Episode 111

111: Starting an official business

As creatives, sometimes dealing with things like finances and paperwork don’t come naturally to us, but they’re important to figure out. In this episode we discuss the legalities and details of setting up an official business including accounting, expenses, paperwork, and when to even bother with registering it!

“Instead of worrying about starting a business, just start doing the work.”

— Charli

Key takeaways

1 | In many countries you don’t have to have an official business to earn money. So before you worry about registering a company name and setting up accounting software: start with the work. First build up the demand for your services, and set up the official business entity later.

2 | Do your research. Legalities will be different in different countries and it’s important to understand what you should be doing to stay on the right side of the law. Ask friends who have been through it for advice or hire an accountant or business advisor to walk you through the process. Learn how it all works and what would be best for you.

3 | Running a business generally means you can expense purchases you make for business purposes, which helps you save money on your tax bill. So it’s worth doing the research to check what’s allowed in your country.

4 | It’s not all or nothing. You don’t have to go from zero to company director overnight. Instead of learning complicated accounting software when you take on your first paying freelance work, start with a simple spreadsheet to record your income. As your business grows, so will your need for more systems.

Show timestamps

00:00 – Intro & catch up
07:05 – Realising you’re running a business
11:55 – Figuring out the legalities
14:50 – Setting up an LLC
19:00 – Business vs personal bank account
23:10 – When to set up a business
28:30 – Financial software
31:10 – The paperwork
35:00 – Final words of advice

Show links

Show credits

Follow us on Twitter – @DesignLifeFM

Subscribe to Design Life on Apple Podcasts

Our theme tune was created by Camiel van Schoonhoven