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Hiring for Your Craft Show Business
The nature of your craft show business and your budget will determine whether or not you need others to help you with any aspect of your craft show business. Needless to say, the success of your crafts at craft shows will also have a considerable effect on whether or not you will need to hire employees.
On the "free" end, you can get help from friends and family to produce your crafts and help with any business aspects. A tax benefit for "hiring" your children under 18 is that you don't have to pay social security or medicare taxes if your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership owned solely by you and your spouse.
Next, you can find students or apprentices to work on your crafts for free, or at least inexpensively. Contractors, who you would just use on occasion when you need extra help, would be the next level. You also may have friends who want to pick up a little extra pocket change working on your crafts from home can do some production work for you. A bookkeeper who comes in once a month to balance your checkbook and enter your income and expenses is a contractor, and you don't have to deal with taxes. Check with the IRS or your accountant to be clear about the difference between independent contractors and employees.
If you feel you need employees as your craft show business grows, you should consult an accountant or the Small Business Administration for all the regulations. These might involve registering with the Department of Labor, applying for Worker's Compensation insurance and securing an employee identification number (EIN) from your state and national government offices. You'll need to apply for an EIN from the IRS anyway if you're using a business name different from your own. When you use your own name as your business name and you have no employees, your social security number will suffice. You might also want to check with your bank, because they may require an EIN to open a business account, even if it's in your own name.
Finally, consider which professionals you'll want to have in your line-up of support. An accountant and lawyer are good to have at least to call when issues come up. Many crafters have a good photographer they use for promotional photos and slides of their work. Quality slides can make the difference in getting accepted to juried craft fairs. You may also occasionally need the services of a graphic designer to create brochures, hangtags or other marketing materials and a PR person if you want to take out ads or run press releases. All of your decisions concerning using other people to help you succeed are based on your needs, your own abilities and your budget. Everyone needs to make these choices for themselves.
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