a customer connects that to the earlier "basement" comment, connects the dots, and will bail.Just because I am so young doesn't mean that I can't do for you what a major company could do at a much more fair price.
Get a real domain name...
I think your fee schedule ($100 flat-fee) will get you in trouble. For instance, were I evil and competing against you, I'd take my machine to you. What I'd not tell you is that I've cut one pin off the HDD connector, made an intermittent short between the motherboard and case, and done a few other nasty things. You'd spin your wheels for maybe a day and get backed up. I, on the other hand, would be free to turn 10 normal systems around (as I'd be there for your overflow). All it would cost me is $100. You should also put a bottom cap on the amount you'd be paid. If you don't, and you re-seat RAM for me and then want to charge $60 on-site, then I'm going to pro-rate it, give you your $1, and tell you to sue me for the rest if you think you have earned your $60.
Also, if you're doing business, you'll need a business license (about $20 or so) and maybe a zoning certificate/petition to conduct business in your parents' home (about $5-$20). I've done both, and it's a matter of filling in forms and taking them down to the city.
People are douches, and business agreements are made on paper in accord with what's printed on the paper. If someone's young, some jerk may just boot them out of their house and say, "here's your $1. Good luck in court, if you want to go." I myself was stiffed by a client many many moons ago by an agreement that wasn't on paper and went wrong. He stuck me for $200 in hardware (that I paid for up-front) and $400 in labor. Needless to say, I will never EVER consider doing work for "Dan V." again; he was a big shot realtor in Arizona, and pretty much pulled the whole, "Hey, thanks. Good luck getting payment from me" thing.Isn't that stuff fraud or something similar? If not, then it's still definitely dirty tactics. Either way, good point... it is a good idea to try to avoid running into problems like that. Terribly mean or not, some people don't care if they're doing unkind things if they have something to gain from it.
They should at least draw up a contract between the two parties. However, with art, it's tricky. Where do you draw the line between "difficult" and "impossible" commissions? Furthermore, as art is subjective, if the client isn't pleased, and the artist has put 20 hours into creating the image (and thinks it rocks), then where is everyone left?What about people who do commissions, like furry art? Are they technically supposed to do all that crap too? Though I am surprised.... that isn't very expensive. I think a lot of people just do stuff under the table though. Unless you start making big profits, no one usually cares (at least as far as I know) It is nice to be able to say you're completely official though, I think.
Hmm yeah, I guess it explains why artists like to have all the details of what the person wants before they start. Then sometimes, they'll be nice and allow some changes when possible.h3g3l said:They should at least draw up a contract between the two parties. However, with art, it's tricky. Where do you draw the line between "difficult" and "impossible" commissions? Furthermore, as art is subjective, if the client isn't pleased, and the artist has put 20 hours into creating the image (and thinks it rocks), then where is everyone left?
To be fair, you can still deduct mileage (if it's not commuting) and other business expenses as an independent sole proprietor, too. A business license legitimizes your operations under your municipality, but it doesn't automatically form a separate business entity (although a DBA - doing business as - is fairly easy to obtain in most cities). Incorporating into an LLP or LLC is nowhere near as simple as you make it out to be (especially when you consider the additional organizational costs you'll incur for taxes, corporate registration, etc.) and for a simple computer repair business started by an 18 year old, unless he's planning on making it his career, is overkill.
- Legitimacy - it's helpful to walk into a court as an LLP or LLC. More helpful still to walk in with a contract and an attitude of, "everything is above the board; look at the [fair and reasonable] contract ... that the customer signed"
- Legality - if you are advertising, this will ensure you're "above the boards." Also, if you have a zoning exception/exemption, you can hang a shingle (12"x12" in my area, others will vary) marking your place of business.
- Tax purposes - if you drive to your client's sites as a private person, you eat that cost. If you drive as a business, you write-off those miles. Also, if you buy supplies/equipment for the business, that's a business expense.