my way to deciding between a LLC or a sole proprietorship.  Again...note the dumbfounded stare.  So before I made my choice, I did a bit of research online and basically here's the difference (please note I'm not a lawyer or do I know all the little details...this is simply the blog of a graphic designer):

If you get sued by your customer (let's hope not but just in case)...
...a LLC license (in Maryland at least) will cost about $100 and the suer can only go after your business assets.  Mine are still at a laughable amount, although I'm a big believer of the "better safe than sorry" theory.
...a sole proprietorship costs you nothing but the suer can go after all your belongings...personal or business.

Now there are some instances where you might not need that protection.  I personally prefer it though because while I have an iron clad contract with my clients and am very careful of copyright laws, I don't always know that they will be.  Not everyone is familiar with copyright laws and attributions on images for example, so while I make a best effort to find out the licensing on provided image, nothing is there to stop a client from simply pulling a picture off Google and saying its legit!  Like I said, better safe than sorry.

So that is the story of how Line-ily LLC was born.  Not the most romantic story in the world, however I had always thought about becoming a freelancer on the side of my full time work (I love working with a group of people more than by myself so I will always have a full time job outside of freelancing), I just didn't expect it to fall into my lap so suddenly.  There is obviously a far longer story than this of the start up of Line-ily LLC, but that is another story for another night.

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