As I contemplate venturing out into the World Wide Web, I’m thinking I should change my business structure from a Sole Proprietorship to an LLC for liability purposes. I’d be interested in hearing what other teachers have done, especially those of you who have web sites.
Since we’re at the start of a new teaching year, I’m pulling questions that have a bit more to do with the business side of running a studio. And I’m really glad that this one wasn’t phrased as a direct question toward me because I don’t think I can offer much input! I started out as a sole proprietorship and have remained that way ever since. At one point, I visited with an accountant to discuss the pros and cons of incorporating. After reviewing my particular situation, neither of us thought it was the best route at the time.
There are certainly risks associated with running a website and I’ve had to deal with legal things I never expected as a result of it! My best advice, though, is to educate yourself. Whether it means setting up a consultation with an attorney or accountant, reading through legal and business books, scouring the internet for helpful resources, or discussing situations with friends who own businesses (or all of the above!), the best thing you can do for yourself and your business is become knowledgeable about laws and policies governing the market. If and when someone does come after you, there’s nothing that beats being able to quickly send a well-written, well-researched, and well-documented response that addresses the concerns or accusations that have been raised.
I know of a few teachers who have incorporated their studios, but most of the ones I know operate as a sole proprietorship. It would be great to hear from others, though, about how they have structured their studios and the reasoning behind it! So, please share: what kind of business entity is your studio?
Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!