Start a company or work as an independent contractor?


TSutts
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Hi all, happy new years!

I have received a couple offers from various real estate developers & boat/yacht brokers asking to take drone footage of their site & boats. 

Does it behoove me to establish my own company if i want to pursue these ventures in the future? such as my own LLC? Or should i work as an independent contractor? Which makes more sense? Need some business advice.

Thank you!

Troy

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I think it will depend on how much effort you're interested in putting into a drone business.  If you're just looking for a little money on the side without the hassle of doing all of the things required to get your own company off the ground then contractor might be the way to go.  Of course, you're not going to be able to make as much money if you have to give a cut of each job to a middle-man company.

If you think this has the potential to become a full-time gig then it might be worth the extra effort of flying under your established brand.  At first you don't have to go the trouble of establishing an LLC - you can just function as a sole proprietor business which has fewer paperwork requirements.

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I too am interested in pursuing opportunities using my drones: DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Phantom 3. Since receiving my certification and FAA drone pilots license, the thought of being productive would be an awesome direction to generate income and experience.

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  • 3 weeks later...

TSutts, 

I am not an attorney, however I have been in business for over 35 years. My Attny indicated to me that you have "no" protection from your personal assets if you do not have a LLC, S-corp or C-corp. If someone hires you, regardless of how much they pay you, and sues, your personal assets could be liable. I think it was good advise I received many years ago. This is a very crazy world we live in and no one has a crystal ball on how a situation  will come out or what someone else will do. 

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@Mojay+2

Everything that goes up, MUST come down.  The risk is based on whether its under your control or not when it does.  If your going to incorporate you should talk to an attorney.  I'm not sure an LLC will provide you with the type of corporate vail you would need for this type of business.  

Also, its easy for realtors and car/yacht sales people to make this type of suggestion.  I mean how hard can it be to shoot a couple of pictures or video with a $1200 toy drone?  Its not about the drone its about the business.  Ask them if they'd be willing to pay $750-$1000?  How hard can it be to sell a house?  I'm sure they will tell you that its difficult enough for them to get a 3-6% commission.     

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Av8Chuck,

 

Not sure I understand the your second paragraph. Just to be clear, I did indicate I was not an attorney which might suggest he consult one. I do know that I have owned a few companies over the years, S-Corps and LLC's. Either of these two entities would offer more protection in a law suit than acting as an individual. I just don't think anyone should be doing business in a commercial application without some form of personal liability protection. 

2 minutes ago, Av8Chuck said:

@Mojay+2

Everything that goes up, MUST come down.  The risk is based on whether its under your control or not when it does.  If your going to incorporate you should talk to an attorney.  I'm not sure an LLC will provide you with the type of corporate vail you would need for this type of business.  

Also, its easy for realtors and car/yacht sales people to make this type of suggestion.  I mean how hard can it be to shoot a couple of pictures or video with a $1200 toy drone?  Its not about the drone its about the business.  Ask them if they'd be willing to pay $750-$1000?  How hard can it be to sell a house?  I'm sure they will tell you that its difficult enough for them to get a 3-6% commission.     

 

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On 1/6/2021 at 11:38 AM, TSutts said:

Hi all, happy new years!

I have received a couple offers from various real estate developers & boat/yacht brokers asking to take drone footage of their site & boats. 

Does it behoove me to establish my own company if i want to pursue these ventures in the future? such as my own LLC? Or should i work as an independent contractor? Which makes more sense? Need some business advice.

Thank you!

Troy

I've always thought it was safer to have a corporation for liability purposes.  However most people with very small businesses start out as a sole proprietor. If you decide not to incorporate,  make sure you file a homestead exception with your state, ( To protect your home) and get drone insurance to provide you some protection. 

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20 minutes ago, Mojay said:

Not sure I understand the your second paragraph.

I think the point of the OP was whether to start your own or work for someone else.  If your working as a contractor you are starting a business.  I always recommend that people start out working "for" a company to not only gain experience with the UAV but also getting first hand experience with what it takes to run the business.

Also, I'd be willing to bet that the realtor only wants to spend about $200 per house and is not willing to commit to more than one or two properties at a time.  Kind of hard to grow a business without a serious commitment from customers.

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  • 5 months later...

I'm going to set up a new business in my local area. My business is related to technology. Though, I am new and I don't have better knowledge how to promote my business worldwide. I subscribed business newsletter here in order to get regular updates. What about you? Does business newsletter really helps to promote business? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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