Starting a Photography Business

Basic steps to legitimizing a photography business in Visalia, CA

1: Factitious Business Name

Fill out THIS document and take it to the Tulare County Clerks office and submit your chosen business name along with $45 (keep the receipts for tax deductions!) and you will then be provided with 3 copies of the same Facticious Business Name Statement. You will have one to send out to a local publishing company (they will give you a list of options) and you will be required to publish your business name in a local publication for 4 consecutive weeks. It is easier than it sounds! 

You will also need to bring one along later to open your business bank account!

2: Business Tax Certificate

Fill out THIS form and take it to City Hall at 707 W. Acequia Avenue Visalia, CA 93291.

A Business Tax Certificate from the City of Visalia is needed before conducting any business, trade, profession or occupation within the city limits. This is your business license as a photographer in Visalia! I chose to go the "Sole Owner/Sole Proprietor" route. 

3: Open A Business Bank Account

You can go to most any bank or credit union to open a business bank account! This is a VERY important step, as keeping your business finances separate from your personal bank account or other incomes you may have, is very important when it comes to keeping track of your tax info, and makes things simple when/if you are ever audited! 

I chose to open my account with Educational Employees Credit Union

You will need to bring along one of the copies of your Factitious Business Name Statement and proof of your business tax application submission.

4: Get Insured

Getting at least some basic damage insurance for your photography equipment is important! You never know what could happen, and quality photo gear is a very big investment in your business, you need to protect it!

I chose to become a member of the Professional Photographers of America. This membership not only provides awesome educational tools and discounts in the industry, but membership comes with Photography Equipment Insurance, Data loss Insurance, and covers Dissatisfied Customers! Only $27.92 a month!


Here is a link to a Pinterest board with a few articles that teach you basics of starting a photography business, tax info, starter camera suggestions, and many more ideas on how to launch the start of your business, even with practicing on your cell phone!

Please feel free to reach out to me on my website or social media and ask me any questions you may have with anything discussed above, or anything photography/business related I may not have covered! I started my business in my junior year of high school, so I believe you're at the best age to start exploring this career option!