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Obviously the topic question reveals that I am brand new at this and need guidance for the legal side of things. I have been providing a business website with 500 word articles for 2 years with success. Our only agreement was established by email, she publishes and pays me for everything I send her.
Now I want several clients like her, but does that require a business license or legal fee to call myself a Freelance Writer and offer my services online?
I just created an official writer website HERE. But have no clue how I will respond to the legal side of any inquiries.
Thank you so much for any advice, I am excited to find this great resource!
February 11, 2010
It depends where you live. In the U.S. for example, when you work as a freelancer you own a business that operates under your name. And unless you choose to register under another business structure, you'll automatically operate a sole proprietorship.
Whether or not you need to file a formal registration would then depend on which state you live in. For example, in my state you only have to formally register with the state if you need a specific license -- like a sales tax license to sell products in addition to your services. There are also professional licenses that require registration, but they wouldn't apply to most writers. An exception would be if you want to maintain a professional license (like being a CPA) because you want the added credibility behind your writing.
The best thing to do is to look at your state's or country's rules on business registrations. Some require all to register. Others won't.
February 11, 2010
I would check with CA's department of state or department of revenue then (or whatever they call them there -- that can vary between states too). If you live in a smaller town, they probably don't require any specific kind of registration (other than maybe getting a permit for signs or something, but more freelancers won't need that). If you live in a larger city, there might also be a local registration. But most of what you do will likely go through the state.
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