Allow us to reiterate: The ‘DIY’ market, and global economy have changed the way people do business. Practiced professionals know this already, but if you’re a newbie who’s starting to tentatively dip your toe in the water, it’s important to ‘think bigger’ than your immediate environment and thus, where you are now.
Instead of thinking something like: 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, get over thinking you’re small fry. You’re not. It’s time to realise that, as a voiceover talent, you can do business with anyone anywhere in the world. This is You, Inc.
Always be professional, polite and as efficient as possible. I have built long lasting relationships with clients based on the fact that when they ask for an audition from me, they know that it’ll be delivered on time and to the best of my ability.
Incorporating may be necessary as a financial move to support your voiceover career, but then again, maybe not. Examine these points below, or do yourself a favor and read more about it here.
You should incorporate because:
- You need to safeguard personal assets of the owner (you) against potential claims of creditors. (In short, if your business goes ‘kaboom’; you don’t lose personal assets.)
- You 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.
- You can issue stock to investors to raise capital for your business, which may be more advantageous than borrowing and making interest payments.
- You 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.
- You 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.)
You don’t wish to incorporate because:
- You follow governmental procedure, and as an independent contractor, the tax deductions from being your own business, will mean you pay out less to government, and take home more for building your business.
- In addition to the above, you make a good living, and you work from home so you don’t need to create a separate trade name or legal entity for your home business.
Also, consider this:
- If you have carved out your own little niche in the voiceover 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’ll know when you need to incorporate because your business will grow into it, and it will financially make sense for you.
- We’ve seen others make the mistake of investing emotionally and financially in something, thinking: If I really want this bad enough, I can do it, and the plans on ‘how’ will come with time and success. Unless you’re absolutely certain you know what you’re doing—that voiceovers are your career and not just a hobby—don’t incorporate. The day will inevitably come when reality sets in and you realize you’ve invested a great deal of money into a career that was planned poorly, and now a great deal more money has to be spent starting over.
Ask yourself the common question… Where do I wanna be in 5 years, what is my plan. If you are in it for the long term, you have to put a plan together. Strategy, how many hours a day do I audition, how many hours a day do I hone my craft, how many hours a day do I market my brand. Your business depends on you! Run your brand like you are going to be successful, not as if you are lucky. Hard work pays off, we all need breaks, but luck generally is made not found!
YOU, Inc. can be a great goal, but incorporating a hobby isn’t a good idea. You are your own boss, and your own employee. As your own boss, why incorporate if you can’t pay your employee a decent full-time wage? Go figure!
(As an important aside: Do remember we are not accountants, financial advisors, or attorneys, so don’t consider our observations and suggestions professional advice. Chat with folks who know and whom you can trust to give you the right advice).