Medical & Scientific Writing

How to Start Freelance Writing Business & its Legalities

So, you are at the point of starting your freelance writing business, but you’re unsure of the legalities. Although there is a lot of jargon and some forms to fill out, the process is quite simple and will serve you well in the long run. Even if you want to just hire yourself out for contract work you will still want to take into consideration your own taxes and insurance and maybe create a business separate from yourself.

The best choice for many freelancers is an LLC. This stands for Limited Liability Company. This designation does exactly what it says. It limits the liability of the owner. This is popular for businesses with one owner. Being an LLC does not absolve the owner from any and all responsibility, but it does provide some protection. A court may still find against the owner in cases of fraud or misrepresentation.

Another form of the LLC is the LLP, the Limited Liability Partnership. This is more appropriate for a business with more than one owner. This holds the same protection as the LLC, except that a court may find that one or all of the partners are liable in a given situation. Contact the governing office in your state to discuss your needs and for fee schedules. An LLC designation usually costs less than one hundred dollars, and gives your business professional boundaries.

The next official documentation you will want is an Employer Tax Identification Number. This has the same job as your Social Security Number except that it identifies the individual business, instead of the individual person. Even if you don’t employ anybody, you still need a Tax Identification Number. An EIN (Employee Tax Identification Number) and a TIN (Tax Identification Number) are the same thing. You will use this number when submitting your taxes for your business and claiming your deductions. Contact the Internal Revenue Service office nearest you to obtain your TIN.

The next step is to open your business checking account. If you have a bank already for your personal accounts go to the same bank for your business account. Show them your LLC and open the account in the name of your freelance writing business. You will want to keep accurate records of all your expenses and income. Keep all your bank records and receipts. If you can afford a tax accountant that might be a good idea, but you can also get away with a small bookkeeping program. Just make sure to stay on top of your records.

Finally you may want to see what kind of insurance you could benefit from. Before signing on the dotted line, do some research. Also, check with your local governing agency to make sure there aren’t any other permits you need to keep your business all nice and legal.

It is fun and exciting to start your own business especially when it’s doing something you love. If freelance writing is your passion then go for it. Follow these simple guidelines to keep yourself inline with all the governments you are responsible to and you won’t have any problems. Then you’ll be able to focus on what you like to do, such as writing.



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