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what to do about joint business with husband or single business

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what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by chucklor2 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:14 am

Our whole family is involved in entertainment. My 15 yo daughter face paints with me. My husband, "Safari Charlie," dresses up like he's on safari and does balloons. We both have clown costumes too, but I'm usually the one who gets asked to dress in clown, though not very often. Our 12 yo son does magic and card tricks and is working towards putting together his own clown costume, while our 14 yo son helps with line control and was helping with balloons until my husband's brother started helping with balloons and takes photographs. Our 7 yo daughter is starting to learn face painting, though she has a ways to go and doesn't usually come with us to the different events we do (too hard to keep an eye on her while we are all working).

Until this point, this has been more of a ministry than a business. For the most part, we do it for free at church and charity events, but we do ask for a small amount to cover supplies. My husband and I are now starting to think about pursuing the business angle more, and I need some advice. I am unsure of the laws concerning family businesses. Is it better for my husband and I to each have our own business, or should we have a joint family business? Which is easier? I know there are laws as far as kids working, too. Our 3 youngest kids would probably not be included in the business aspect, but our oldest daughter may want to participate. Is it easier if she is just her own contractor, or should we include her in as kind of an employee? Who would I consult with to find out the rules? We live in the state of NY.

I'm just trying to figure this stuff out now because I always get asked for business cards, and I don't have any. My husband has some for the ballooning that he does, so I send everyone to him. However, I would like to have my own. I just don't know whether to just use my name or come up with a business name or something. We have a busy day tomorrow with 3 different events going on. I could just make up some cards real quick on my computer and print them out here, if I could decide what to put on it!

Thanks.
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by BluAngL83 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:28 am

You need to check with the your county's or city's government center (usually where you pay your property tax to) in regards to your business license. Your business entity is another thing. I'm a sole proprietor, but seeing as you've got a lot going on, it would be best for you to sit down with a business accountant to understand the difference between llc, co, inc, etc.. and the taxes associated with it. This way you can make an informed decision. I personally would have one business uniting you all, like: We Love Entertaining, LLC. We provide face painting, clown and magician shows, balloon twisting, photography and more! We are your one stop shop for LOTS OF FUN!....you know something like that Smile
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by JBax on Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:26 am

Ditto... especially if the business may last beyond you... like a family business often does.
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by chucklor2 on Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:56 pm

Thanks for the advice. I am thinking about doing the family business route. I have to find out the laws and stuff, though. I'll contact the county office and maybe a tax accountant to see what our best option is at this time. Up until now, we have been mostly ministry oriented, not really making much money. We are not at a place where we can pay unemployment or workers comp fees, etc., which I don't think should be mandatory when we are talking about ourselves and our own kids, but I think the government will still say we have to do that. That is what I'm thinking the downfall of a family business might be right now versus sole proprietors.
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by Psalmbook on Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:49 pm

My oldest daughter has been face painting w/ me since we started. She's not near as into face painting as I am, but she's pretty good & loves the pay Very Happy
We make sure that the teens get a break every 3 hours on the rare occasions we have day long gigs(I think legally it's every 4 hours in our state).
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by JBax on Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:18 pm

I think those rules don't count when your kids work for the family business... and they'd need to make a minimum amount before needing to claim taxes. Definitely talk to a tax person, cause I don't think it's that complicated. But I could be wrong.
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by Guest on Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:57 pm

For advice like this ... go see an accountant or business lawyer. It is too important not to.

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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by chucklor2 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:31 pm

Thanks. I will definitely try to talk to someone this coming week!
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by Tilly - Formerly Punky on Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:13 am

I agree with the whole family in one business, It would be more unifying. I know my mom and I have been clowning, ballooning and painting together for almost ten years now... half my life. There's never been an issue due to labor laws, I always got plenty of breaks and my fair share of pay, and I loved doing it. I think it's less of an issue with the kids if it is your own business and your own children, not someone else's. However, if you do decide to take the separate businesses approach, definately get individual cards because if they want contact info for you, the face painter, they're just gonna put that card in their purse/wallet and look at it later and be like "Why do I have a balloonist's card in my wallet/purse ???"
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by chucklor2 on Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:36 pm

Ok. Well the first thing I've done is get in touch with Specialty Insurance to see from an insurance stand point what would be recommended. First of all, I was told that vendor's insurance only covers having a booth at a fair or other event, so while people working for me or my company would be covered in that atmosphere, none of us would be covered if we did private face painting i.e. at our home or someone else's house or other similar-type place. Only a booth where something was being sold would fit in the vendor policy. A performer's insurance is what we would need, and we would each need to purchase our own insurance, although if I am understanding correctly, our minor children would be covered under my insurance as long as they are minors? I will have to confirm that I am understanding that correctly.

Anyway, this is a good thing to know because one of the things I was thinking about with all of this was figuring out what would be best/most economical with the best coverage for everyone. It looks like perhaps we will each need our own insurance, which will cost more than if I just got vendor's insurance.

I have a tax accountant friend that I will try to talk to after church next Sunday.
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by BluAngL83 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:59 am

You should also visit your local Small Business Development Center which can be found at www.sba.gov. They can provide lots of FREE info and they may have some classes for you.
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by CreateFaces on Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:01 am

chucklor2 wrote:although if I am understanding correctly, our minor children would be covered under my insurance as long as they are minors? I will have to confirm that I am understanding that correctly.

Inquiring minds want to know!! Please tell us about the minor policy rules when you get clarification.
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by chucklor2 on Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:06 pm

I just heard back from them, and I was understanding correctly. My husband and I need to get performer policies, and the kids will all be covered under out policies if they are working WITH us.
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Re: what to do about joint business with husband or single business

Post by twinkletattoos on Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:02 am

We have a party rental business. My husband does bouncers & I do glitter tattoos. We are setup as an LLC with no employees. We pay our family using Owner's Draw functionality.

We also have our online glitter tattoo shop which is also setup as an LLC.
We chose to do LLC's to protect ourselves from being personally liable for any issues.

As far as insurance goes you should contact more than one company. Each will have different rules. We were able to save over $1000 just buy calling around and comparing prices/inclusions...but we have more to cover than just face painting. We went with Cossio as they use a blanket of insurers to compare quotes and cater to your particular business.

http://www.cossioinsurance.com/
http://www.eventplannersassociation.com/


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