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Should an Author Register a Business?

Easy Business Setup to Simplify Your Life

*Disclaimer: I am not a CPA or an attorney – all information in this post is from personal experience and research and is not to be considered legal advice of any kind. If you have legal questions, you should contact a certified professional in your state or province, such as an attorney or financial advisor for guidance and advice.

Do I really need to set up a business?

As a writer – whether you do freelance work, or you’re an author selling books, you should consider setting up some kind of business – for lots of reasons.

For starters – if you’re an author, chances are – you’re working from home. When your book hits the bestselling list and you’re super successful, you won’t want your raving fans beating down your door… or, even if you only plan on making a steady income from book sales… you still want to keep your address private.

How can I protect my privacy as an author?

As an example – if you have a newsletter of any kind – you know you’re required to put your physical address on it – as well as domain names, many of your online service accounts, and to access benefits from professional social media accounts.

As a professional, your information can often be found publicly – even if it’s just the town or city you live in – on social media, services you use, reviews, etc.

To protect your privacy – and keep your fans at bay – you’ll want to have a separate address from your home – and you can do this with a registered agent. Even if you setup a PO Box – all legal paperwork requires a physical address.

If you already have a business – you can easily take advantage of Northwest Registered Agent – with a flat yearly fee, for an address in any state. And you can enhance your service with mail forwarding.

LLCs  for Authors & Writers

In my experience, forming an LLC has been the easiest way to manage my income from book sales regarding taxes, open a business checking account, and take advantage of tax benefits from writing off operating expenses.

Little things like the reams of paper you go through for printing your manuscripts – even just for editing purposes, portions of your utilities if you have a home office, office supplies, and advertising expenses can all be deductible expenses. And when you add those things up in a year, it can have a significant impact on your taxes.

What tax deductions can an author take? Are books a tax deduction?

Expenses to consider as a writer or author:

  • paper – especially by the box
  • office supplies – pens, pencils, notepads, sticky notes
  • ink/toner – this can be a big one
  • electricity for the printer and computer, coffee maker (plus it’s a great excuse to have your own coffee maker in your home office)
  • advertising – social media ads, magazine ads, banners on a blog, newsletter ads, etc.
  • services – did you hire me to do your Publishing Package? (you rock!) Plus – it’s deductible if you have a business! And – editors, paid beta readers, designers, etc.
  • books – buying your own books for promotions, book signings, giveaways, etc.
  • websites – did you also hire me for your Author Website? (if you did, you’re awesome – and I thank you!) Plus, your domain name, hosting, designer, etc.

Having an LLC also makes it easier to get a business loan for all those expenses.

Plus, an LLC protects your personal assets if you’re ever involved in a lawsuit.

But, what are the fees for setting up an LLC or other business in your state?

And what are the regulations for yearly registrations?

What forms do you need to fill out?

Because each state has different fees, yearly registrations, and forms – I highly recommend using Northwest Registered Agent to set up your LLC.

Navigating the business side of selling books and freelance writing can be overwhelming, and filling out state and federal forms can be daunting.

In the past I’ve done everything myself – and after moving to a few different states, it was just an added task to move my business too. And really, I just didn’t feel like dealing with it.

You can register your LLC in a different state from where you live for added tax benefits – which I’ve also done with other businesses. For this – using a registered agent is practically a must. I highly recommend you talk to a legal expert to advise you on this – it can be a benefit, or an added burden – so you really want to make sure you choose wisely.

For me, finding Northwest Registered Agent has been a blessing and taken a lot of weight off my shoulders. I’ve been using them a few years now, in different states. They have made my professional life so much easier!

Setting Up an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent:

  • Forms for every state
  • Easy to follow, simple filing – done for you
  • Use only the forms you need
  • Easy setup – self-guided or a phone call away
  • Easy monthly payment – spread out initial state fee
  • Registered agent with localized business address
  • Ease of mind – focus on your writing!
Easiest business setup for authors - protect your privacy with a business address.

One thing is the initial fee of setting up a business – Northwest takes care of this too!

Some state fees are less than $150 – but some are $300 or more – and every state has their own forms, taxes, and operating regulations.

With Northwest Registered Agent service – the initial state form registration payment is just a flat fee of just $39 instead of paying hundreds in state fees upfront – and it includes their service.

They also file your yearly forms for you, are always available to answer questions – without harassing you – and best of all – it’s the easiest and most reliable service I’ve found.

Want to Fund Your Business?

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