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Freelance — Life of A Designer

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

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5 Steps to a Design Company


“Unless you Own the Company, Your Job is Not Safe” Like many people, I found this out the hard way. The economy went down and business decisions has to be made. So, new opportunities have become available to many people. Below are the steps to creating a design company:

  1. Make Your Company Name – Make sure to do a couple of Google searches to see if it is taken
  2. Become An LLC – You can do this online in some states and it will ask you for company name
  3. Get An EIN – Employment Identification Number you will need this for taxes (SSN for a business), business license and checking account, IRS link to information
  4. Get Your Business License – Go to City Hall to the Tax Division/ Department you will need your EIN, and description of what business will do
  5. Get Your Business Checking Account – You will need your EIN to open your account, Banks have different rates, features and fees check the fine print before opening account

Now you are ready to start doing business! In general, the people at the State, City and Bank will be able to help you through this process. Try not to get overwhelmed, starting and running your own business will be stressful at times but will be truly rewarding by affording you the time to spend with family and work on your own schedule. Good Luck!

Disclaimer: These are a basic outline of what you need to do to become a business. Also, there are special considerations for Architecture and Interior Design firms with their boards. Consult legal and accounting professionals for advice before preceding.

Making You Cash or Hurting Designers…


99 Designs and Elance are both websites that allow professional and amateur designers to create designs that compete against each other either for a set prize amount or lowest bid respectively. There is a debate going around in the design industry of whether these websites are detrimental to the industry or should they even exist. In these tough economic times where many designers in varied design fields are unemployed, these sites server a function in our economy.

In this economy and economies that are not as developed as the states, the amount of money an individual can make from these sites can help support them or even sustain their lifestyle. They also offer designers not specifically trained in an area the opportunity to create designs they may not have previously had access too. Also, the work made for these sites can be used in the designers portfolio. These sites allow small and medium size businesses to gain access to designers that they would not be able to afford if they went to a traditional design firm with rates greater than their budgets.

The opponents to these sites say that they are depriving clients and designers of the in depth communication and understanding of the project, process, brand and company. They also say that the designer is investing great time, effort, and skill in a project they may not win. The question of the copyright is brought up as well as with 99 Designs if you win the contest you must sign over the copyright of the art over to the company. The amount the designers are paid for their designs is also debated as being too low. Another scenario the opponents raise is that the client will close the bid/ competition and walk away with all the ideas.

All arguments are valid depending on your view and situation. For those small/ start up business and unemployed designers 99 Designs and Elance are a convenient solution. For larger companies and professional designers/ firms looking for a full design/ branding solution these websites aren’t meant for you. So it is up to you to decided if these sites are “Making You Cash or Hurting Designers”?


This article is not an advertisement nor a criticism of 99 Designs and Elance. Please review and make your own judgments of these sites before using or not using these sites.