Starting out as a voice talent in the 90’s, I never visioned that one day voice over talent would need to consider incorporating themselves as a business, for financial reasons. The ‘DIY’ market, and global economy has changed the way people do business. It is important for those reading this section to ‘think bigger’ than where they are now. Instead of thinking, ‘I only live in this city, so I only do this type of work with these same people, and they will take care of things for me.’, think of yourself as possibly being the CEO of YOU, Inc. in a global market. It is necessary to accept that businesses in your area have the ability to work with people from other countries on any given day. Incorporating may be necessary as a financial move to support your voice over career, and then again, maybe not. Examine these points below, or read more here about it:
“I should incorporate because…”
- “I need to safeguard personal assets of the owner (you) against potential claims of creditors.” In short, if your business goes ‘kaboom’; you do not lose personal assets.
- “I need the business of ‘Me, myself, and I’, to have an identity, and the sense of image, stability, sophistication, and credibility in a global market.”
- “I can issue stock to investors to raise capital for my business, which may be more advantageous than borrowing and making interest payments.
- “I can save on taxes. Corporations are taxed at a lower rate than individuals. Also, they can own shares in another corporation and receive corporate dividends 80% tax-free.”
- I enjoy personal liability protection, especially ‘in a world’…where everyone loves to sue for obscure reasons. They can only sue your ‘business’, and not you.
“I don’t wish to incorporate because…”
- “I follow governmental procedure, and as an independent contractor, the tax deductions from being my own business, will mean I pay out less to government, and take home more for building my business.”
- “In addition to the above, I make a good living, and I work from home so I don’t need to create a separate trade name or legal entity for my home business.”
When researching this section, I began to see one general ideal behind “Why and Why not?”:
- If you have carved out your own little niche in the voice over industry, and are solely responsible for your own well-being when running the business of ‘You’ with no obligations to anyone else, and get paid well for what you do…You are going to know when you need to incorporate because your business will grow into it, and it will financially make sense for you.
- In the course of my career, I have seen others and made the same mistake of investing “emotionally” and “financially” in something, while thinking, “If I really want this bad enough, I can do it, and the plans on how will come with time and success.”
Then one day, reality sets in that you have invested a great deal of money into a career that was planned poorly, and now a great deal of money has to be spent starting over. The old saying, “Never put the cart before the horse” comes to mind.
YOU, Inc can be a goal of yours, but incorporating a hobby is not the best idea. You are your own boss, and your own employee. As your own boss, why incorporate if you cannot pay your employee a full-time wage?