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A guide to starting a photography business

For many people, photography is not a hobby, but a full-time job. Starting a photography business in the UK is easy since you can register as a sole trader and you can start selling your services right away. However, if you want to succeed, you'll also need to learn the basics on how to run a business and how to find customers.

How to start your photography business

Photography businesses do not usually require special permits. Often, you can start your home photography studio in a spare room of your house. How to start your business
You will need to register either as a sole trader or create a limited company to be able to trade as a photographer. You must do this before you have been trading for three months. So, you can wait until you have your first client to formally notify HMRC of your intention to start a photography business. Check your tenancy agreement
If you are renting and you plan on starting a photography studio at home, you will need to check your tenancy agreement since it may be forbidden. If you are going to have people coming and going into your flat, it's worth notifying your landlord and neighbours. Business and marketing plans
While it's true that a business plan is not technically necessary unless you are going to apply for finance, having a good photography business plan can help you stay on track and take better decisions. Moreover, it's also worth drafting a marketing plan even before you launch your business.

Expenses and taxes

As with any other business, you can declare tax exempt expenses on a variety of items that you will need in order to start and run your photography business. Starting costs
You can claim, as expenses, the costs of registering your company or as a sole trader, along with any services used to get started. You should also consider employing an accountant from the start so you can optimise your tax planning and keep the paperwork up-to-date from the start. Equipment
If you are registered as a limited company, you'll be able to purchase photography equipment as part of your business assets, which can be favourable tax-wise. You can also sell your personal owner equipment to your newly-formed company. Website and marketing materials
If you are starting a photography business, it's almost sure that you'll need a website and marketing materials. You can create a website by using a popular CMS such as WordPress, and any costs associated with it would be classified as expenses. Buying an existing business
An alternative to starting up from scratch is looking at photography business for sale, but this is going to be more expensive.

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